Are Shutters In?
Times change, and so do the aesthetic trends that rule our homes. No matter what facet of your home you are designing, you have a lot of choices, which may seem more or less optimal depending on the year and the popular looks of the age. Should you use paint, wallpaper, or paneling on your walls? Do you want parquet, carpeting, or maybe even stained cement in your entry? Should your light fixtures be modern or classical or unobtrusive?
While you have a lot to decide on to craft a home that will stand the test of time and survive the cycling fads, one choice should be easy: shutters are a timeless feature that is both aesthetic and functional and will look great now and for years to come.
Shutters have been used in some form for millennia. That they are still around today should be no surprise, as their utility and fashionability have only increased over the centuries to the market we see today with a shutter for all styles an occasions.
You may think of a time when shutters were mere adornments, fixed to the outside of a house at each window but totally inoperable. They were used to endow a sort of homey feel, to indicate that here was a house or condo where one could find comfort and privacy. Now, modern shutters are evolving back into what they once were: a decorative yet extremely useful and efficient way to moderate the light and heat in your home.
Traditional exterior shutters, whether they are louvered or raised panel shutters, provide the inviting feel many homeowners are seeking but they are purely for decoration. Sometimes these shutters are not even sized as if they would span the entire window were they closed. By contrast, many board-and-batten shutters can be easily designed to fit the exact size and shape of the window with their simple rustic construction and can sometimes be opened to the outside and shut again.
Interior shutters are usually used specifically for their utility. Shaker shutters offer maximum light and weather protection on the inside as they are a solid construction, while cafe shutters block only part of the window, protecting one sitting immediately adjacent from the sun with louvered slats, yet letting light pass over into the interior space. As the name suggests, these are popular for businesses that want to keep patrons comfortable.
Plantation shutters, usually exterior, offer the best of both worlds with full operability and modification of louvers to adjust to the perfect lighting and airflow. These shutters harken back to a simpler time when glass was expensive and shutters were opened and closed daily to welcome the light and air or shut out harsh weather and darkness.
The modern world is increasingly about one thing: efficiency and sustainability. Shutters offer options that serve both these ends, with an elegant and refined touch. Modern shutters are becoming more and more useful and efficient, meant not only to provide elegance but to passively moderate the light and temperature in your home to maximize energy efficiency. The cycles of trends and fashion have never forsaken shutters, but now they are becoming more meaningful than just decoration.