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Plantation Shutters - pros and cons

April 2, 2013
Trying to decide if I want plantation shutters. My husband would build them. Would they look right in my house?

Comments (26)

  • PRO
    Yeah - I think they would look good !
  • Patty Eades
    love plantation shutters!
  • susieboomer
    What kinds of things don't people like about them? Are they difficult to clean?
  • Lainey Stern
    I have them all over my house, they were here when we bought it. My only complaint is my living room is dark and even with the slats open, not much light comes in.
  • studio10001
    I think cleaning is kind of a pain,but am interested to hear from others.
  • PRO
    Stamps Design Services
    They can be hard to open and close, as they weight more; most people just use a lever to open the slats and leave the blinds down. They need dusting on a regular basis. I would not want them in my home as I prefer roman shades; but many love them. There are advantages and disadvantages to every window covering...
  • arubalime
    I love my plantation shutters. I think they provide a classy look. They provide great coverage - when closed you cannot see in the house. They are easy to open and you can adjust how many panels you want to open. I think they are easy to clean. I use a swiffer dust tool every two months. I also wash them by hand once a year if I remember.
  • trebinje
    We have 4.5" plantation shutters on every window and door in our home. We love them, they add tons of architectural interest. They collect dust but no more than any other kind of slatted blind. Ours are natural maple and the dust is barely noticeable.

    To avoid favoritegram's issue with blocking light, be sure your husband designs them to mount on the outside of the window frame, trimmed out with a nice molding. Mounting on the inside of the window frame cuts down on light.

    Your room is beautiful. Plantation shutters would add a lot of interest.
  • judianna20
    Yes…yes….and yes.
  • lefty47
    HI - Yes ,but only on the small windows . I think the front window will still need full drapes , they just dress the room more . The shutters can block a lot of light. . I got close to the same look with wood wide slat wood blinds . They seem to let in more light . All blinds are a bit of a pain to clean . Mine are Hunter Douglas and so far so good - still in great shape for twenty years. I think everyone does like the look of shutters though.
  • PRO
    I had plantation shutters in my home in FL. I found that the frame of a shutter, has to fit in the window frame so you lose a good proportion of the light, coupled with the shutters themselves - unless they are very thin (and then the wood bows); they don't let in light.

    Suggestions above have included only covering the small windows: yes; leaving the large windows open with sheers or drapes: yes. Trebinje's hubby did the right thing designing and building their plantation shutters.
  • susieboomer
    I really like reading all the posts, so informative. Our windows are so that there is already 2" of various window trim around the pane inside the jam, so where attached we may lose less than 1/2". The larger windows I'm not quite sure how he is doing the center larger pane. Someone told me today she uses the Norwax cloths and closes them and just dusts across all of them, turns them up the other direction, dusts all at once and that she found them very easy to keep clean. I know those 1" metal mini blinds I had across a picture window once upon a time were a PITB to clean. Hopefully now that we are retired we will take the time to clean them monthly. My DH bought supplies to try making the shutters for one of the windows along the hutch first. He purchased a kit from Rockler that has templates and all. The louvres you can purchase from them and then you stain or paint them according to your wishes. They are made out of basswood. The rod used to open and close them he is putting on the backside. We are going with the 3 1/2" louvres/slats. He feels confident he knows what he is doing so hopefully after he lets wood acclimate to the new environment, they suggest a week, he will go to town on the first one. I hope to God it works without too many frustrations! Thank you all for posting good thoughts to consider. Will know more what will take place after the first window is completed. To add more challenge to our situation, we were provided with a matte sheen to do all the white woodwork and now need to repaint all with some sheen. We have used 120+ gallons of primer and paint thus far on this project and have to give the outside another coat, and many rooms a second or third coat. Then DH gets to build my laundry room cab. and a mudroom charging/communication center with storage and bench. Oh to be retired!!!! Thanks again everyone!
  • Keitha
    I've had plantation shutters on all our windows for 15 yrs. I would definitely recommend them.
  • susieboomer
    To be honest, I went to a house today that had them, looked very nice. Other than that, only seen them once in a home, and only in a bathroom. I'm sure hoping they'll look nice.
  • Marianne Scoggin
    Don't want to confuse things, but the room seems to have two opposite things going on: Fireplace stone and velvet or suede furniture (and the colors and bulk) looks "wintry - rustic to me; the wicker smaller, lighter items; thin, white wood baseboards and wood around windows say spring/summer.
  • PRO
    sixteen fourteen
    We did plantation shutters (3.5" slats mounted outside the window) in almost our entire house. They look beautiful, from the inside and outside, but they block SO MUCH light. In some houses, natural light is not a concern; you don't have many trees, high ceilings, etc. so in that case I'm sure they would work fine. We have 8 foot ceilings and lots of trees, so I regret doing it. :-(
  • susieboomer
    To thedarlingsbecca, those pictures I guess are poor. I need to update them. Some furniture is there "just because" we needed seating. So sorry. I've been trying to decide what to do with furniture in there. Couch will stay, wicker back on deck, and the red chairs I'm looking at replacing to open up more possibilities. Looking to add an ottoman and two chairs, move a piano over opposite the fireplace.
    sixteen fourteen, I hope I won't regret. We have 9' ceilings on lr side of room and a tray ceiling 9' and 11' on dr side. Unfortunately only 3 trees planted on our 1.7 acre lot! All around our neighbors have "woods", we are in the bottom of the "Y" "v" and can see about 13 houses from various windows around the house. Some of them have to rake, we just watch!
    He is making them so top of window and bottom of window can be adjusted differently.
  • Marianne Scoggin
    Wonderful your husband can and will do this work. Location sounds lovely. What part of country are you in, which directions does room face, how do you use use room, and more photos please so we can picture all four sides and ceiling heights.
  • susieboomer
    We are in MN "lake country" but not on a lake! Several boat accesses in 1 to 4 miles. House is on an angle and the house has many angles. I designed it and didn't want it to be predictable from outside!! Never designed a house before and did it in 3 weeks starting with a square on pieces of graph paper taped together!! Windows in this living room/dr face SW, S,SE sort of. The large windows are 8' wide. The family room is in the basement right under this. If company then we would eat in the dr, otherwise we eat at island or the table in the breakfast nook. We can look from breakfast nook to lr large window. At some point hoping to get back into entertaining! Doing a bunch of house, shed, yard work on our own. Problem is we like nice things but have to be clever to be able to get them, shop craigslist, and we take pride in doing some work ourselves. I can attach a few pics so you get the flow.
  • Marianne Scoggin
    Wow! Lovely! Directions you are facing and lack of big trees will allow plenty of light, I think, even with the blinds or shutters. Someone else noted that if the blinds are very wide or long, they will be heavy to lift. I have wooden blinds and that is true. Stained wood color, very easy to keep clean.

    If plantation shutters, how do you fully open? Are they hinged and fold to the side, or can you only keep them in place and change the slant of the slats? Think would look very nice.
  • susieboomer
    Looking at the pictures that were added just above, do you think I have enough natural light so that it will stay quite light in my room? We are going to use the 3 1/2" slats if we do them. I like looking out and am just a little nervous as to whether it will be hard to see through the louvres. Thoughts anyone who has them?
  • susieboomer
    Also, the window glass would not be covered by the shutter frame even with an inside mount because the windows have like layers of trim boards.
  • Ginger Snaps

    I know this is an old post, but I will add my 2 cents for anyone looking up this thread. We just paid an arm and a leg for our plantation shutters and I regret them a bit. They do look really clean and neat, but my major problem with them is that we have a view, and now with the shutters there is no way really to have the windows bare and show off the view. They don't tell you this when selling plantation shutters but most of them can't remain opened, they can be lifted out somewhat for cleaning but they don't slide and stay open if you want to have a clean look during the day. So I will always be looking at my view with slats. By the way we got the biggest louvers they had available, 4 1/2 inches, and I still feel like during the day the louvers obstruct the view. If I had it to do over again I would go with high quality blinds or shades because they can easily disappear from the front of your window during the day, and they're much cheaper! We've only had ours for less than a month So hopefully i get used to them.

    Bottom line: if you have a pretty view and enjoy the look of bare windows make sure you consider this and see if they can design your shutters with a bifold style so they can remain completely off of your windows during the day .

  • jbtanyderi
    The fireplace needs a reworking: it’s super busy. To make it less overwhelming, ceiling height drapes or Roman shade would create balance. I’m quite fond of plantation shutter, but anything just window size would be fighting a losing battle. The room would be helped by a large rug to anchor the seating.
  • PRO
    Toronto Designers

    I think they may feel too heavy for your room and that large window. Just for the back window, yes? But I also see such a beautiful view - do you need anything at all? If you don't, what about just painting out the walls in a darker colour to let the trim and windows stand out a bit more and ultimately that view! If you need privacy or sun protection, a simple roller blind in a fabric-like material on an inside mount would give you that and keep it lighter and fresher.

    Post an updated photo when you decide!

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