At Signature Shutters, our favorite window treatment would have to be the plantation shutter. They are versatile, less expensive than custom drapes and they increase your home’s resale value. They are the only window treatment that can raise your home value, in fact, because they’re both permanent and highly desirable. Traditional shutters are not the same as plantation shutters. They have narrower louvers and are most commonly found around New England. Traditional shutters are rarely installed today because, unlike the plantation kind, they limit the light quite a bit and block the view. The Spanish first introduced shutters to the Americas. Large plantation homes in the South often used wide louvered shutters, giving plantation shutters their name. Today, plantation shutters are a popular choice around the country for kitchens especially. When shopping for interior shutters, it's important to know if you are buying custom shutters truly built for your windows or if the company will take stock panels and cut them down to fit. Often, the price is similar. A custom shutter company will measure your window exactly and build your shutters to fit while a cut-and-drill company may only provide shutters for rectangular windows. In addition to the overall shape of the shutters themselves, three custom features to think about when shutter shopping are louver width, divider rails and foldability.

Louver Width

Modern plantation shutters (particular custom ones) come in many different styles with many different louver sizes. The most popular louver width is about 2.5 inches but what size louver you choose is really a matter of personal preference. The 2.5-inch louver is more traditional and is a great choice for an average size rooms with normal ceiling heights and proportional windows. If you have a huge room with soaring ceilings and bigger windows, the 3.5- or 4-inch louver may be a better fit.

Divider Rails

Divider rails allow for separate control of the top and bottom louvers, a feature that comes in handy for natural light control and added privacy. Because of the functional privacy aspect, shutters designed with a divider rail or in the double hung fashion are a popular choice in bathrooms. They allow for closure of the bottom louvers for privacy while the top louvers can be left opened for a view and light. It's harder to get that kind of function with curtains or blinds.


When shutters are built specifically for your windows, you will have lots of choices regarding how they are designed. For most wide windows, two panels could open from the center or bi-fold to one side. If you never plan to actually open the panels back against the wall, having them open from the center is fine. But if you plan to open the panels often and there is something in the way on one side then a stacking bi-fold model is the way to go. How your shutters are designed will ultimately depend on your needs, wants and windows!