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What is Considered 'Traditional' for Shutter Louver Width

Posted by jan_in_wisconsin (My Page) on
Sun, Jan 27, 08 at 13:34

I'm going for a traditional look for window shutters in my home, and I'm confused about shutter louver width as it relates to design style. With the research I've done so far, it appears that 1 1/4" is considered traditional, while 1 7/8" and up are classified as plantation style, which of course, is more contemporary.

I want to get the shutters custom matched to the woodwork in our home, and Shutter Classic does that, however, their narrowest width is 1 7/8". If I go with the 1 7/8", I'm concerned with whether or not the shutters will look too contemporary. A contemporary look will not go with the style of the rest of the home.

So, my question is: What is the widest shutter louver width that can still be considered traditional? And, if I need to go narrower than 1 7/8" to achieve a traditional look, then I'm in search of an online shutter company that does custom paint matching at a good price.

Thanks so much for any thoughts,

Jan


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: What is Considered 'Traditional' for Shutter Louver Width

They do come in l l/4" slats. That is the more traditional look you're probably after. I have the same...older home in New England.

I've not ordered shutters online so unfortunately I don't have any recommendations but I'm sure you'll get some. I bought our shutters at Lowes.


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RE2: What is Considered 'Traditional' for Shutter Louver Width

Oh, if you Google with that width, you shoot hit on some online sites. JustBlinds.com has shutters......not sure if in that smaller size though. EXCELLENT company for blinds.


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RE: What is Considered 'Traditional' for Shutter Louver Width

Jan,

Have you actually gone to a shutter store and looked at the widths? I did shutters throughout my entire house which is traditional/updated country style. I know what you mean about the narrower ones being traditional, but they also block out more of the view. I think they look great in a cafe style with a valance, and at a small window in a kitchen or bath. Actually I liked ALL the shutter styles but I went with a 3 1/2 inch width because I have so many, I didn't want to obscure the view, and I wanted a clean, less busy look. I think it would help you a lot to go see some if you haven't done that. I really think the 1 7/8 would be plenty narrow to have the more traditional look, I wouldn't want to go narrower if I were you. The place that made mine also gave me addresses where I could drive by and see how they looked from the street. Good luck to you. I love your house and your style and I can't wait to see your pics as you get these installed.

Here's the 3 1/2

Photobucket


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RE:3 What is Considered 'Traditional' for Shutter Louver Width

Sorry Jan...I missed a lil' something there in your post about custom painting. The l l/4" do block the view more which is why mine are cafe style OR I simply open the top shutters.


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RE: What is Considered 'Traditional' for Shutter Louver Width

Thanks to both of you!

I should have mentioned that the shutters will be cafe style, and both will be in the bathrooms only. I want the best of both worlds - privacy and light. The window in the main bath is fairly small, however, in the master bath by the whirlpool, the window is much wider.

Mimi - Your shutters are so beautiful. I totally agree that if you're having them installed throughout the house, it would likely be too busy to go with the traditional louver width. Your home is perfect, and your windows are really something special. I like the traditional/country style, but like you, I enjoy its updated version with a less cluttered look. I'm hoping you're right that I will like the 1 7/8" width just fine. It would be great to see some in person. I'm hoping to order them online, and other than the width issue, Shutter Classic seems to have everything I'm looking for, including the custom paint match (free) and oil-rubbed bronze hardware.

Jant, I bet your home in New England was gorgeous with those shutters. You're right about the light blocking, though. I'll check out the web site you posted. Thanks!!


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RE: What is Considered 'Traditional' for Shutter Louver Width

Jan, I love the look of the narrow ones for cafes like you said. I would've done that in my kitchen if that was the only place I had them. I still think the 1 7/8 will have the traditional look you're wanting, too. Don't stress too much about the hardware as long as it's in the right color family. I chose some silver/nickel type of color and I don't even see it now when I look at the windows. They had a couple of choices I debated long and hard about and shouldn't have. I think as long as it's not just glaringly wrong, like maybe polished brass in the midst of brushed nickel, it's all fine :-)


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RE: What is Considered 'Traditional' for Shutter Louver Width

Jan, Horizon Shutters has traditional shutters available in custom colors (for a charge). They also offer 13 shades of white. If that's what you're using you may luck out and find a match.

I have traditional shutters in a couple rooms (1950 era house), but decided to try the plantation style (2 1/2" louver) in the new bathroom. At first I thought I wanted ORB hinges to match the window hardware, but the more I think about it I may go with white instead. Like Mimi said, it's not something you really notice.

Here is a link that might be useful: Horizon Shutters


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RE: What is Considered 'Traditional' for Shutter Louver Width

Thanks, Natal. I did check out Horizon, but they charge like $74 for custom paint matching, and they do not carry anything close to oil-rubbed bronze for the hardware. I think the brass tones would be noticably different than the ORB in our home. Plus their shipping costs more than Shutter Classic, unfortunately.


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RE: What is Considered 'Traditional' for Shutter Louver Width

Jan, I didn't remember seeing ORB offered at Shutter Classic. It's still not listed on the hinge choices as you complete the order process. I do see that it's listed on other pages. Guess it's probably a good idea to order via phone rather than online.

Here is a link that might be useful: no ORB option through this page


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RE: What is Considered 'Traditional' for Shutter Louver Width

Natal - Yes, the ORB finish is now listed in the main specs page of the Shutter Classic site, however, as you mentioned, it's not in the online ordering system choices. So, I'll have to call to find out more.

I revisited the Horizon web site, and now I'm leaning toward that one, even without the ORB finish. The testimonials and choices are excellent. They may end up costing a bit more though. I decided to e-mail them about whether I could special order an ORB finish. I hope so.

Anyway, I'm still really up in the air about this. My choices are Shutter Classic where I can get custom paint matching for free + ORB finish, but no 1 1/4" width, or Horizon where I can get the 1 1/4" width, custom paint matching for a price, but no ORB finish.

And, as Mimi stated, I might be totally happy with the 1 7/8" width from Shutter Classic anyway. Ughhh..... decisions aren't my gig, I guess.

Jan


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RE: What is Considered 'Traditional' for Shutter Louver Width

Have you gone to a large home center to see if they have shutters in stock in various widths that you can just see in real life? Might help your decision a lot.


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RE: What is Considered 'Traditional' for Shutter Louver Width

Les,

That's a great idea, and I think I will before I make up my mind. I probably should check Home Depot or Menard's. In the backdrop of the cosmos, I suppose this decision isn't terribly consequential. :o)

Just curious, as I value your proven decorating abilities, do you think the 1 7/8" shutter looks contemporary?

Thanks,

Jan


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RE: What is Considered 'Traditional' for Shutter Louver Width

I think louvers up to 2.5" can pass for traditional. Our new bathroom is very traditional with beadboard, small tile floor, pedestal sink and wood inset medicine cabinet. I'm tired of the true traditional shutters and want something a little bigger, so I'm going with the 2.5".

Cattknap has plantation shutters in her cottage home. Have you seen photos? If not, ask and I'm sure she'll share.


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RE: What is Considered 'Traditional' for Shutter Louver Width

Plantation shutters and the narrower shutters are both traditional, they just came from different parts of the world. You might find this interesting:

"As the Spanish started colonizing in the Americas, they brought shutters to the New World. Decadent mansions in the South used shutters, and the term "plantation shutters" is derived from this area. Plantation shutters on cotton plantations usually had wider louvers than shutters used earlier, and they were almost always painted white.

Traditional shutters often found in the New England states trace their roots to England, where the narrower louver was used. Often café type shutters mimic the original use of shutters on the bottom portion of windows before glass was affordable."

So, either one is 'traditional'. I do think having the tilt bar makes them feel more traditional regardless of the width of the louvers.


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RE: What is Considered 'Traditional' for Shutter Louver Width

Natal, can you post a photo of your 2 1/2" plantation shutters? I need some for my baths and want privacy and light.

Thanks


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RE: What is Considered 'Traditional' for Shutter Louver Width

I was told by the Shutter Shop that the widest ones are called California contemporary and the narrowest are more traditional and that inbetween are more transitional. I think mine are about 2-1/2 inches and I have friends whose are wider and narrower, but the wider the more you will be able to see when they are opened, but when shutters are closed, they shut out more light than any blind.


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RE: What is Considered 'Traditional' for Shutter Louver Width

I was at a woman's house once, which was decorated fairly traditional. She had shutters on every window. They were SO wide they went well beyond the depth of the window. Had to be over 3".

I cannot tell you how stupid this looked.


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RE: What is Considered 'Traditional' for Shutter Louver Width

Brutuses, I haven't ordered them yet. It's on the list for this week along with hanging bathroom hardware.

One thing I wanted to add for Jan or anyone shopping shutters. Check locally to see if there's a custom maker in your area. I did that yesterday and found one. May contact the guy to compare prices and options.


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RE: What is Considered 'Traditional' for Shutter Louver Width

Daisy Adair, the wide shutters are meant to be used in contemporary, not traditional and the intermediate width to be used with transitional and the very skinny ones as in cafe are traditional. I checked with a decorator today about that. Yes, indeed the widest ones are California contemporary.


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RE: What is Considered 'Traditional' for Shutter Louver Width

How can the intermediate width not be traditional, when they have been around for several hundred years? LOL

Sometimes I think decorators make it up as they go along, just like the rest of us!


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RE: What is Considered 'Traditional' for Shutter Louver Width

Les, I love your explanation of the Spanish and New England origins. You're so correct that they both are indeed traditional. So, if that's the case, do you think geographical region should play into this type of decision. In northern Wisconsin, I'm nowhere near a southern plantation, although, I'm nowhere near the east coast either. With that said, you will surely find more New England style homes in the midwest than southern style homes. If the 1 7/8" has more of the New England style look, then that's probably going to work just fine.

I had read on one of the shutter sites about their design "classifications" of contemporary vs. traditional, and that's what got my gears of indecision going - LOL. Also, your point about decorators making things up as they go along is well taken.

Daisyadair - Well, I don't know much about shutters, really, but I'm determined to learn more. I have read that the depth of the window frame needs to be considered for the shutters to be mounted flush, which is the best, most built-in look. My guess is that your friend's home didn't have enough clearance for the larger louvers.

Patricia - Your decorators comments echo what I've read on the internet shutter sites. I guess I'm looking for some exact cutoff for what is considered traditional vs. modern, and maybe, there really isn't one - ever the accountant I am. In my little world, there's a number for everything.

Natal - It would be great if there were a local shutter maker, however, I doubt there are. Shutters are not used a whole lot in this area. Neither is painted woodwork.

I e-mailed Horizon about whether or not they could use ORB hardware on their shutters, but they haven't yet responded. Their site seems to have just the brass.

The saga continues,

Jan


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RE: What is Considered 'Traditional' for Shutter Louver Width

Thanks Natal, I look forward to seeing them when they do get installed.

Les, I'm with you. That didn't sound ight to me about what's traditional and what's not.


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RE: What is Considered 'Traditional' for Shutter Louver Width

Jan,
The louvers on my shutters are 1 1/4". Hope that helps


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