Australians embrace indoor/outdoor living, emphasizing the importance of ample windows for connectivity to the outdoors.…
Because they’re covered in fabric, your blinds or shades can be easily matched in colour and style to your interiors and furnishings. Timber plantation shutters, on the other hand, seem limited by the kind of hardwood they’re made of, such as Normandy or Red Cedar. This determines whether they’re porous or denser in texture, and the range of colours they produce when stained. So, how do you decorate with plantation shutters made of wood? Here are creative ways of using wooden shutters to enhance the appearance of your windows and set the mood for any room in your house.
Decorate with Lacquered or Painted Plantation Shutters
Choose timber plantation shutters that have been coated with paint or lacquer to protect the wood from ordinary wear and tear. Painted shutters are covered in either matte (non-glossy) or enamel (glossy) paint and in colours that seem most appropriate to the room’s interiors. Lacquered shutters, on one hand, were artfully stained to bring out their natural wood grain patterns before they’re covered with a protective layer of varnish. Aside from coating them with varnish or paint, the wooden shutters were also chemically treated to add layers of moisture resistant and fire retardant protection to their surfaces.
Where to Use Shutters Made of Natural Moisture-Resistant Soft Timber
Wooden plantation shutters are made from different types of hardwood, like Red Cedar or Normandy. Cut and polished from Cypress trees, Red Cedar has a softer composition compared to Normandy wood, which is timber harvested from winter hardy Phoenix trees. Because they’re made of soft timber, Red Cedar plantation shutters often covered windows in areas where they’re less likely to bump against a piece of furniture, a tree branch, or a heavy object. Otherwise, you’d have to replace the shutters once they’ve been deeply scratched, dented and cracked in several places. Red Cedar’s natural wood colours may range from light to medium or medium to dark on the same surface. The tones vary from a natural milky white to a shade of chocolate brown. Some people like to expose the natural colours and grain pattern of the hardwood through staining and varnishing. Long-term exposure to sunlight bleaches the wood gradually and gives the shutters an aged look. Use this soft timber to build shutters high above the wall and away from human traffic. For example, you may install these naturally moisture-resistant Red Cedar shutters as clerestory windows in your indoor pool area and as air vents above your kitchen sink. A good idea is to use wide-panel shutters without midrails for a streamlined look. Make sure you haven’t planted any trees or flowering vines close to the wall. If there’s already a tree or a grove of trees growing nearby, then cut off any branch that grows or hangs too close to your shutters.
Where to Use Window Shutters Made of Sturdy But Porous Wood
In comparison, Normandy timber came from the Chinese parasol tree or Firmiana simplex. It’s also known as the phoenix tree in honour of that legendary bird that suddenly bursts into flames when it dies and resurrects itself from the ashes as a fledgling chick. Throughout its lifetime, the wood grain retains its even tone from front to back, and the smooth surface gradually acquires a darker sheen. After it’s sanded and stained, Normandy wood retains its distinctively porous grain pattern even when it’s lacquered with clear varnish or painted over completely. While this porousness lends the wood its unique appearance, it also turns plantation shutters made from this type of hardwood into impractical solutions for windows that are frequently exposed to rain, sleet, or too much humidity in the air. Like the mythical phoenix, the wood is naturally hardy that it rarely forms dents or splinters from accidental bumps. This makes Normandy wood the right choice for framed window shutters that frequently bang open or close, get whipped by a tree branch, or bump into study tables or chairs being moved back against the wall. If you’d like to have bay or bow windows built beside a cosy nook in your bedroom, study or living room, then by all means, decorate with plantation shutters made of Normandy wood to control the amount of sunlight that falls on that area. Choose double-hung or tier-on-tier shutters for your bay or bow windows so you can swing open the upper or lower tier while you kept the other tier closed. Another option is to install cafe style plantation shutters with a stationary upper sash and louvred half-height shutters at the bottom. Either choice would need drapes or shades to keep that area warm and cosy in winter. Other than Red Cedar and Normandy, you can also make use of wood-composite shutters made from highly durable Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF) and man-made timber shutters coated with Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS), which makes them ideal for bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms.
Contact us today and ask our team of interior design experts at Complete Blinds for their advice on how to decorate with plantation shutters made from different materials and in different styles.