Although the beauty and practicality of shutters have been appreciated for centuries, they have been consistently innovated to suit styles, climates, purpose and architecture through the ages.
First made in marble by the Greeks to cool interiors in the Mediterranean heat, later made in timber and reinforced with iron rods in medieval Europe to improve security, later introduced to the New World by the intrepid British, Spanish and French explorers, then painted white and used to adorn the plantation homes of the South and today used worldwide and across varied architecture styles, shutters have certainly stood the test of time.
However, throughout their history shutters have been punctuated by modern trends and this continues in our modern era. Current trends include the continued preference to ‘green’ / environmental friendly raw material, a notable shift to sophisticated simplicity in decor, a high degree of customisation in shape, finish and style and application versatility that empowers home owners to reinvent their spaces at will.
Raw material, eco-responsible sourcing and manufacturing, product sustainability and longevity and purpose of application are all determining factors in ascertaining a products’ ‘green’ status.
“Shutters have been used for hundreds of years to control indoor temperatures, light and ventilation, all aspects impacting on energy usage during both hot and cold conditions,” says Karina Palmer interior designer and marketing director of AMERICAN shutters. “Our White Teak Shutters are manufactured from wood sourced from FSC® certified environmentally sustainable forests.”
FSC® is an internationally recognised certification verifying that the timber production complies with the highest social and environmental standards supporting responsible forest management. FSC® also tracks the FSC® certified material from production to market, thereby giving consumers the assurance that the timber used was responsibly harvested.
Sophisticated simplicity and customisation
Automation, neutral tones, natural materials, unique painted finishes and the customisation of shape and sizes to complement architectural features are current design trends in architecture, interior design and in shutters.
‘In an ever-innovating world, clients demand a high degree of customisation. We manufacture shutters to unique specifications that can be custom-made for all openings irrespective of size and shape from domed, to triangular, to arched and circular,’ says Karina.
There is an ongoing trend to design homes that have a smaller footprint, are compact and modest in their materials, space and impact. This coupled with our lifestyle needs to multi-purpose spaces; interior design is consistently faced with the challenge of how to create spaces that can adapt and shape-shift in purpose and appearance.
Cleverly appointed to divide spaces, integrate spaces and disguise spaces, shutters define and redefine interiors with a simple slide, swing and slide.
‘There is no more effective way to refresh interior design than the clever appointment and installation of good quality window finishes. Shutters not only add value to interior design in their own right, but they also maximise position, natural elements and views by strategically and seamlessly integrating the indoors and outdoors,’ concludes Karina.
Although our modern trends will be recorded, as little more than a point of interest in the evolution of shutters, there is no doubt that they are as much of our future as they are of our past.