From the earliest times an opening or window provided light and ventilation, but in order to prevent the passage of unwanted weather and other intruders it was necessary to find a form of removable barrier for protection and security. Shutters, as they have come to be known, handmade from timber, were positioned on the outside of windows and secured across the opening then swung open when weather permitted.
Many different, elegant forms of shutters evolved as can be seen in the towns and villages throughout Europe where modern homes now often include ‘dummy’ shutters alongside the windows solely for decoration.
In the early days of Australian settlement glass was expensive and in short supply so shutters were simply a practical choice. Today, design changes and the need for functional stylish window treatments has led to shutters being the design choice of the discerning decorator. Window shutters are able to perform all the functions of a blind and be rigid enough to withstand strong breezes for ventilation.
Traditional or modern shutters with adjustable horizontal louvers in a multitude of finishes may be proudly displayed indoors (for ease of operation) or outside (for example, to line a breezeway). In either case they add a stunning decorative feature to the building. Updated manufacturing techniques have enabled us to include materials such as aluminium and PVC along with traditional timbers.
Shutters can be regarded as a cross between a window treatment and a piece of furniture – being just as decorative when folded ‘off the window’ as when deployed across it.