Did you know that window shutters are more than 500 years old? When shutters first appeared, they often took the place of window glass, which was rare and very expensive at the time, and exclusively covered the bottom half of the open window area. These early incarnations could be folded inside to allow light and air to enter, or barricaded from within as a safety measure when closed.
As window glass became more common in the 1700s, builders were prompted to “double hang” windows, similar to the Federation style windows we utilize today. With these modern advancements, shutters were redesigned to cover the entire height of the windows, but the shutters were still installed within the home due to the thick stones and masonry that buildings of that period were constructed from.
Over a century later, timber and other materials were used to produce thinner walls, allowing inhabitants to fully reach out from their windows. This ushered in a trend of shutters installed on the home’s exterior, and were used for vanity every bit as much as they were for protection against the elements. As time passed, the shutters’ evolution included shutter blades, which were angled slats that acted as a filter against rain and incoming sunlight.
The image of the shutter continued to become a popular staple in the 1960s, as many homes exhibited them as a feature of their home’s facade. These shutters, however, were not intended for functionality, but were instead included as a design choice for aesthetic appeal.
Shutters continued to make their way around the world and evolved throughout the 1980s. After becoming inspired by the shutters used in the breezeways of American cotton plantations, an Australian husband and wife began experimenting with different materials and methods to create their own version of the plantation shutter.
About a decade later, as experiments were conducted across the globe, an affordable variant of shutters were fashioned from PVC and helped grow the demand for stylish window treatments. This new version opened the door for technological advancements, both in manufacturing and installation.
Today, shutters can be purchased in many varieties and materials, and are able to be hinged inside or out. Though they began as something of a luxury item and can still carry a moderate price tag, there are many affordable options available to suit the needs of homeowners everywhere. The modern day shutter carries the basic function of its ancestor, while incorporating a timeless elegance that its predecessors have always intended. At this rate, the window shutter will never go out of style.