Monday, 8 December 2014

Plantation Shutters - YAY!

From the very first day i knew i was building i had decided that i wanted plantation shutters in the front windows. I was so excited about it, they look so clean, modern and keep a room looking spacious and neat. Yes - they will probably go out of fashion! but you cant always steer to the safe side of trends and neutral tones, if and when they become a daggy accessory for a window i will think about options then - that could be a decade away! so for now, im sticking to what i have always wanted and what i have saved up for.

I wasn't always certain what i wanted in the rest of the house, it was a toss up between the Block out rollers or the shutters.

I spent countless amounts of hours asking people what they preferred, those that had both and what they liked and didn't like about each option. I visited display centre's, people's homes, show rooms, i met with 4 different shutter companies to see what information i could get out of them that might sway my decision to one way or another.

The general consensus was 50% rollers and 50% shutters, so after all my research there was no clear winner. Those that had shutters LOVED them, and those that had Rollers LOVED them too.

I then had to weigh up my own options, take all on board that i had heard and draw my own conclusions.



1. Clean, Sleek and modern - They are defiantly on-trend
2. Greater flexibility for light filtering
3. Can leave the windows open, shutters wont bang in the breeze
4. No cords for kids to play with
5. If little hands grab hold of them they cant crease like a roller would
6. Can angle the louvers to allow more or less light in
7. They look nice from the outside too

1. May not let as much light in on a highlight window - room stays darker, especcially on the south side.
2. Might be difficult to clean each panel
3. More expensive and harder to replace as trends change
4. Cover more of the window, so they make a smaller 600 deep highlight window even smaller
5. The gaps between each louver may let more light in, and you have to fiddle with them to close them properly


1. Can roll the full way up to let in max light and air flow
2. No cleaning
3. Cheaper - although if you liked the nice fabric like i did the price difference was minimal per window

1. Gap in the sides of 20mm each end do let the light in
2. Less options for light filtering - its either up or down
3. They bang around in the wind if he window is open
4. Dont dress a window as nicely as a shutter will
5. Risk of damage if the kids touch them and crease them, or dirty hands

If i had of wrote this post at the time i was doing my research im sure thre would be a lot more.

I decided that due to the fact that it gets quite breezey here, i wanted the option that would allow me to leave a window open at night without it banging, my previous home had rollers in the bedrooms and on a hot summer night we could never have the window open as the roller would bang around.

During the day i swing open the doors on the shutters to open them out completely and let as much light in as possible. Because theyre highlight windows i dont have to worry about them hitting furniture or our heads!

I still dont know if i would of been just as happy with rollers in the other bedrooms, but i can say im really happy with the shutter sin the bedrooms, so far they have lived upto my expectations.

In the end i have ended up with shutters to the home theatre, and all the bedrooms. I chose a block out blind for the stacker doors and living room windows so that they could be up all day to let as much light in as possible. Even though we dont have much of a view the living room windows face north and its important  that we allow maximum sunshine in during the day to warm the house through winter.

I also wanted to have a consistent look and if i had of had shutters on the windows and rollers on the stacker door i don't think i could have coped with the different window coverings in the one space.

I have gone with a BASSWOOD Shutter. It has better thermal properties, and is less likely to warp over time like a PVC would.  The wood is also lighter than the PVC which puts less strain on the hinges.

The colour i chose was called SNOW. This is where the love for my shutters ends! Unfortunately the colour i chose was not what i had intended. I chose a colour from a swatch about the size of a credit card. And for those that have had experience choosing colours you know how much they change in certain light. During the building process i would take weeks to choose a colour, id carry swatches with me every where in different lights until i had decided which one i liked best.

For the shutters i had about 12 different shades of white, first i removed all the yellow/cream ones and i was left with about 6 to choose from. I didn't want stark white so removed those and i was left with 3. I then went around to a few of my windows in different rooms and held the swatch up. I didn't think of the fact that the light was behind me so it did change the tone of it - just wasn't realising this at the time.

I settled on what was named "SNOW" and the consultant was on their way. I then had second thoughts and was questioning the tone of it, there is no way i anted something that appeared yellow in any circumstances. This was one thing i am dead against as my house is grey and white tones. I could view the colour in  large format, and there were no photos to go by, so i just had to trust my little swatch that i saw.

8 weeks past and the shutters went in. They looked fantastic when they were going up. The installers took about 1.5 hours to do the rooms, and i was given a quick run through on how to care for them.

Once they left i walked outside and was shocked that i was starring at this weird yellowy/greeny - maybe slightly white shutter in the window. I was so disappointed  It wasn't the look i was going for, and for those that know me well, colours MUST blend nicely with each other. The tone of the curtains didn't match the off-white mortar and it looks like i have purposely introduced another colour to the front facade.

Almost a month down the track and im still not used to it. Dont think ill ever be. I just have to live with it now. I guess ive made it this far - 18 months in from paying deposit on the house and htis is my first regret! Pretty good effort to get this far with no errors when so many colours are from so many different trades and retailers.

Moral of the story is - White isn't always white, and white isnt always what it seems. Its such a tricky colour. Ive learnt the hard way, and ill never try and mess with the tones of white again. Next time ill be so careful.

When choosing your shutters put swatches on a white piece of paper, carry them to different rooms under different light. And if you can keep a swatch then ask for it so you can take it around with you. Its worth the extra effort because then when your shutters go in you can love them for life.

Sorry for such a long post! there is so much to say about window coverings. It took me 6 months to decide what i wanted. And many nights of reading. I hope i have given some worthy feedback for those of you reading and trying to decide what to get. It really is a difficult decision, and an expensive one. We all have so many windows, and the costs add up quickly. You have to be happy with your choices.

I ended up choosing Nepean Blinds for the Shutters. The rollers were done privately.

Here are the pics! thank you for reading :)

SNOW shutters on white Window Frames
From the Outside
I probably need to show some with them open too.


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  2. Very well written about the plantation shutters. Thanks for sharing.
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