The History of Plantation Shutters

Plantation Shutters, a History

Let’s not associate plantation shutters, despite their name, with the “height” of America’s south. Sure, they bring to mind huge antebellum soirees in grandiose homes, with cotton fields and peach orchards spanning across wide-open fields and swampy terrains. You can almost see yourself framed in front of one of the shutters, relaxing on a rocking chair with a sweet tea in your hand as the sunsets over a haystack.

But plantation shutters go back much further, as far back as ancient Greece! Much more romantic to envision yourself reclining on a chaise sofa as you discuss philosophy, a communal goblet of wine in one hand as you adjust the blinds with the other.

Wood takes over stone

Originally, most windows and shutters were made of strong marble or other stone. While effective, they were quite difficult to operate, as one can imagine. Woodworking soon became the craft of the day, and artists began mastering the carving of trees for a functional purpose.

Enter the window shutter. These became ever popular in Mediterranean climates throughout Europe, mainly because they allowed ladies of leisure to nap in their corsets throughout the day. They would still get the shade they needed to close their delicate eyelids, but the shutters would provide much needed air ventilation so the ladies wouldn’t suffocate from heat.

In addition, cooks found shutters useful in these time periods because it allowed them to control the light entering and heating up the kitchen – an already warm space – when used correctly.

The move to the New World

As Europeans began to make the crossing to the Americas, so did plantation shutters. Naturally they were incorporated into Southern homes because the climate required control of lighting and airflow. Aesthetically speaking, however, they are and have been considered an elegant edition to any home. They give homes a look of grandeur in such a simple way that also acts as a convenient and well thought out part of design.

Protection, ventilation and light control

Shutters serve the three basic functions of light control, protection from elements and ventilation of your home. Now with the introduction of electricity, mesh screens, glass windows and air conditioning, shutters can also be used as decorative pieces – however, if you’re into the classic look, you’ll certainly be into the classic feel, as well.

Think you might want to add a classic touch to your windows? The flexibility in design of plantation shutters makes them perfect for many homes. Contact one of our experts at Decor Blinds and discuss the options that would best match the style of your home today.