When looking at the décor, design and functionality of a room with a window, shutters are high on the list of things to consider.
But what is the story behind these multi-purpose creations?
Before we can look forward towards the new decade, perhaps we should look back at the history of the humble shutter.
Stories exist of the shutter’s beginnings being in ancient Greece, where marble shutters were invented to diminish the heat of the sun rays as well as allow for adequate ventilation in the warm Mediterranean climate. Over time, marble was replaced with wood, which enabled movable shutters to actively control the amount of light and air in the room.
Next came solid shutters closed with an iron bar in medieval Europe, as the glass was not around then. You could say that these were the pioneering version of security shutters.
The Tudor and Elizabethan eras (around the 15th century) saw the rise of glass windows, which proved rather expensive. To lessen this cost, houses would have the top half of the window in glass, with the bottom half as a solid shutter. These shutters also changed over time.
After the 15th century, exploration and colonisation allowed for this simple invention to travel, too.
Britain retained the decorative and ornamental aspect of wooden shutters, where the Americas focused more on the practical functions of them.
Cotton farms in the south of the United States of America made use of wider louvres or slats that were painted white. In the north of America in New England, on the other hand, the traditional narrower wood shutters were the standard. Shutters were even used in certain areas to protect the homes and glass windows from hurricanes and tropical storms.
2020 – the new decade
Today, we can boast so many different kinds of shutters as window treatment!
There is one for every purpose and every aesthetic, from the classic wooden shutters from aeons ago to the traditional white shutters, and so much in between. There is a variety of materials to choose from and the possibilities are endless.