Older homes, plantation shutters, wood blinds

siobhanny5September 8, 2005

There's a thread going on the home decorating forum about plantation shutters, though I thought I'd try here as well.

Has anyone here installed plantation-style shutters in their old home? I'm partial to natural materials whenever possible, though some are saying the polywood is less heavy, less expensive than the natural wood. Your thoughts?

Also, leaning toward wood blinds in some rooms. If you own them, do you have wide slates or thin? Did you try to match the wood trim on your windows, or complement your hardwood floors?

Any suggestions on size, materials, making color choices here would be appreciated.

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Carol_from_ny

Plantation shutters ARE EXPENSIVE! My sister wanted them very badly for her home. She shopped all over on line, in town the prices were out of this world.
Her DH finally made them for her...he's a contractor. They are real wood painted white. She calls them dust collectors. I get the feeling she's sorry she got them. They aren't easy to clean and once you buy them your kind of committed to the same look in that room for a rather long period of time.
Not like fabric that you can change out if you've the mind to.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2005 at 5:00PM
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kennebunker

I remember them being in style maybe 30 odd years ago and they were a pain to dust and keep clean. They do look nice, though.
I have wooden blinds in my rooms. Most of the wood in my living room is a dark cherry or walnut, so I went with dark cherry blinds in both the living room and adjacent dining room. My floors are oak stained in a mid-value cherry, my woodwork is a warm white. I selected the wide slats, have them under swags and jabots when not in use am very pleased with the look, whether they are up or down.
For my family room I went with white, wide slatted wood blinds. I have dark colored walls and a triple window and another single one. We changed the trim in there from a warm white to a yellowish-cream and I'm still very happy with the blinds on the windows. (I get very picky-picky)

    Bookmark   September 8, 2005 at 5:29PM
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joyce_6333

In my last home (not an old home) we had solid oak plantation shutters on every window. They had wide (3 - 3 1/2") slats, and I absolutely LOVED them! They were custom made by Sherwood Shutters -- I can't recommend them highly enough if your budget is liberal. They worked with us to mix a custom stain that matched the wood in the rest of the house. I didn't think they were difficult to clean at all. Couple times a year I washed them with a damp cloth, and the rest of them time I dusted them when I dusted the furniture. I could do the large windows in our living room in less than 10 minutes, although I did have to bring in a step stool to reach them. I would think shutters with narrow slats would be a nightmare to clean because the slats are so close together. But the wide slats make it so easy.

Now we live in a 1916 bungalow. We have two rooms with wood blinds with 2 1/2" slats. They are working out very well, but I would get the same plantation shutters again if my budget would allow it now. I am definitely getting the wood blinds for the rest of the windows, doing a room at a time. The ones I like are by Levolor or Graber, and they come in so many colors you could easily match just about any wood color.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2005 at 5:57PM
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southern_2008

We have plantaton shutters and love them. Many of the old homes in our part of town (the only part of town that has old homes) have plantation shutters although many of them have the narrower slats (1", 2" max). Ours are 3 and a half so let a lot of light in. I was against doing them downstairs for my more formal rooms, so we just did the entire upstairs. I will say that it really provides a "finished" look. They were expensive, however. For our molding though we did have to go with shutters that came slightly out from the interior molding on the windows so that the slats would still be able to open. We could have gone with 2 and a half inch slats and had them mount flush on the inside but with the shutters painted cream, the walls painted cream and the trim painted semi-gloss cream, it's not really noticeable. I'll try to take some pics tomorrow.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 10:50PM
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moretoknow2010_gmail_com

I know this forum is very old, but for anyone just looking at this, I thought it would be good to mention that plantation shutters have evolved quite a bit. Recently, I started doing some web work for a company called Indian River Shutter Company, based out of Florida but they work the whole state of Florida, and I have found that the energy saving qualities, the appearance and the up keep has changed dramatically. Prior to being introduced to this company and the shutters that they custom build for their customers, I myself thought they were a waste of money, but every customer I have had a chance encounter with that has chosen to install the shutters in their home have gloated incentently about the value and elegance that the plantation shutters have bought to their homes, not to mention the extremely affordable energy bills that have come post install. I am not trying to be a sales person but when I saw these degrating comments about the products, I thought I should mention that there is a world of difference in the plantation shutter industry. I found this website, www.strictlyshutters.com that can help you find someone close to you who sells the shutters made in america, of course there are probably other sites just like this one but I used this one with success. I found Indian River Shutter Company through this website and not only made a client but started saving for my own shutters. I hope this helps anyone looking to invest in a more modern crafted wooden shutter, and definitely let me know what you think about the service, because I found it to be incredible.

Here is a link that might be useful: Indian River Shutter Company Website

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 11:07PM
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tinker_2006

I currently have them in our new home we are living in (while we restore the old!) I have always wanted them, but now that I have them.. I don't like them! They are dust collectors, but the main reason I did like them is how dark they made our home. I have the 2-1/2" slats, but they still darkened the rooms a lot!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 6:36AM
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sombreuil_mongrel

Paneled or louvered multifold shutters are what's most appropriate for old houses. The wide-louvered wood blinds were hung outside, people.
Sometimes the shutters were fitted into the window jambs with such excruciating care that you would not realize they were there unless someone showed them to you. A combination of raised panels and louvers was a typical feature. Sometimes all raised panels. They were so well fitted that when closed were basically draught-excluders for winter nights.
Casey

    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 9:10AM
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columbusguy1

Hooray to Casey for mentioning the proper uses of these things! This is NOT the only option for darkening rooms--my house has --shades--which I can pull down to shut out glare and unwanted drafts. They can fit either inside the window opening, or mount to the trim beneath the curtains. AND they can come with fancy trims at the bottom and a variety of materials to allow for different light levels. IF you have the skill, it was even popular to paint scenes on them if the view outside lacks appeal.

And best of all, they are far cheaper than plantation shutters! :)

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 11:30PM
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palberda

I am seriously considering getting plantation shutters in our living room. We have cream horizontal painted wood with pine wooden windows. Would it look ok to have cream shutters on the wooden windows? I am just not sure with the natural wood around them.
I am also wanting the separation between the top 1/2 and the bottom 1/2 of the shutter so if furniture is blocking the shutter we can still open the top. Does anyone have this type and can give light to this topic?

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 9:38AM
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palberda

I am seriously considering getting plantation shutters in our living room. We have cream horizontal painted wood with pine wooden windows. Would it look ok to have cream shutters on the wooden windows? I am just not sure with the natural wood around them.
I am also wanting the separation between the top 1/2 and the bottom 1/2 of the shutter so if furniture is blocking the shutter we can still open the top. Does anyone have this type and can give light to this topic?

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 10:00AM
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jlc102482

After seeing holes where the originals used to hang, we got plantation shutters for our library. It took us two years to find them and we got super lucky to find not only the correct dimensions but also the correct age, as they were original to a house built just two years after our 1857 home. The only bad part is that they were painted long ago and now I have to strip each panel and louver.

Incidentally, does anyone know if plantation blinds were commonly painted in the 1850s and 1860s, or were they stained? The woodwork throughout my home is and always has been painted except for the library, which is the room the shutters are going into. I don't WANT to paint the shutters, but I sure as heck don't want to strip them, either...

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 2:02PM
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sombreuil_mongrel

Grain-painting (faux bois) was popular, decorated to match whatever wood trim was in the room.
Casey

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 8:18PM
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jlc102482

Ha, I think faux bois would be more complicated than stripping and re-painting put together! Stripping and staining it is, then...

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 9:35AM
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