Skip to main content

Shutter Tips

Nov 09, 2010 06:19PM ● Published by Anonymous


Since nineteenth-century homes were built in a myriad of styles, with windows in many different shapes besides the traditional rectangle and square, there are shutters to be found in the shape of elongated half-circles, ovals, and graceful, Gothic arches. These antique shutters can make interesting wall hangings.

Exterior shutters were originally intended to be of practical use, and that meant they were supposed to be able to close in order to protect the valuable glass on windows. How many shutters on the buildings we see today actually serve that purpose and function as a means of protection? Many replacement shutters cannot be closed because they weren’t properly measured and incorrect according to the original house plans.. They must, therefore, be permanently kept in an open position and have been placed on the building purely for cosmetic reasons.    Solid wood shutters were used on the ground floors of homes as a means of security, while louvered shutters were used on the upper levels to allow for ventilation. When closed, the slant of the louver is designed to keep rain from getting inside the house. However, in some cases, louvered shutters were installed incorrectly and fixed in position facing in the wrong direction.

Although plastic is the norm for today’s shutters, now used primarily for ornamentation, it is possible to buy wooden shutters that have been created in the old style to be used for authentic home restoration.



The alternative to outside shutters was to install them on the inside of a home, one reason being that the shutters on oddly shaped windows created a peculiar look when opened. It was also the practice to remove heavy draperies from windows during the summer months for ventilation. As such, interior shutters provided some privacy, as well as protection, since windows in the 19th century did not necessarily have the mesh wire screens we are accustomed to today.

If there’s an empty box recess in the interior window casing or indentations from hinges, it is likely that your home once had interior blinds. Interior blinds were either stained to match the interior woodwork or painted a color to match the outside of the home, so when closed they blended with the building from an exterior viewpoint.

The introduction of movable louvers on shutters enhanced their popularity during the 19th century, as this enabled them to be slanted at an angle that blocked the sun and rain but still let the cooling breezes in. The louver was attached to a single vertical wooden rod that controlled the angle of the tilt within the shutter’s frame. The rod would then be fastened at one end to keep the louvers shut tight. When louvers were used on interior shutters, they were referred to as pivot blinds or Venetian rolling blinds, and these shutters were often painted the same color as the walls of the rooms to blend in with their surroundings.

Many architects preferred interior shutters because they weren’t prone to be blown back and forth by the wind and also simplified the exterior façade. There were two types: sliding shutter blinds, which required hollow wall construction with pockets to contain the shutters, and folding shutter blinds that fit into boxes along a window’s interior trim.

Although green had typically been the favorite color for exterior shutters, by the late 19th century it had fallen out of favor as house colors became more varied. Shutters were instead painted colors that contrasted with or enhanced the color chosen for the main body of the house.

Shutters continue to be useful in parts of the country that are often beset by storms, particularly hurricanes. Shutters also add a finished look to traditional homes, and they should definitely be maintained on historic buildings.

Interior shutters provide an alternative to closing drapes and window shades for privacy. And yes, you can hang antique shutters on the wall or use them to create bookshelves, mirrors, headboards, and cabinets. Just use your imagination.

 

Home+Garden home & garden
  • Get a running start on your holidays with the Annapolis Striders at their annual Lights on the Ba...


  • Annapolis Running Classic

    11/18/2017
    07:00AM

    Annapolis Running Classic Highlights: -Great premium for all half marathon and 10k finishers ...


  • Brew and Bourbon Classic

    11/18/2017
    12:00PM — 05:00PM

    Come experience the sixth annual Brew and Bourbon Classic Saturday, November 18th, 12–5 p.m. at L...


  • Lights on the Bay

    11/18/2017
    05:00PM — 10:00PM

    Lights on the Bay, run by the SPCA of Anne Arundel County, will open to the public on Saturday, N...


  • The Great Turkey Chase

    11/23/2017
    08:00AM

    The Kent Island Running Group will again welcome runners, walkers, families, and out-of-town gues...


  • Turkey Chase Charity Race

    11/23/2017
    08:30AM

    While others are putting turkeys in the oven or nestling on the couch watching the Macy’s Day Par...


  • Annual Turkey Trot 5K

    11/23/2017
    08:30AM

    On Thanksgiving morning, Thursday, November 23rd, the Y will host its Arnold Turkey Trot Charity ...


  • An annual tradition continues! Runners of all ages are invited to gobble up the Fleet Feet Sports...


  • Festival of Trees

    11/24/2017
    10:00AM — 09:00PM

    Kennedy Krieger Institute kicks off the holiday season by welcoming Santa Claus to their winter w...


  • Chestertown Antiques Show & Sale

    11/24/2017
    04:00PM — 07:00PM

    Now in its 54th year, the Chestertown Antiques Show & Sale, set for Friday, November 24th (4–7 p....


  • Festival of Trees - Preview Party

    11/24/2017
    06:00PM — 08:00PM

    Celebrate “All that Glitters” at the 32nd annual Festival of Trees presented by the Friends of Ho...


  • Festival of Trees

    11/25/2017
    10:00AM — 09:00PM

    Kennedy Krieger Institute kicks off the holiday season by welcoming Santa Claus to their winter w...


 

 

Towne Social