Design Advice by Heidi Ingersoll
Design Consultant Heidi Ingersoll dishes on why she loves shutters.

One of the most coveted window treatments out there for the simple fact that they stand the test of of the "original" window treatments.  For good reason!  
In my neck of the woods, or shall I say beach....typically the most appropriate shutter is a Composite Shutter, coated with a Polypropylene finish that resists moisture, staining, and warping and the UV inhibitor protects against discoloration.  Not only do we have beautiful sunshine-filled days here in San Diego, we also have the beach...the damage that the great big Pacific Ocean can do is pretty major at times.  Think about it, if you painted a wood chair and then set it outside for 15 years, do you think the paint would discolor, chip away or fade?  Of course it would.  All that is between your shutter and the atmosphere is a piece of glass.  And that is if you leave your windows closed!  If you keep them open, the elements really can affect your window treatments, but the Composite Shutters can withstand more abuse than any kind of Window Treatment out there.
And the other benefits are vast as well.  Speaking from personal experience, here is why I love my shutters.  
I have shutters on two 94" wide windows on the front of my house, in the kitchen and guest room, and master bedroom. I have Drapery on my sliding glass door in the Dining Room, a Roller Shade in my home office, and a Roman Shade on my living room window, also 94" wide.
My office and the guest room are both eastern facing and get sun from sunrise to about 4pm this time of the year.  The office (which doubles as an extra guest room) has the Roller Shade, which is adorable with a gray and white quatrefoil pattern.  The guest room, facing the front of the house with the shutter, is incredibly COOLER in the summer and WARMER in the winter.  My house is old and the insulation is probably non-existent.  The shuttered room is much more comfortable for sleeping, regardless of the season.
The additional benefit is the ability to do a Split Tilt.  I have what is called "invisible tilt" on my shutters, so there is no tilt rod, it's a more contemporary look, cleaner looking, easier TO CLEAN, less parts to accidentally break, and the split tilt means I can close the bottom half for privacy and keep the top half open for natural light to come in.  This comes in handy when I am not ready to be seen by the outside world, but need to go into the kitchen for some coffee.  I can close the bottom and not be seen, but still see what I am doing without turning the lights on. The morning light can still come through the top part of the panels.  I also love this feature in the master bedroom, which faces a neighbor’s house. I can be assured that he can't see into my house, but I still have daylight coming into the room from above, even when I want privacy.

Another benefit, when comparing treatments:  Someone, who never fessed up, got fingerprints of BBQ sauce on my drapery in the dining room.  I love that Drapery Panel so much, it's fabulous.  But if it were a Sliding ByPass Shutter, that BBQ Sauce would have wiped right off!  Not as easy with fabric....
One more design benefit, is that the louvers come in several sizes, 2 1/2" - 3 1/2" - 4 1/2".  I have the 4 1/2".  The benefit with the larger size is that you block more light when they are closed and let more light in when they are open.  I also think they are more contemporary looking, if that is what your style is.  My clients that have migrated West from the East Coast tend to prefer the 2 1/2" as the smaller louver sizes are more common back East, and very old shutters typically had 1" louvers, so it's more in line with what they are used to.  That's the thing, you have choices.  

Although I do love many, many kinds of window treatments, including every single one I have in my house, I have a great appreciation for my shutters. They really do offer the highest functionality of everything I have, and are by far the easiest to clean.  At the end of the day, we want things to look nice and be easy to deal with.  Shutters do just that, and have for ages!

Smiling Lady
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