Monday, September 16, 2013

The Upside of Shutters


Back in the day, shutters were originally intended to serve a purpose. They were used for various reasons like, protection, ventilation, privacy and inclement weather. It has been said that the Greeks were some of the first to use shutters made of marble, imagine that? As the idea began to spread inland, and throughout Europe, it wasn't until the 18th Century that shutters were thought of as real architectural elements.





With the arrival of the storm window, and later the introduction of resin; shutters were no longer being used for practical purposes. They were being used more for decoration, and therefore the need for working hardware/hinges was becoming a thing of the past. Current shutter installation trends are to affix shutters directly to the home's exterior (flush-mounted), which dramatically changes their visual impact. This adaptation and/or modification yields a one dimensional effect, hence losing all the historical authenticity and design aesthetic that was previously created by properly hung shutters. Not to mention, the "piece de resistance," with the addition of beautiful hand-forged hardware.

Which way should they go?
There is an age old question about which way the louvers in fixed louver shutters should point. (This also applies to operable louvers, but of course those can be changed per individual preference). 

Open ShuttersSample Fixed Louver Shutter

The correct installation of a fixed louver shutter should have the shutter louver facing down and towards the back when the shutter is open (when it is not covering the window). This allows any rain or other water to fall through the louvers and down behind the shutter, avoiding any pooling or building in the shutter itself or in front of the window area.
The image to the right shows the proper direction of fixed louvers when they are open on the house.

Closed Shutters

If the shutters are closed over the windows, they would then be pointing down and out, away from the window, so that water hitting the shutters would drain towards the front, and away from the area between the shutter and the window.

When I started out on my shutter search in 2000, I remembered an ad that I had seen for Timberlane Shutters in the back pages of one of my design magazines. I had (of course), saved the page in my "design ideas" folder, figuring it would come in handy someday. Timberlane Shutters (and Mom), were very instrumental in helping to guide me in finding the right shutter style for my home. They also helped to educate me on the proper way in which, to hang louvered shutters.

In thinking about the addition of louvered shutters, I knew that they would add depth and dimension to my homes exterior;  while enhancing the grey stained clapboards with a deep shade of green. I also knew that I wanted real wood shutters, even though the maintenance would be a nightmare; I wasn't willing to sacrifice on this particular design point.

So fast forward to the point where it became obvious, that my dream of Timberlane Shutters was not realistic. In dealing with my insane inability to settle for anything less than what I really want, it became necessary to move on to Plan B; where there is a will, there is a way. Enter into the scene, Old House Parts in Kennebunk, Maine; where their salvage is your best friend. The place is literally packed to the gills, I mean it! It was clear from the moment that I arrived (in my gargantuan suburban), that I would find exactly what I wanted. And, I did! Although I had to resolve myself to the fact that it wouldn't be the shutters of my dreams from Timberlane Shutters, it would however, be a budget-conscious version that would not be lacking in style one bit.

Shopping salvage can be fun, and a bit overwhelming at the same time. Let's just say that it is not for the faint-of-heart. Being able to have the vision to look beyond the obvious, and have a little faith; is absolutely necessary to the process. So after a bit of sanding, caulking and painting, my old, but soon-to-be-like-new shutters were ready for hanging. One smallish purchase of some hand-forged hardware from Timberlane Shutters, because I couldn't resist. With the proper hardware in-hand, my shutters would have the ability to be opened and closed, via hinges. This would ultimately create the proper dimension and angle for the best aesthetic look, giving me what I had envisioned all along for the front of my home.


1 comment :

  1. What a lovely home. I love your custom home shutters. It really looks so elegant. The design and the color very well matches with the house.


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