Three extras your shutters should have

Window shutters offer an enormous range of benefits, especially when compared with curtains and other window coverings. They provide greater security, allow you to exercise more control over the heat and light in your home and even look neater and more stylish. But did you know that you can make your shutters even better by augmenting them with a few simple extras. We offer a wide range of extras here at Shutter World. Some are designed to help your shutters perform better in specific circumstances. Today, however, we’d like to highlight the ones that can be used to improve any set of shutters and explain how they can help you.

1. Shutter handles

Shutter handles are a very simple addition that can be added to the frame of almost any set of shutters. Most shutter frames are designed to open outwards, so that you can let in more light and air than the shutters’ slats would permit. Shutter handles simply make it easier to pull the shutters open. Without shutter handles, swinging your shutters open can be slightly tricky. It’s worth installing them so that you never have any problems and can let in light and air whenever you want.

2. Shutter bolts

Shutter bolts are just as useful as handles but in the opposite way. They allow you to lock you shutter frames in place so that they can’t be opened from the outside. This makes your shutters much more secure and makes it almost impossible for intruders and criminals to enter your home via shuttered windows. If you want to keep your home safe, adding bolts to your shutters is a very simple way to do it.

3. Blackout blinds

Blackout blinds can be fitted into shutters along with slats. Some blackout systems can also be fitted as an alternative to conventional slats. This option enables you to block all light from a room and also offers improved insulation. If you want greater control of the light levels in your home or to reduce your heating bill, blackout shutters are an ideal solution.

These optional extras can be applied to practically any set of shutters in order to improve their performance. Why not order your window shutters with all three?

Save your shutters with these life-prolonging tips

Wear and tear is a continuous problem for all household furnishings, including window shutters. Here at Shutter World, we aim to produce durable shutters that can last for many years. However, over time, even the toughest shutters can become damaged. Luckily, there are several things you can do to prolong the life of your window shutters. If you’re careful, you can keep your shutters in tip-top condition for decades. If you don’t want to replace your shutters every few years, all you have to do is take appropriate precautions. In today’s blog, we’ll explain exactly what these precautions are.

1. On windy days, secure your shutters

If you leave your windows open on windy days, your shutters can bang open or closed very suddenly. Aside from creating a rather annoying noise, this can also damage your shutters. That’s why you should always secure the frames of your shutters in one position during high winds. It’s worth noting that our shutters can be supplied with shutter bolts, which allow you to lock them in place if necessary.

2. Remove slats before cleaning

Vigorous cleaning can jostle shutters’ slats and cause minor damage. Over time, this damage can build up and become significant. In order to avoid this and preserve the condition of your window shutters, we suggest that you simply remove the slats in order to clean them. You don’t have to do this every time: you can give your shutters a gentle wipe-down without removing the slats. However, when you want to clean them thoroughly, partially disassembling them is the best way to avoid damage.

3. Apply paint or lacquer when necessary

If your shutters start to show signs of wear and tear, you can always give them a fresh coat of paint or lacquer. This will cover up the damage before it gets worse and also protects the wood or MDF of your shutters from further scarring. You might be surprised by how much protection simple paint or lacquer can offer.

Here at Shutter World, we want to help you keep your shutters in excellent condition. Following the advice we’ve provided in today’s blog entry should prove invaluable. However, when you do need to replace your shutters, feel free to check out our gallery or contact us directly.

From Ancient Greece to the American South: a short history of shutters

Since ancient times, shutters have served three basic functions: to control the temperature in a room, to admit or keep out light and for protection and privacy. In fact, the earliest shutters were used by the Ancient Greeks who favoured the use of marble slabs, though of course, we use much lighter and easier to work with materials today.

From Med to medieval

By medieval times, the popularity of shutters had spread beyond the Mediterranean and started to be manufactured from wood. Plentiful, cheap and most importantly easy to work with, these wooden shutters with the now familiar adjustable louvres were perfect for keeping wildlife out of rooms with unglazed windows.

Once windows routinely started to be glazed, wooden shutters were perfect for protecting costly window glass from damage. They also acquired fastening bars to keep intruders out of buildings like inns and public houses.

From the Old World to the New

It was the Spanish who took their beautiful and practical louvred shutters to America, where they quickly caught on with the owners of the big Southern plantations, hence the name we use today ‘plantation shutters’. Their great mansions became synonymous with grace and elegance, and that style was bound up with their shutters. With wider slats and almost always painted white, these became the template for the shutters we love today for their practicality and elegance.

Back in Europe, as industrialisation took hold, the humble shutter went outdoors where it remains today across most of Europe, particularly in France, Spain and Italy. In the UK, original interior shutters can be found in some period properties, but they lack the functionality of the plantation shutter with its clever louvres for controlling sunlight and temperature.

From dream to reality

Bringing the history of the plantation shutter up to date, we find that this versatile style of window dressing has gained new found popularity everywhere from living rooms to bathrooms, in a wide range of colours and materials. There are good a reasons why the plantation shutter is so popular for interior design. Not only do they bring that timeless elegance and sophistication to any room, but they can be customised and built for even the most awkward window.

Want to know more about bringing the beauty and practicality of plantation shutters to your home? Then browse the website and contact us for your free quote.

Why shutters are perfect for apartments

Shutters can be deployed in any type of home to improve its ambience and grant the homeowner greater control over their environment. But did you know that window shutters are particularly useful in flats and apartments? It’s true! If you live in a flat or apartment, installing high-quality bespoke shutters can dramatically improve your living conditions. In today’s blog, we’ll explain exactly how shutters can improve conditions in your flat. There are two key areas to consider.

Light and temperature control

Blocks of flats and apartment buildings are normally very large. As a result, the lower flats are often in shadow and it’s hard for light to reach them. The buildings also tend to trap heat, meaning it’s easy for flats to become too hot during warmer parts of the year. However, window shutters can help. You can use shutters to regulate both the light-levels and temperature in your flats. You can open the slats wide to let in as much light as possible, thereby drastically reducing the shadiness of your flat or apartment whenever you desire a more well-lit environment. Adjusting the slats can also let out thermal energy or keep it out, thereby enabling you to keep your apartment cool and alleviating any overheating problems you may experience during the summer months.

Space management

Flats and apartments are often more compact than other types of home. As a result, they can sometimes feel cramped. Shutters are very neat and space-efficient, especially compared to curtains and drapes. Opting for window shutters over other forms of window-covering can make your flat or apartment feel more spacious. The fact that they can also let in as much light as possible can also help cultivate a feeling of spaciousness. After all, well-lit homes always feel roomier than darker ones.

Living in an apartment or flat offers a number of advantages. They are often very convenient for city-dwellers. However, making sure that they get enough light, stay cool and feel spacious can be tricky. Investing in a set of shutters can help you tackle these issues. We offer a huge range of shutters here at Shutter World, so why not check out our selection today?

Four ways shutters can make your home safer

Here at Shutter World, we think that shutters are infinitely more stylish and practical than curtains or drapes. Their sleek, streamlined aesthetic means that they can be integrated into any home and they allow their owner to control the amount of heat, light and noise that enters their household. But did you know that they are also safer than curtains? If you want to prevent accidents and minimise the dangers that might befall your home, installing shutters is a wise decision. In today’s blog, we’ll explain why.

1. Shutters minimise the risk of fire

Curtains and drapes can be a fire hazard. Because they are made from loose, flexible fabrics, they can dangle or flap around if they are caught by a breeze. As a result, they can become caught on heat sources and catch fire. By contrast, shutters are made from solid materials and have a rigid, inflexible structure. Ergo, they can’t move and become caught on heat sources. What’s more, many shutters are made of materials that allow them to resist fire more effectively than curtains or drapes. If you need to reduce the risk of a fire breaking out in your home, choose shutters.

2. Shutters can block allergens and pollutants

Home safety isn’t just about defending yourself from immediate threats: it’s also about protecting your health. Your home should be a place where you don’t have to worry about damage from toxins, pollutants and allergens. When closed, shutters can completely block your windows and therefore drastically reduce the amount of toxins, pollutants and allergens that can enter your home. As we mentioned in our previous entry, you can make your home safe from allergies with window shutters. You can also ensure that it is safe from pollution.

3. It’s impossible to get tangled in shutters

Young children and pets can sometimes become tangled in curtains or drapes, thereby injuring themselves. This simply can’t happen with rigidly-structured shutters. If you have young children or exuberant pets, installing shutters can help prevent them from hurting themselves accidentally.

4. Shutters deter criminals

Shutters are much tougher to break through than curtains or drapes, thanks to their rigid structure. Furthermore, people outside your home can’t see through a closed set of shutters and therefore can’t get a good look at your home’s contents. These two factors can often deter prospective criminals and intruders.

If you want to make your home a safer place, get in touch with us today and ask us about our bespoke shutters.

Why plantation shutters are the smart choice for your allergies

Do you experience sneezing, red and itchy eyes and coughing and wheezing even when you’re safely indoors? Then you may be one of the estimated 12 million Britons who suffer from dust mite allergies. Dust mite allergies can impact on conditions like asthma, eczema and rhinitis, exacerbating symptoms and making life really miserable.

It’s not actually the mite itself that causes your symptoms but its droppings. And the dust mite just loves to feast on dust and dry skin flakes which means your home is like a Michelin starred restaurant for this microscopic pest. So how can you stop a build up of dust mites and help to ease your symptoms? By installing plantation shutters.

Avoid the dust trap

Dust tends to accumulate near windows, and the heavy folds of fabric in a pair of curtains are an ideal dust trap. Of course, you can take your curtains down, clean and rehang them but isn’t it far simpler to invest in a window dressing with a wipe-clean, low-maintenance surface?

It’s this ease of care combined with the elegance and beauty of interior shutters that make them an ideal choice to help you alleviate your allergy symptoms. With nowhere to breed, you should see some relief from that runny, itchy nose.

Keep it clean

Of course, once you’ve installed your new window shutters then you will need to keep them clean to keep the level of dust mites to a minimum. The easiest way to remove the excess dust and dirt is to use the nozzle extension of your vacuum cleaner, then wipe over the newly vacuumed surface with a clean cloth.

If you’ve opted for a wood finish for your shutters, then use polish to produce a soft sheen. If you’ve installed painted plantation shutters, then a wipe over with warm water with a drop of washing up liquid will finish the job. Avoid bleach that can damage the finish of your shutters.

Ask the professionals

If you’d like to bring your dust mite allergies under control by installing interior shutters, then why not contact us today for an instant quote and put an end to dust mites once and for all.

Cultivating emotional well-being using shutters

Nobody is dominated by a single mood or emotion all the time. Everyone experiences different moods throughout the day. You might wake up feeling extroverted and outgoing but end the day in a quiet, reflective and introverted state. Sadly, you can’t expect to only experience positive or relaxed moods. Some days, you might feel tired, emotionally drained or simply grumpy and irritable. Believe it or not, shutters can help you cope with negative emotions and moods. As we’ve discussed in previous blogs, shutters can be used to change your home’s ambience and reduce external noise. In today’s blog, we’ll discuss how you can use these capabilities to manage your emotional state. As surprising as it might seem, your window shutters can actually help you recover from unpleasant emotions faster than you otherwise would.

1. Emotional tiredness and lack of mental energy

We all have days when we just can’t muster any energy or enthusiasm. You can help yourself deal with these feelings by simply exposing yourself to sunlight while remaining in the relaxed, controlled environment of your home. Open your shutters fully and let the sunlight stream into your home. You might be surprised by how quickly you feel re-energised. Window shutters allow you to let in the greatest possible amount of light from outside your home, and light always has a positive effect on the human psyche.

2. Emotional strain

Being around other people all day can be exhausting, especially for self-professed introverts. Dealing with the emotional needs of others isn’t always easy and can leave you feeling strained. The problem isn’t that you can’t muster any energy, it’s that all your energy has been used up! You may find that turning your home into a completely private environment gives you the space you need to recover. Closing all your shutters completely can block out sound and light from outside, giving you the privacy you require to relax and recover from emotional strain.

3. Stress and irritability

Sometimes, dealing with the responsibilities and demands of modern life can leave you feeling stressed and worn out. Once you’re stressed, it’s easy to become annoyed and angry, too. Luckily, these feelings can usually be fixed by a few hours of relaxation. Shutters can help you achieve a state of relaxation with surprising ease. Just adjust the slats until you the amount of light and noise coming through your shutters is at a comfortable level for you. Ideally, your home shouldn’t be too bright and noisy or too dark and quiet. If you can find a balance that feels natural to you, your home should start to feel like a relaxing, comforting place.

Altering your home’s ambience using window shutters is easy to aid your emotional well-being. Don’t forget that you can check out our range of shutters here at Shutter World in our gallery if you haven’t already invested in a set.

Plantation shutters – timber versus MDF

Tel: 08707545300 (08707545300)

Plantation shutters can add style to your home, whether you want a traditional or more contemporary look. But should you choose timber shutters or go for a man-made alternative?

Timber plantation shutters

The main reason people choose plantation shutters made of timber construction is for their aesthetic beauty. When correctly treated, timber makes a long-lasting and durable material that looks gorgeous when simply varnished to preserve the natural grain.

If you prefer, you can paint timber shutters any colour of the rainbow to match your interior décor scheme. Alternatively, you could choose to stain your shutters so that the finish blends seamlessly with your furniture or wooden flooring.

Timber is as strong as the polymer equivalent but much lighter in weight. This is important if you want shutters with a large panel size to accommodate bigger windows because the excess weight of the polymer can cause the shutter’s hinges to sag.

Good quality timber plantation shutters can work out slightly more expensive than the man-made version, although they should last you a lifetime if properly cared for.

MDF plantation shutters

The usual alternative to timber that people look to is man-made MDF. MDF is very durable and hard-wearing, and although the colours available are somewhat limited, your shutters will never need repainting or treating to keep their colour. The usual colour choice for MDF shutters is white, off-white, or a faux-wood finish.

If you have a limited budget, MDF shutters may be a good option because they are usually slightly cheaper than timber, and are just as long-lasting. If you want shutters for rooms where moisture is an issue, such as your bathroom, MDF is a good choice as it won’t warp or be damaged when exposed to water or humidity.

However, because of the heavier weight of MDF shutters, panel sizes are generally limited. This means that you would need to use several panels to cover a large window area, which can leave your window looking cluttered. A single wood panel gives a much cleaner finish.

In conclusion

Timber plantation shutters offer great versatility when it comes to colour and finish choice, although they are slightly more expensive than polymer. MDF could be a better option if the shutters are likely to be exposed to water or humidity. Have a chat with our helpful experts for more information and guidance.

How shutters can be made to fit into unusually-shaped windows

Tel 08707545300 (08707545300)

You are probably already aware of how stylish shutters can look when they are installed over ordinary windows. However, you may believe that they can’t be installed over more unconventional windows (such as arched windows or slanted windows) due to the fact that shutter frames may not fit into these windows comfortably. In reality, however, there’s no need to worry. We at Shutter World offer a wide range of bespoke shutters that can be fitted to windows of any size and shape. In today’s blog, we’ll take a look at some unconventional window types and how shutters can be fitted over them.

1. Arched windows

It’s surprisingly easy to create an arched frame for shutters that need to be fitted over arched windows. In fact, there are actually two ways to fit shutters into an arched space. Columns of slats can be arranged in an arched frame so that they reach all the way into the arch. Alternatively, the window can be divided into two parts. A standard square or rectangular frame filled with slats can be used for the lower part of the space, while a separate piece (featuring either decoration or more slats) can be fitted into the upper arch.

2. Curved bay windows

It might seem impossible to fit shutters over bay windows that protrude from a house in a curved shape. However, it’s much easier than you might think. Obviously, it’s not possible to make a shutter’s frame or slats conform to the curve of a bay window. However, several separate flat frames can be fitted together so that they form an overall curve that matches that of the bay windows. Each shutter frame is fitted over a different section of the window.

3. Angled windows

Some windows feature one or more steeply-angled sides that create a triangular shape. Fitting shutters to these shapes is very easy. Creating frames that have steep, angled sides is completely straightforward. In order to fit into the available space, the slats in these frames simply get narrower where the angled side approaches another side.

If you’re worried that you can’t install window shutters over your windows due to their unusual shape, contact us today. We can create bespoke shutters that will fit into any window perfectly.

How shutters can help creatives

Are you about to embark upon a great creative project, such as writing a novel, painting a work of art or making a sculpture? If so, you may wish to consider installing shutters in the room where you intend to work on this project. Of course, creativity isn’t dependent upon environmental conditions. However, many artists, novelists and other creatives find it much easier to work on their projects in quiet environments that they can control. Shutters can help you create the optimal creative environment, as we’ll demonstrate in today’s blog.

Firstly, it’s important to understand that the creative process is made up of two equal components: inspiration and hard work. Inspiration involves knowing what you want to create and being able to imagine it in detail. This gives you something to work toward. However, you then have to put in hours of hard work to make this vision a reality. Installing shutters can help with both parts of the creative process.

Window shutters block out sound and also create a sense of privacy. In other words, they create an environment in which you can think clearly and not worry about distraction. This naturally helps with inspiration. It’s harder to be creative when you’re surrounded by noise and distraction, but if you remove these things you’ll be able to concentrate on the first part of the creative process: you’ll be able to visualise what you want to create.

Shutters also allow you to control the ambient temperature and the light level in your environment. Adjusting the slats can control how bright or hot the room is. This should help with the second part of the creative process. It’s easier to concentrate on work in a comfortable environment. Ergo, you’ll find it easier to commit to the hard work demanded by the creative process if you install shutters to make your workspace more comfortable.

We offer a huge range of bespoke shutters and standard window shutters here at Shutter World. If you want to embark on a creative endeavour, why not get in touch with us first? We’ll be happy to install top-notch shutters in the room where you intend to create great art or literature.