I work for one of the biggest suppliers of flooring and blinds in South Africa, and it’s clear that interior shutters have shot to the top of the wish list for everything from minor interior design projects to major renovations and new developments. Particularly the white ones; interestingly, they somehow manage to be both up to the minute and classical at the same time.
So what’s the big deal about shutters and why have they taken hold so quickly? And are they really worth it?
First and foremost, it’s about aesthetics. They’re bang on trend – and it’s a trend that’s well established in America, particularly on the west coast and in the southern states. It’s still fairly recent in South Africa, but it’s gaining momentum rapidly. Interior shutters are modern, sophisticated, easy to maintain and they integrate easily into almost any room.
At the moment, shutters are most often chosen for design projects in lounges, dining rooms and entertainment areas but increasingly they’re being used widely throughout homes, creating a seamless look throughout the entire home.
I’ve seen some stunning installations that give a fairly small bathroom a sense of space and size. It’s a great way to get the privacy in a bathroom without compromising on the size of the windows, but they look great on small windows too.
Interior shutters are low maintenance and easy to manage in both large and small installations. They’re primarily a residential option but are also popular in boutique hotels and premium hospitality installations.
Most commonly manufactured from wood, the most prevalent colour is white, with natural wood and silver very popular too, but the options are almost unlimited. Personally, I like the white shutters but you could choose duck-egg blue, charcoal or sunshine yellow if that’s what suits your project.
South African Lifestyle
Shutters suit our climate and lifestyle particularly well. You can open them up completely, to take full advantage of the summer weather or a view if there is one. Alternatively, keep the shutters closed and adjust the louvres to let in as much (or as little) light as needed; wide open for full light and a free-flow of fresh air and an almost completely unobstructed view, or closed shut for insulation against heat, cold and sound, and complete privacy. Or anything in between.
Because they’re customised for each project, shutters are perfect for strange shaped windows and doorways. They’re ideal for arches, round windows and uneven spaces. They’re also perfect for feature windows and to small, high windows that need a window treatment that won’t block out light.
Most often, window shutters open from the centre, but it’s useful to know that if you’re dealing with a window in an uneven space or next to a pillar or a beam, they can be designed to open to one side only, so your design isn’t limited by the shape of the room.
For larger windows, shutters can be stacked, and work perfectly in conjunction with stack-back windows. You can also fit them over bigger openings like archways and double French doors.
The bane of our lives, but we can’t ignore it and even gated communities aren’t immune to security issues. Interior shutters are fitted inside the window or doorframe and have the particular advantage of camouflaging unsightly burglar bars and security gates.
You might also choose to eliminate burglar bars altogether, opting for security shutters. Manufactured in aluminium, these shutters have a double security lock, and to my mind, they’re ideal solution for shuttering outdoor entertainment areas and balconies. You can create the plantation veranda look and lifestyle while ensuring the level of security you need.
Unsurprisingly, interior shutters aren’t an economy option. They’re a luxury product, hand-measured and manufactured individually. And with that comes a price premium. But if budget allows, they’re an option well worth considering.
Wood and aluminium are the standard materials, but there is also the option of an engineered PVC wood substitute that has the advantage of particular longevity when are exposed to excessive moisture or heat. There’s also a slight price advantage over wood, but this remains a premium option.
Shutters have the added advantage that, as a permanent fixture, they add greatly to a property’s resale value. But when you’re working on an interior design project, they also provide more immediate value in answering the design brief and delivering a satisfied client.
If you’d like more information about interior shutters or blinds, or need advice on the best option for your project, leave a question here or call my office on 087 233 9200.