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History of Shutters as Window Coverings

Posted by: Window Shutters
Category: Window Covering

Wood window shutters have been popular window coverings for generations. They are durable, fairly easy to maintain, and hold a classic style. They are also a standard fixture in many historical buildings. Have you ever wondered where traditional shutters came from? Here is a quick review of the history of interior and exterior shutters.

The Beginning of Shutters

With an almost universal use, from Italy to New England, it is difficult to pin down the exact origins of window shutters. Ancient Greece is usually agreed upon as the first populace to use window shutters. They were made of marble, if you can imagine. And, like modern window coverings, these shutters offered light control, protection, and ventilation. Shortly after, the concept of window shutters spread across Europe and quickly began to change.

Tudor England

During the late reign of Henry VIII and the early reign of Elizabeth I, most homes had shutters made of solid wood. The oldest styles include single board, or board-and-batten. They were not much to look at aesthetically, but they did the job. They provided security, privacy, an added layer of insulation in the winter, and allowed for ventilation during the summer. However, they looked different from the window coverings of today. Glass was a luxury, and often just the upper portion of the window would have a pane. So if there was glass, only the lower half of the window’s opening was covered by shutters. For the most part, shutters were used in place of the glass. By the early 1600s, there were hardly any homes across England without window shutters.

The New World

Once the Spanish started colonizing the Americas, they brought many advancements with them. Their decadent mansions in the South were the first in the New World to employ the use of “plantation shutters.” These had wider louvers, so owners could look out over the cotton plantations. They were often painted white so the inside would still look bright even when shutters were shut. Additionally, when England colonized New England, they brought their narrow, louvered shutters. Modern café style shutters mimic the original shutters used before glass become affordable. These have a solid bottom half and louvered top half. In the 19th century, people started to get more creative, developing more styles and designs. They also combined shutter styles. Some homes had raised panel shutters on the first level for better privacy and security and louvered shutters on the second level for improved ventilation.

Modern Day Window Coverings

Today, interior and exterior shutters are still popular window coverings. Manufacturers produce them in a verity of materials, styles, shapes, and colors to suit the needs of every homeowner. You can hang them both inside and outside the window frame or on the inside or outside of your home. You can even get motorized plantation shutters.

If you are interested in purchasing these types of window coverings in Los Gatos, CA then give us a call at (855) 538-8637. Or you can visit us at 1676 Gilbreth Road, Burlingame, CA 94010. The professionals at San Francisco Shutters are ready to help you navigate all the options on the market. With our help, you get the best possible window covering for your needs.