Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Interior shutters

In the fall of 2010, when we were in the midst of building our house, I started a post on interior shutters (and never posted it!).  I was coming to realize that interior shutters might be the best solution for some of my windows given that I have European in-swing casement windows in most of my house.  In-swing windows are wonderful – so easy to operate, so beautiful to look at, and window cleaning is very easy - but they make window treatments a huge challenge in certain spaces!

I have been slowly but surely collecting images of interior shutters over the past few years, and here are a few of my favorites.

I just found this gorgeous image from Atlanta designer Margaret Kirkland’s portfolio.  What a stunning house – and of course I noticed the interior shutters on the French doors in the back.  The three interior doors are interesting because they translate as interior shutters too.  This is a beautifully detailed and designed house – I would love to see more of it.

Here is a close-up of the folding shutters from the same house. The depth of the bookcase creates a great place for the shutters to  ‘stack’. Via Margaret Kirkland’s website.

I love this bedroom for so many reasons – the limed beams on the ceiling, the beautiful bed treatment, and of course the charming casement windows on either side of the bed.  I especially like the small folding inside shutters on the window – what a great way to block the light without using window treatments (especially for those upper windows).

When looking for images for this post, I came across this one – an interior shutter painted blue.  It looked familiar (one of the issues with pinterest and other internet images is that pictures often become separated from the source)…

Then I realized that it was part of an Atlanta house I have long admired, with interiors by Barbara Westbrook.  These interior shutters are particularly interesting to me as they are one of the few images I found where the shutters are flush with the wall – which makes them more prominent and more a part of the décor (they were more than likely added to the house during a renovation).  In fact, if you look closely, I am not even sure there is enough space between the windows for the shutters to be fully open.  Image via House Beautiful.

The blog Belgian Pearls has been a rich source of images of interior shutters over the past year.

This picture clearly shows the accordion style of the shutters, particularly on the left shutters. Via pinterest.

The upper shutters are separate from the lower shutters. Via pinterest.

I prefer the look of solid shutters – not the plantation shutter style – but I thought this image was pretty and the folding style of the shutters works well for wider spaces.  I also love the details of this picture – the arch before the area that the bathtub is tucked into, the chandelier above the tub.  Via pinterest.

Another tub with shutters on the window.  Note the gorgeous circle detail on the shutters.  Image via Belgian Pearls.

Love the green color of these interior shutters. Source unknown.

It looks like a radiator is below this window, but the window is also recessed to provide the depth for the interior shutters. Source unknown.

This interior shutter has hinges and multiple sections due to the width of the window. Via Belgian Pearls.

In this picture, you can actually see how the inswing window rests against the shutter when both are open.

One of my favorite images of interior shutters, via Verdigris Vie.  When I saw this picture, I got an idea for how interior shutters could be used as a solution for a tricky area in my house.  Note how both sides of the shutters have paneling, making them equally beautiful when open and shut. 

In the master closet, we have a window that has drawers underneath, and required some sort of covering for privacy reasons.  We thought about multiple solutions – a roman shade or curtains were initially considered – but we wanted ease of opening and closing, and realized that if we had a shade it would end up closed most of the time (making the closet a very dark place).  The hanging sections on either side of the window reminded me of the deep recess of the European windows in the pictures above, so I asked my architect if we could do a solid interior shutter.  He sketched one up, and we had a shutter company fabricate it.

Here is a quick iphone snapshot of the finished product!  We did molding on the front and back of the shutters as they are viewed from both sides.  The interior shutters have proven to be an excellent solution for the space – they are easy to open and close, and look great both from the outside of the house and the inside. We had them painted in the same custom paint blend used in the bathroom, a greyed blue.

Have you seen interior shutters used much in your area?  I suppose plantation shutters are a form of interior shutter, and they used to be very popular in Atlanta when I first moved to town, in the late 90s.  It seems as if plantation shutters are often fixed, and they typically have the slatted openings.  For my project, the solid shutter seemed like the best solution for the space and for the style of my house.

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  1. I am drooling over this post, and pinning away. The selection of rooms and shutters are fabulous, warm, interesting, soft with a modern touch. I love the idea of shutters, unfortunately, I indoor shutters would not work my my barn windows.

  2. Have only seen interior shutters 1 time during 20+ years designing landscapes. Remember them vividly. You know, the era before internet, cell phone....

    A friend's 1st home had interior shutters, the next owner took them out.

    Who wants to know those people !!!

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

    1. I think the depth of the window is important - many of the European houses were built with these deep windows. I read somewhere that houses in many areas of Europe had the interior shutters for light and heat control, and the English houses had the exterior shutters - something to do with the climate (England being colder). This reminds me, there was a picture I was going to dig up from the Cathedral tour of homes a few years ago....beautiful interior shutters throughout the house. Oh well!

  3. Gorgeous pictures, and wonderful way to use interior shutters in your master closet. There is something special about throwing open the shutters to let the light in.

    Dana of Interior Stylist

  4. Great post on shutters. I have been focused on so many other things planning our home that I have not even thought about using shutters inside yet. I am glad you mention it though because there are plans for a similar size window in our master closet, and on the sketch right now it has been removed because I was concerned about how to cover it for privacy. Looks like you may have answered that with your own situation! - Tonya

  5. As we are currently designing the reno of our new home and I think interior shutters are perfect for the master bedroom and bath. With a European influenced style solid shutters will add the ambiance that I won't get with California shutters. I plan to put a split stacked set of shutters on the window adjacent to the soaker tub.

  6. I love all of these images... such wonderful rooms Holly... and the gorgeous hutters are a bonus... xv

  7. Nice, they really work with "deep reveals" (thick walls), perfect with your closet. It's great when they are left a little crooked or unevenly open, looking lived in.

  8. Holly ~
    A really handsome solution in your master closet. I love your shutters and in-swing French windows. That first room from Margaret Kirkland is divine. So gracious and elegant. And, perfect flow for a party.

  9. One of my favorite looks and such beautiful images. Great solution for your own home.

  10. What beautiful rooms and windows. There are so many calming images in the post. Thank you.

  11. Thanks for a great post! These interior shutters are beautiful and you just don't hear about them that often. I love the weathered blue ones. They're like pieces of art!


  12. I love interior shutters and they are on my "jobs for winter" list! Thank you so much for this one, I too have been collecting images, but I hadn't seen many of the ones that you shared. I love the blues, but because my drapes are blue I think I will go the trim colour of white. Thanks for this!!! PS...yours are superb, well done!

  13. I love the pictures you posted for inspiration, but your custom shutter with detailing it the best of all! I love the solid look and how timeless and classic it is. Beautiful!

  14. Thanks for sharing. I love the interior shutter photos you've selected. Great European feel in most of the spaces.

  15. Your interior shutter is lovely, particularly the color. I still prefer plantation interior shutters which not only completely open to expose the full window or stationery French door, but have the option to tilt for light exposure. I also think that consistency from the outside is very important especially across the front of a house. Often people don't think about this when selecting how they will manage issues of privacy. At least with the plantation style, a house doesn't look boarded up when the shutter closed. Curtains are equally ugly from the outside when closed so the plantation shutter makes the house look open and inviting from the outside.

  16. These are common in the Victorian terraces of London. We moved to a Victorian in Canada and I had the carpenter make interior shutters for all of our windows. He told me they were meant for outside and we had a little exchange. He made them in the end and I love them. My mother in law even copied them, the highest of compliments in my family.

  17. Holly-
    Thank you for sharing such gorgeous images and good ideas. I agree with you on the plantation shutters. I had many in my last home, and they really are nice, but require a lot of dusting and do not provide total coverage like the full shutters. The greige and green shutters are my favorites.
    Happy Tuesday.

  18. They are gorgeous, Holly, and the perfect choice for your windows. So much inspiration from all of these images...love the way they are used in the first image!

  19. Holly,

    Perfect touch and it is a timeless classic for your closst window...well don! Love all the photo's here the shutters really have impact the rooms. Shutters are not used here as much as I like them to be. They solve many window dilemmas and fit into many styles with ease.


  20. Beautiful Holly! The first time (and only) time I have seen them used was at my aunts house in France, they were so beautiful and added so much character to the room, love the examples and yours in your closet is stunning. That last image via Verdigris Vie is always so beautiful. Definitely a look I could see really catching on......love it!

  21. What gorgeous photos, Holly! I am a huge fan of shutters, both inside and out! The more rustic the better. New follower to your blog~glad to meet you. Angie @ Swede Dreams

  22. Holly I love the greys, blues, greens. Really gorgeous and unique!

    2012 Artists Series

  23. Love this! You forgot a photo of my interior shutters :-)
    xo xo

  24. I couldn't have read a better post tonight if I had tried to! This was fabulous and the pictures phenomenal…yes, we've seen some of them..but your take on them makes them that more special! And your love for fabulous windows and wonderful shutters makes me proud! Those are my biggest requirements for a great house and great design!

  25. I absolutely adore all of these!

    I can't wait to make my own house, I'll contact you for interior design ideas :)

    You've got yourself a new follower !

    -Lots Of Love Larimarx33


  26. Really great feature. Beautifully selected images. I have large shutters in my apartment, and in my opinion, they are the best window dressing there is.


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