History of Window Shutters

Window shutters are a common accessory for exterior timber windows. Shutters add character to your home’s exterior while being a great way to prevent direct sunlight from getting into your home.

There are many advantages of window shutters. In this article, we’re going to look at the advantages and disadvantages, and where window shutters originated from.

What are window shutters?

A window shutter is a covering made from aluminium, MDF, and, most commonly, wood. Window coverings are either vertical or horizontal slats that cover the entire exterior of the glass in your window frame.

Advantages and disadvantages of window shutters

Window shutters have many advantages. Aside from preventing direct sunlight from entering your home, shutters also provide heightened security and protect your windows from the elements.

By having the choice of opening or closing your window shutters, you can improve your home’s security by closing them at night. The shutters act as a barrier between your home and the outside world and prevent anyone from looking into your home.

Window shutters also protect your windows. Depending on where you live and the general weather conditions for your area, you may need to install window shutters to prevent damage. Hail and strong winds carrying debris can cause your windows to crack or completely shatter upon impact. Having closed window shutters will remove the chance of this event occurring.

There are a couple of disadvantages that you’ll want to consider if you plan on buying window shutters:

Window shutters drastically reduce your visibility to the outside. Although window shutters are great for making it difficult for prying eyes to see into your home, this also means that shutters obstruct your view, too. If you want a clear view of the land outside of your home, it’s probably best not to go down the route of window shutters.

Window shutters aren’t easy to replace if a slat breaks. Depending on the manufacturer, if a slat breaks, you may have to purchase an entirely new window shutter.

History of window shutters

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Window shutters are believed to have first been used in ancient Greece. The Greeks used shutters to prevent sunlight from beaming into their windows, and to provide ventilation during their summer season. After a short time, window shutters were used across the Mediterranean. They were eventually a popular add-on for windows around the world.

At first, window shutters were made from marble and installed internally. It’s believed that the Greeks used this material for its durability. Over time, window shutters’ popularity rose, and they began making the shutters out of wood – like they are today.

The shutters came to England in Tudor times. During this period, glass was considered a luxury, and only the rich had full glass panes in their frames.

When shutters arrived, many people during the Tudor period used them to close off their windows. People without a great deal of money only had glass in the top half of their window, so window shutters were used to close off the bottom half of their frames.

Before shutters arrived in England, lower-class people used wood to close off the bottom half of their windows. Replacing the wooden boards with shutters allowed homeowners to open and close the shutters whenever they pleased, therefore heightening their security while allowing ventilation into their home.

In the eighteenth century, external shutters became popular, specifically in the Victorian era. During this period, walls were thinner, therefore having to reach through the window to close or open the shutters became a more viable option. It also allowed seamless internal space surrounding the window as the shutters would be attached to the external frame of the window – therefore reducing wasted wall space.

Today, a lot of window shutters have been installed for aesthetic purposes. This is because window shutters can now be side-hinged and kept permanently open if the owner desires. This is a great way to add character to your home’s exterior without compromising the view from your window.

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Coloured timber windows

What’s the Best Colour for Exterior Windows?

Exterior windows don’t need to be plain. In fact, adding colour to your exterior adds character, and increases your homes’ curb appeal.

If a lavish exterior isn’t for you, have you considered a bold yet understated approach? Instead of opting for a bright colour scheme, a navy blue or charcoal adds an understated touch of class to your home’s exterior.

Thinking about the BEST colour for your exterior windows, there isn’t one. The colour scheme that you go for is down to personal preference; however, there are colour options that reduce the amount of maintenance that your timber windows need.

The colour of your windows says a lot about you. It’s important to consider what you want your home’s exterior to project. Below, we’ve highlighted some of the most popular colours to use for your external windows. Have a look through the options and decide which is best for you and your home.

Black Windows

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Black is an uncommon colour to use for external windows; although, it’s a common colour to use for external doors. Black reduces the amount of maintenance that you need to take out on your home’s exterior. Now, we’re not saying that you can neglect your external windows and doors by going with this colour. We’re implying that you won’t have to clean them as often because dirt is less likely to show up.

Black is a classy colour to use on your home’s exterior. As it’s a dark colour, it contrasts beautifully if your home is rendered in a light colour.

Grey Windows

Grey is an understated colour; it’s classy and modern. It’s light enough that it doesn’t need to be a statement piece, yet it’s dark enough to look great against rendered properties or cottage-style bricks.

As with black, grey still requires maintenance; however, it’s dark enough that you can clean them less often than white.

Blue Windows

If we’re talking navy blue, yes. If we’re talking baby blue, maybe not…

Navy blue is a very classy colour. Against white render, navy blue windows will stand out, while adding colour to your property’s exterior.

With being a dark colour, navy blue is a great choice if you like the reduced maintenance of black, but want something a little different.

Baby blue, however, we wouldn’t recommend. From a distance, baby blue looks like an odd shade of white. It’s also light enough that the frames will require a great deal of upkeep to prevent them from looking dirty. If you’re after white but want to add a twist to it, then baby blue is your colour; however, we’d recommend looking into a darker shade of blue.

Brown Windows

Brown windows follow a similar suit to blue windows. Dark brown works well, and if you get a deep, black undertone shade of brown, you can add a great deal of character to your property. Not to mention the reduced upkeep that it needs.

However, if you go for a lighter shade of brown, or a brown with an orange undertone, you run the risk of increasing the maintenance needed to prevent it from looking dirty. This shade of brown also doesn’t lend well to sun exposure. Over some time, an orange undertone-brown can become washed out and start to look yellow.

Green Windows

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In recent years, green has become a staple colour for many households. It’s mainly used internally on doors, cupboards, and home accessories; however, green has started to creep onto our external windows and doors.

The best type of green to use on your home’s exterior is, what we like to call, cottage green. It’s a beautiful deep, but muted, green. It’s not bright enough to become a lime green, but it’s not dark enough to run in the same category as navy blue.

This cottage green is a really beautiful colour, and works wonderfully against white render; it gives any type of home a country-cottage vibe.

Bright Coloured Windows

If you really want to have that stand-out, full of character, exterior for your home, try something vibrant and loud. There are plenty of colours to choose from that are bound to catch people’s eyes:

  • Orange
  • Pink
  • Lime
  • Baby blue
  • Yellow

And of course, there are tone variations for all of the above as well.

Brightly coloured windows are a statement piece – if you’re after a bit of fun, bright colours work well.

In terms of maintenance, bright colours are prone to showing up dirt and debris, so you’ll need to keep a relatively tight schedule for their upkeep.

There are a few maintenance issues to consider when deciding on your colour; however, the colour you choose for your exterior windows and doors is a personal preference.

Bay window

How Do You Dress a Window?

Dressing a window brings many benefits to your home – they don’t just make it look pretty. Adding curtains or blinds to your window will increase your thermal efficiency and security.

By covering your windows – or having something in place to cover them when you want to – you eliminate draughts coming through your window frame. You also decrease the chance of heat escaping through the glass which decreases your energy bills as you’ll require less heat to warm up your home.

Burglars are opportunists. In most home invasions, the criminal has seen something through a window that they want. By dressing your windows with blinds or curtains, you’re hiding any valuables that may have been on show. This drastically reduces the chances of your home being broken into.

Aside from those 2 major factors, the last reason to dress your window is for decor purposes. This can come in the form of hanging curtains or blinds, but you can also dress your windows by adding a plant to the window sill, or decorating the edge of the frame with fairy lights – this is a great option if you’re on a budget.

Curtains and blinds bring a lot to a room – even though they may get overlooked during the design process.

It’s crucial for curtains and blinds to be measured and fitted correctly. If your curtains are too large, your space will look smaller. If they’re too small, they won’t be fulfilling the purposes that made you install them in the first place.

If you want to upgrade your windows, please take a look at our range of high quality and thermal efficient timber windows and aluminium windows.

a bedroom window

What types of window coverings are in style?

The window coverings that are on trend for this year are mainly textured. It seems a lot of us are bringing texture to our interiors in the form of curtains and blinds. Whether that’s a thick set of velvet curtains or a sleek wooden blind.

Modern homes are typically minimal in design – think white walls, silver hardware, and glossy countertops. This is why texture from window coverings work so well. They can be used as colourful statement pieces against a plain backdrop or used to warm up a large open plan area – for warmth, think deep shades of orange wool.

There are many types of window coverings to choose from:

  • Curtains
  • Blinds
  • Shades
  • Linen
  • Velvet
  • Woven wood
  • Silk
  • Wool

Are curtains going out of style?

There are so many choices of curtains out there that them going out of style will never be a thing. Our personal style may change and you may prefer blinds over curtains but there will alway be a need for them. For some people, curtains give them a lot more benefits over blinds.

There are many options for curtains such as colour, design, and texture. Curtains are also easier to cut to size. Blinds are great for understated window dressing, however a lot of people aren’t a fan of their architectural design.

If you’re looking to dress your windows to improve thermal efficiency, curtains are the better choice.

Should I put curtains over blinds?

There is no right or wrong answer to this. Whether you decide to put curtains over your blinds or not is a matter of personal preference.

People often have curtains over blinds to give them more flexibility. Having a blind half open can reduce the amount of light coming in without completely compromising your view to the outside – which is what would happen if you closed your curtains half way. If your blind has slats you’ll still get a bit of light coming through it, even when they’re closed. Remove the light coming through the blinds by installing a set of curtains and closing them in the evening.

There are many ways that you can dress a window, some will want to install blinds or curtains (or both!) and others will want to use items to make the window look pretty.

When dressing your window, consider how much space you have around it, what your budget is, and whether you want to go for blinds or curtains. Think about the design that you currently have in your home, would a sleek set of blinds for your bathroom work better than a lacey curtain? And would curtains for your bay window be cheaper than blinds? Your circumstances are at the heart of your decision for dressing your windows.

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How To Upcycle Old Windows

We imagine many of you will be revamping your home when spring comes around – DIY jobs are perfect for this time of year.

Typical spring DIY jobs consist of potting plants, repainting internal walls, and clearing out your unworn clothes. However for some, DIY jobs are a little larger than this – installing new hardware, replacing old window frames, and purchasing bifold doors.

If you plan on taking on a bigger DIY project this spring, have you thought about upcycling the item that you’re replacing? In particular, upcycling old windows – there are many ways that you can repurpose your old window frames.

In this guide, we’re going to look at the different ways that you can upcycle your old windows and give them a new purpose.

How do you decorate an old window?

There are many ways that you can decorate an old window if you haven’t got the budget to replace them. Decorating a window doesn’t always mean repainting them – but, it’s a good place to start.

Start by purchasing some good paint – paint especially created for the type of window frame that you have. uPVC, aluminium, and wood, will require different types of paint. Sand away flaking paint and paint the frames with the desired colour.

If you want to decorate your old windows without painting them, there are a few ways that you can jazz them up a bit:

  • Install new curtains or blinds
  • Add plants or picture frames to your window sill
  • Go over the old sealant with new sealant to give your windows a fresh look
  • Replace old hardware.

Ideas for repurposing old windows

If your windows are past saving, here are some upcycling ideas that may give you some inspo.

Antique Window Mirror

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Remove the old glass from your window frame and sand away flaking paint. Cut and glue mirrored glass to where the glass panes once sat. You can now hang your new mirror on the wall or rest it on an antique side table for a farmhouse feel.

Chalkboard Window

my chalkboard (old window)

Similar idea to the first one, but this time we’re using chalkboard instead of mirrored glass. As before, cut and glue the chalkboard to the window frame. For an easier project, you can cut the chalkboard to the size of the entire mirror instead of cutting it into individual pieces. This is a great way to make something practical from an old window frame.

Sideboard

Window Sideboard

If you have extra wood lying around try your hand at a sideboard. Use the window frame and glass as the sideboard door and add screws to attach it to the rest of the reclaimed wood. Use sandpaper to remove flaking paint and to smooth off the edges. For a rustic vibe, leave the sideboard unpainted.

Jewellery Organiser

After:  A decorative jewelry display / organizer

Insert pins, tiny screws, and hooks to the frame of the window. You can use these to hang jewellery such as necklaces, bracelets, and rings. If you want to go a step further, remove some (or all) of the glass panes and insert a piece of material. You can use this to store your earrings by pushing the bar of the earring through the material.

Decor

If you like to keep things simple, you can use your old window for decorative purposes – this adds a great country cottage feel to interiors. All you need to do is make the frame look more presentable. Clean away any dust and dirt, wash the glass panes (or replace them), and if desired, give the frames a lick of paint. You can hang your new upcycled windows wherever you please – they look great in kitchens though!

Upcycling windows is a fun DIY task – think of the self-achievement. There is very little effort required to make something beautiful from an old wooden frame, all you need is a bit of inspiration.

If your DIY task for this year is to install new windows, please take a look through our range of timber windows.