have Timber Shutters instead of Curtains?
have been increasingly under siege now for many years – and
it’s not hard to see why. For hundreds of years they were a
great idea – indeed the best, if not only idea – for
dressing windows, retaining warmth and maintaining privacy. But times
have changed and 21st century alternatives leave curtains in the
There have been a number of pretenders to the throne but, of all
the alternatives available, wooden plantation shutters have emerged
as the clear winner. It’s not hard to see why, since they
are practical, aesthetically pleasing and long lasting.
What’s more, unlike curtains, they provide good insulation
against noise – a real benefit, especially for anyone living
near a busy road. And shutters come in a variety of styles and
finishes to suit every style of home – or office – from
a centuries-old country cottage to a space-age loft apartment.
It’s not surprising that they are practical – they
get their name from the popular design of shutters found on American
plantations where protection from intense heat and light is of
They are made by hinging a number of panels together, which enables
them to fold back. And whereas the original plantation shutters
used in America’s deep south had fixed slats, today’s
shutters have slats – or louvres – that can be easily
adjusted to admit as much air or light as required.
Traditionally, of course, these window coverings were fitted externally.
These days, however, for practical reasons they are normally fixed
inside. And the good news is that they can be made to fit virtually
any size or shape of window or French door.
So, there is no doubt they meet all the criteria for a practical
window covering. What about looks? Well, they certainly can’t
be faulted in that department! Wooden shutters are a design classic.
And the choice is extensive – from the wide range of woods
to the colour or stain with which they are finished. Whatever your
style of furnishing or colour scheme you can co-ordinate plantation
shutters with ease. And when you change your colour scheme you
won’t have to change your window covering – unlike
curtains, shutters don’t ‘date’ and they certainly
But the superiority of shutters over curtains doesn’t stop
there. Curtains require washing or dry-cleaning – and you
have to take them down first! Shutters stay in situ and just need
a quick flick with a duster. And, of course, while dust gets into
the very fabric of curtains, contributing to or aggravating allergies,
there is no danger of this with shutters.
Anything else? Well, curtains fade and the material eventually
rots, whereas shutters are virtually indestructible.
It’s all or nothing with curtains – open or closed.
Shutters can be adjusted to your exact requirements and an advantage
of this is that strong sunlight, the number one cause of fading
furnishings, furniture and pictures, can be excluded without cutting
out all light.
Curtains have had a good innings. They have served us well but
there’s no doubt that it’s time to move on. It’s
a case of RIP curtains, long live shutters!
Is this the end of the line for curtains?