Believe it or not, the first shutters hail from ancient Greece - and they were marble! As shutters spread throughout the Mediterranean, wood became the preferred material. Shutters have been part of American interiors since colonial times and in the early Victorian era began making their way on the outside of many American houses, so much so that British visitors remarked upon it. Before the days of central heating, shutters, whether in the interior or exterior of a house, would be closed at night to keep heat inside and protect against cold winds.
Today exterior shutters are largely ornamental, but, when used indoors shutters are valued for their ability to control light, view, air flow and to provide privacy while also adding architectural appeal. Shutters are available in a variety of materials and a range of louver sizes. The most popular today are plantation shutters with louvers that are generally more than 2-inches wide. These wider louvers allow for greater views and light than shutters with smaller louvers.
"Plantation shutters add instant architecture to a room," said interior designer T. Keller Donovan of New York City and Miami Beach. "So many condos and so much new construction today have miles of Sheetrock and if you are lucky perhaps a baseboard and crown molding that are not even in scale. In addition to adding wonderful functionality, shutters bring detail and architectural appeal to a space. They also are very clean without dangling cords and strings."
Thanks to innovations from Hunter Douglas Window Fashions, the nation's leading manufacturer of custom window fashions, these shutters work better and last longer than ever before - and the look is available in a variety of materials and finishes.
As history relates, the time-honored material for shutters is 100 percent solid wood. The beautiful variations of grain, burls and tiger stripping that you find in wood shutters add character, richness and warmth to the home. Hunter Douglas Heritance® hardwood shutters offer the beauty and durability of natural wood with a state-of-the-art finish and fine dovetail panel construction. Well known to viewers of "The Antiques Roadshow," dovetail panel construction is a fine-furniture construction technique that ensures the shutters will not separate over time and create light gaps. The lustrous, durable, multi-coat Integra finish is available in the most popular paint and stain colors. Moreover, like all Hunter Douglas window coverings, Heritance shutters are custom built to the exact specifications of your window and will therefore provide a perfect fit and insulation against summer heat and winter cold.
In addition to the finishes, Heritance shutters offer a choice of 2˝-inch and 3˝-inch louver sizes and a range of frame types and hinge finishes. To allow for any number of configurations, hinged panels and bi-fold and bypass track systems are available. A new cut-out feature for French doors has recently been added, as has a TruView rear-tilt option, arches and bay and corner window applications. According to T. Keller Donovan, "Heritance shutters will well work in any décor where you desire a quality shutter."
What about shutters in high-moisture environments, such as coastal houses and kitchens, bathrooms and saunas? Hunter Douglas Palm Beach Custom Shutters offer the timeless look of shutters with innovations that prevents them from warping cracking, chipping, shrinking or fading, even when exposed to moisture. They are fabricated of an exclusive "Outdoor Grade" vinyl compound with an optimum level of UV-ray blockers. These shutters are reinforced with aluminum throughout all major stress points.
This collection is available in two styles: Lantana, a unique shutter with a clean, contemporary look made possible by a patented gear design that eliminates the tilt bar; and Palmetto with the classic tilt bar for a more traditional look. Two new details have made Palm Beach Custom Shutters better than ever: a No-Magnet Locking System and the new Concealed Louver Cap for a very aesthetically pleasing appearance. The collection comes in two louver sizes - 2-3/8 inches and 3-3/8 inches - white, white silk and off-white colors, six frame types and six hinge options as well as hinged panel, bi-fold and bi-pass track systems. Palm Beach shutters are also good insulators against summer heat and winter cold.
"I've used Palm Beach Shutters right over a kitchen sink - it's great never having to worry," said Donovan, who has specified the product for two apartments in humid Miami Beach as well as in a recent room in the famed Kips Bay Decorator Show House and for clients. "They are also great as room dividers - I used one for a kitchen opening - and they can even be made into a screen to hide a foyer."
Wood, fabric, polymer, with so many attractive choices there is now a shutter solution from Hunter Douglas for windows in any climate and style. And, like all Hunter Douglas products, these solutions are backed by a lifetime limited warranty.
Hunter Douglas Heritance Hardwood Shutters and Hunter Douglas Palm Beach Polysatin Shutters are available from The Blind Alley in Bellevue, Washington. For more information, contact The Blind Alley and visit our Hunter Douglas Gallery showroom.
Or view Hunter Douglas Heritance Hardwood Shutters and Hunter Douglas Palm Beach Polysatin Shutters in the privacy of your home with one of our Window Fashion Designers.
To view more information regarding Hunter Douglas Heritance Hardwood Shutters visit the Hunter Douglas website.
To view more information regarding Hunter Douglas Palm Beach Polysatin Shutters visit the Hunter Douglas website.
Hunter Douglas Inc. is a national sponsor of Habitat for Humanity, covering windows in every Habitat home built in the U.S. and Canada. Hunter Douglas Inc., headquartered in Pearl River, NY, is the leading manufacturer of custom window coverings in North America. Click here for a Brief History of Hunter Douglas.
To learn more about The Blind Alley visit our Company Profile.