There is more than one way to dress up a window. Sure most people think of curtains and drapes because they are often ready made and easily hung. What they might not realize is that interior shutters are a beautiful, traditional window treatment that can be used with or without other types of window dressings.
Interior Shutters Versus Blinds & Shades
There are window coverings and window dressings or treatments. Both serve different purposes and add to the overall look of the décor. To the untrained in decorating (which may account for most husbands) a shade or blind that blocks out light and provides privacy may seem like a complete window treatment. There can be decorative blinds or shades, but their primary purpose is light control and privacy.
Window dressing on the other hand is what creates a complete look for the window and the entire room’s décor. A valance or curtain is the decorative element on top of the functional shade. With interior shutters you have a little bit of both – function and frill. Shutters will block out light, even act as an insulator for the window, but they are also quite decorative. The shutters are made of a variety of materials from wood to PVC, and act just as a metal or wooden blind would.
Interior shutters differ in purpose from exterior shutters. Originally shutters were used to protect a home’s windows from the wind of a hurricane or cold of a winter storm. Now most exterior shutters are purely decorative in nature.
If you can master home improvement projects of average difficulty then you can install your own interior shutters. This is a DYI project that can be completed in very little time and with basic tools.
If you are doing an interior mount – that is on the inside of a window box, then you are all set with secure 2×4 studs to securely hold shutter screws. Those that are hung outside the frame of the window may require drywall anchors or careful placement into a stud to ensure stability. Normal hinges are used to hand the shutter and can be screwed into place first. Then the shutter slips into the grooves of one side of hinge and a pin holds it all in place.
Finishing & Caring for Shutters
You can pre-prime and paint shutters before installing them. This makes it easy to finish the shutter with no mess inside the house. To clean the shutters, a duster or soft rag does the job nicely. Vinyl shutters never need painting, but a good cleaning with warm, soapy water from time to time in order to removed build up dust or dirt.
Interior shutters add a warm, traditional feel to any home. Large slated shutters, often called Plantation Shutters, get their name from the old southern plantations. The thinner slats are more commonly found inside and out of the old New England colonial style homes. Solid wood shutters also provide a decorative look consistent with our American heritage.