When decorating your home, remember to think about window coverings as an integral design element. With so many materials available today, choosing the right plantation shutters for your windows is both easy and affordable.
Just what are plantation shutters? As the name suggests, these window coverings were originally used in plantations, either in the deep South of the United States or in the Caribbean nations where slavery was the order of the day. Thankfully, slavery is now abolished, but the residual bonus is the window coverings we still call plantation shutters.
In warmer climates where curtains are perhaps unnecessary, shutters make good sense. They can block out the light and let in air at the same time. Plantation shutters are also referred to as louvers or California blinds.
Traditionally this style of shutter was made from a hardwood available locally (in the case of an actual plantation). Today's plantation shutters are made from plastic, MDF (medium density fiberboard) or a blend of hardwoods. These materials all resist warping and a fairly wide price range is available today.
Traditional wood shutters provide a warmer color as part of your room decor and as stated previously, they are usually made of hardwood, which is fairly durable. Plantation shutters made of wood, however, can warp dramatically depending on temperature and exposure to sunlight. A more durable material would be MDF, which also has the advantage of being lower cost and available in a variety of colors and finishes.
It's important to remember that the hardware used to hang your blinds can be a design element as well, and there is a wide range of styles available. Many hinges and frames can be painted to match existing room decor. Another element to look for in plantation shutters is a hidden and offset tilt bar which controls the tilt of the blinds.
Depending on your location, plantation shutters by themselves can be sufficient window coverings. These can be paired with a drape, but generally blinds stand alone. For those who live in colder climates, shutters should act as a barrier to cold coming through your windows; factor this into your ultimate choice.
Finally, when choosing blinds as a window covering option, be sure to investigate the warranty offered by the company of your choice. High quality blinds should last for the lifetime of your home.