Quick Guide to California and Plantation Shutters- Differences and Benefits

Window coverings provide protection and enhance the beauty of your home- both inside and outside. Choosing the right window treatment is important for this reason. Window shutters are among the most versatile, durable and long-term window treatment that you can invest in and are available for indoors as well as outdoor mounting. However, choosing between California and plantation shutters can be difficult since they appear extremely similar.

This post outlines the major differences between these two types of shutters and tips to choose the most suitable option between the two for your home.

Origin and History

Shutters date back to ancient Greece and the very first shutters had slats made of marble and not wood. However, it was difficult to work with and wasn’t affordable for the common people. With time, wood workers came up with designs which eventually became very popular.

During the 18th century, the shutters were introduced in America, particularly the southern states and became a trend-setting style for the large plantation manors. This marks the origin of the plantation shutters. They were noted for their elegance and grand look which was a signature style for the southern manors.

By the mid 19th century, these shutters became popular in California and there were slight modifications made to the original design, giving rise to the California shutters. Many of the locals believed that these shutters originated in California and hence were named thus.

Difference Between These Shutter Types

  • Louvre width

The most visible difference between the California shutters and plantation shutters is the difference between the louvre width. The louvre width for California shutters is 2.5 inches while for plantation shutters, it is 3.5 inches.

The slightly smaller louvre width for California shutters, make these window coverings much easier to install and appear more proportionate in a smaller room. On the other hand, the larger louvre of plantation shutters makes it more suitable for larger windows where their distinct style can be showcased better.

  • Application

The slight difference in the louvre width also makes a major difference in their application in your home.

The California shutters are more suitable for:

  • Smaller window frames
  • Kitchen windows which needs to be covered
  • Small bathroom windows
  • At a home with a more compact constructional style

The plantation shutters can be used for:

  • More than average window size
  • Ceiling to floor windows or doors that need to be covered
  • Backyard or patio doors
  • Traditional or semi-traditional home designs which complements the wider louvre size
  • Materials used

Originally both these window shutter types were made of wood but as composite wood and other synthetic materials came into being, plantation shutters made from blended materials became available. However, traditional California shutters are predominantly made of wood even today as wood is considered to have more character and hence more appealing.

Benefits of These Window Shutters

Both these types of shutters have similar benefits and the choice between the two mainly depends on your preferences and the size and shapes of the windows at your home.

  • Durable- made of wood, these window shutters are among the most durable interior as well as exterior shutters which will last for years to come, provided they are well maintained.
  • Home value- since they are long-lasting and easy to maintain, they add to the resale value of your home and is an appealing amenity to prospective buyers.
  • Maintenance- wooden louvres can be cleaned easily by vacuuming and dusting occasionally, letting you keep them as good as new.
  • Insulation- these window shutters minimize the loss of heat through the windows, thus maintaining a constant temperature in your home.

Choosing Between the Two Shutter Types

Homeowners find it difficult to choose between these two types of shutters primarily because of their similarity regarding appearance, construction and benefits. Consider the following factors before visiting a store so that you can easily make the choice:

  • Your home décor theme

Your stylistic preference must be taken into account in this case to determine which is the best choice for your home. Look around your house indoors and outdoors and determine the dominating décor so that the choice becomes easier. Plantation and California shutters impart a coziness to the ambience and complement a vintage style home best.

  • Window size

While California shutters look good in any window size, the plantation shutters which have a wider louvre suits large windows best. If you want to invest in plantation shutters, the size of the windows should be taken into consideration such that the louvres do not appear disproportionate compared to the windows.

Shutters are among the most durable window coverings that you can invest in. Plantation and California shutters have always been a popular choice for their timeless beauty. Keeping the differences, benefits, and applications in mind will make it much easier to choose between these window shutters. Toronto and its neighbourhoods have many homeowners for whom these traditional window coverings are still a classic favourite.

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