American shutters or traditional plantation shutters are originally native to the North Eastern part of the United States, taking in such areas as New England, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maine, Vermont, Rhode Island and Virginia.

Styles of American shutters were described as colonial or traditional and most American houses had them right back as far as the pre-revolutionary period which began in 1763. Over the course of time, due to their practicality and good looks, they soon became popular in homes with a country-style décor. Traditionally they came with louvres measuring 31.75 mm and were 19.05mm thick and most were wedged shaped with a ridge or vain in the centre, giving that stunning ‘New England’ feel.

A Brief Look at the History of American Shutters

Plantation shutters were first introduced to America by explorers from Europe, indeed King Louis XIV of France supposedly installed louvre shutters around his garden walls in the 17th century so that he could watch the women bathing in the ponds without being seen. It is also believed that the term ‘louvre’ came from his previous home, the Louvre in Paris.

However it was other more practical features which made them popular in America. Mansions owned by wealthy cotton plantation owners in the deep south used white painted shutters to keep the interiors cool; indeed this is where the name ‘plantation shutters’ came from. They also developed a great reputation as ‘hurricane shutters’ in the coastal areas, as they provided superior protection to homes during hurricanes and tropical storms.

New England houses found that the insulation qualities were perfect for keeping out the harsh winter cold. Nowadays, Americans still use them for exactly the same reasons, which is why shutters will always be timeless.

Why American Window Shutters Are So Popular

Window shutters are becoming increasingly popular in the UK and can be made in traditional wood or high quality ABS plastic, such as the S:CRAFT Java range. They also come with rods which are great for giving the choice of which parts to have open. For the same reasons as our American friends, although the UK does not get such extremes of weather, they are still perfect for insulation, privacy and light control.

There is nothing nicer on a hot summers evening than to have the windows open and the shutters partially or fully closed, keeping the bugs and the heat out, while allowing cool air in – perfect for sleeping. Also if you have a room that is overlooked, shutters, perhaps café-style, are perfect for creating privacy without losing light; it’s no wonder so many people love them.