The beauty of window shutters is not only in their power to keep the sun rays out of the room when you want a certain level of darkness, but they also dress up the space in style. Today, shutters have become an architectural must-have, adding much value to a home both on the outside and the inside. This should come as no surprise though – shutters perfectly convey classical elegance and relaxed lifestyle at the same time. But what’s the story that hides behind them? Take a look at some intriguing facts about these pieces of art.
Shutters date back to ancient Greece. However, they were completely different from the ones we have today. Ancient Greek people were all about complicating things. Advanced mathematics, philosophy, architecture – why do it easy when you can do it the hard way? The Greek loved their marble, so it comes as no surprise that their first shutters were made from it. However, marble is incredibly hard to work with and as shutters began to grow in popularity, their design started changing. Once they became popular in the Mediterranean parts, they were greatly transformed and were mostly made out of wood. Today, these shutters are a staple of the well-known Mediterranean style.
Shutters Are Older Than Glass Windows?
What was first – windows or shutters? This may seem a pretty obvious question to ask at first, but wait for it. For a very long time glass was considered a luxury and hard to get. In the time of Tudor England and during Elizabeth I’s reign all the homes had shutters, only later glass began to emerge as a window covering. And even then, people would cover half a window with glass and the other one with a shutter.
The Great Australian Migration
Shutters made their way to the Australian market in the 80’s in their final form as we know and love them today – plantation shutters. This shutter type originates from the USA. Many Australian designers drew inspiration from the great mansions of the cotton plantations. In the late 80’s, a unique Australian type of shutters was introduced on the market. A husband and wife team called Australian Timber Shutters tried to trademark their groundbreaking product as the “Plantation Shutter” but failed to get a permit to do so. However, ironically, today most people use the term plantation shutters when talking about any kind of window shutters.
The 90’s Love with Shutters
By the end of the century, PVC shutters were introduced. This brought the boom of the shutter market. PVC shutters were quite affordable and quickly became the go-to choice for a shading solution. You’d see them on probably every second house in a variety of colours. Today in Australia you can easily see the houses of an entire street covered with shutters. Yes, the trend started spreading like wildfire!
Peeping King Louis XIV
An interesting tale, but not completely factual, about the history of shutters comes from 17th century France. One of Louis XIV favourite pastimes were watching the beautiful women of the court bathe in the fountains and ponds in his garden in Versailles. But he wasn’t the only one doing this – the guards on duty also liked to stand and admire them. The king was worried this would distract them from guarding the palace properly, so he had movable shutters installed on the garden walls so that the guards wouldn’t be able to see through and only he could open them. Many attribute this story to the term louvered shutters.