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A Guide to Cafe Shutters

A Guide to Cafe Shutters

The term cafe shutters originated back in the eighteenth century in Europe when the local café’s wanted to let light in while protecting the privacy of their patrons. These shutters were originally only put on the bottom half of the windows so that the privacy of the café dweller was protected. These decorative shutters have become extremely popular among homeowners. Many Americans live in the suburbs where houses are built close to one another. Families who want to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors and let sunlight in often find that they have little privacy when opening the blinds.

The Best of Both Worlds

Cafe shutters provide the best of both worlds allowing people to have their privacy while still enjoying the view of the outside world. The original design was primarily to cover the lower half of a window, but many people now choose to have both halves installed. Cafe shutters are an ideal solution in the bedroom allowing the occupants to keep the upper half open while enjoying a view of the treetops. Among homeowners in Florida, these are often called plantation shutters, which have much wider louvers than the original cafe style. They are perfect for keeping the daytime heat out while letting a good degree of light filter in while keeping the room light and airy.

How to Choose the Perfect Shutters

When determining which type of shutters to install, take into consideration which room of the house they are best suited for. Plantation shutters tend to be more versatile and contemporary in their design. They are often used in rooms that have large windows, such as the family room or dining room. Another advantage is that the louvers can be closed to protect valuable carpeting and furniture from becoming faded.

Cafe shutters are made from a variety of materials including include wood, poly or vinyl. Wooden shutters can be painted or stained with different colors. Painted shutters are usually one solid uniform color while stained shutters allow the natural grain of the wood to show through. The most common types of woods used are Alder, Poplar and Hardwood. Some companies are able to have shutters made of Mahogany, Oak, Pine and even Teak. Faux wood shutters may be a better choice, as they are generally less expensive. These vinyl shutters are nearly identical to real wood shutters and are much easier to clean. Cafe shutters are often used on double-hung windows that have a horizontal division. The smaller louvers are best suited for small panel configurations. Professional decorators often recommend adding a valance to enhance the overall look.

Estimating Shutter Costs

The cost of installing shutters will vary depending upon the size and number of windows that need to be covered. The average price of shutters are often broken down as follows:

  • Stained Wood Shutters—$27.00 per square foot
  • Painted Wood Shutters—$24.00 per square foot
  • Unfinished Stain Grade—$19.00 per square foot
  • Unfinished Paint Grade—$17.00 per square foot
  • Faux Wood Painted Shutters—$18.00 per square foot

Homeowners who want to save money can choose to install the shutters themselves. 

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