Archive | May, 2015

Plantation Shutters, A Brief History

27 May

Why are plantation shutters so expensive?

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Shutters have been dressing windows for centuries.  You may associate them with the old south and the regal look they gave the massive homes, but they have been around since ancient Greece.  In that tropical area, they served three functions: protection from the weather, ventilation and light control.  They originally had fixed louvers and were made out of marble which is what made them so strong against the weather.  However, the marble is what made them only affordable to the wealthy, thus their prestige begins.

plantationshutters2As the popularity of the shutters spread throughout the Mediterranean, wood became the new norm.  The louvers became moveable and created more functionality.  In medieval Europe they served as a security measure with a steel bar that locked them close .  And because of their increased function, you began seeing them in palaces, like The Andul Royal Palace in India  or the Palace of Versailles in France.

 

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Then as the Spanish and the English started colonizing the Americas, the shutter fad came with them.  The southern states, taking after the Spanish influence, began using them in their large manor homes where they took on the name ‘plantation shutters’. In the south, you saw the use of large louvers and they were almost always painted white.

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In the New England area, the louvers were smaller and used in a café style, similar to how they were in England during the Victorian Era.

 

 

 

 

If you’ve ever gone shopping for shutters, you’ve probably had the jaw-plantationshutters5dropping experience of the first time you heard the price.  Shutters are definitely an investment.  They are durable, stunning to look at and their functionality is unparalleled.  They just happen to be the most expensive thing you can put on your window.  Shutters are the ONE window treatment that add to the appraisal value of the home so consider how this may help you in the future.  But after hearing the back story of their evolution, you can see they stand the test of time.

 

Plan For Outdoor Living Now

20 May

Planning for outdoor living now lets you be spontaneous when the good weatOutdoor1her arrives

It’s time to shop for outdoor furniture for your patio, terrace, balcony or garden.
Outdoor living is all about comfort and relaxation. It can happen wherever you have outdoor space – in the courtyard or backyard, Outdoor3balcony or terrace.
Build your outdoor retreat from the ground up, considering flooring, plants, furniture, umbrellas and awnings. There are so many choices in colors, finishes and materials – and most outdoor living elements are now made out of materials that resist degrading in the heat and humidity. Continue reading

Don’t Let the Summer Sun Keep You Inside

13 May

Aristocrat Awnings

Don’t Let the Summer Sun Keep You Inside

With spring here, it’s easy to start daydreaming about summer. We all love spending afternoons outside with kids playing, having the annual 4th of July party, or watching the sun set after a long summer day…let’s face it-we want to be outside as much as possible come May. Now, how do we enjoy the sun and stay protected at the same time? This is when you might want to consider getting an awning. Continue reading

Stairways As a Work of Art?

6 May

Paying attention to the design elements around your staircase can make it into a work of art.
A little TLC on this often-neglected area of your home can elevate your spirits,Stairs1
adding drama and a focal point to your home.
We often regard our stairways as just a transition area from floor to floor, and we neglect the decorating possibilities. And yet in many homes, the stairway is a focal point of the foyer or living room. Decorating it thoughtfully will add drama and beauty to your home.
Staircases tend to occupy a small, fixed space, so decorating takes place in a constrained area. There’s not much you can do to change the exact shape of a stairway, unless you’re up for major home renovations, but you can still do a lot to add beauty and interest.
Just think of all the elements you can use to decorate a stairway:
Stairs2• Wall art, including paintings, mirrors, groupings of photographs, sconces,
and collections of objects
• Wall finishes, including interesting paint colors, faux finishes, wall coverings and wainscotting
• The landings with accent furniture (such as small tables, chairs, stools,
ottomans or benches), area rugs and accessories
• The stair treads with surfaces of wood, stone, carpeting or paint
• The stair risers with beautiful ceramic tile or an accent paint or stain color
• The ceiling with a dramatic chandelierStairs3
• The railing and banister, constructed of wood, metal, cable or rope, in a variety of styles, from the simplest brushed aluminum or clear varnished paint to ornate decorated iron or brass. Continue reading

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