Many new homes today have arch windows, often called eyebrow windows. Most often they are used on the front of a home, to add architectural appeal. When the homeowner moves in, they often discover that charming window doesn’t come with any easy solution when it comes to window treatments. One of the best solutions is a plantation shutter. It offers the best combination of light control (louvers are operable) and aesthetics (it compliment’s the shape of the window).
What makes a good quality arch shutter? There are two key areas that make all the difference:
Proportion: Special shapes, like arches, take the greatest amount of skill to build, and it should be evident in the finished product. The top part of shutter, called the rail, should stay the same width as it follows the arch top of the window.
Louvers: These should be moveable into the arch. Do not be misled by manufacturers who take shortcuts, this is possible!
Arch opening, not Kirtz
The photo above is an example of work done by a major manufacturer. This arch shutter has not had much attention to detail. Notice how the top fixed portion of the shutter varies from panel to panel and fails to follow the line of the window itself. The overall effect visually detracts from the arch appearance of the window.
Kirtz Arch Shutter
Notice how the Kirtz plantation shutter arch has full operable louvers and a proportional top rail that compliments the arch of the window. Nice, right?
How do we get this look when so many others do not?
It is really a matter of time and skill. Each louver into the arched area is shaped by hand. This extra step allows the louvers to close tightly into the arch area of the shutter. What about those louvers the tilt rod does not reach? A tilt mechanism (the same as used on our hidden tilt shutters) is applied on the backside of the shutter from the top louver down to the louvers that are controlled by the tilt rod. This allows full operation (and light control) of all the louvers in the shutter panel.
It is all these small steps that culminate in a finished product that provides the best look. Be sure to explore all these details when choosing your shutter manufacturer.
If initially you are not certain that you want to treat the arch portion of your window, but do want plantation shutters on the lower portion of the window, you should discuss this with your sales person. With a little forethought your shutters can be specified to allow you to order shutters for the top section of your arch at a later date.
This photo is an example of a homeowner who took this approach to her windows. The top of the shutter finishes at a nice height for a clean look. If she chooses to add shutters to the top later, it will give a finished look similar to the photo posted earlier in this blog.
Arch windows are beautiful, no doubt about that. They can be even more stunning when properly treated with a plantation shutter that compliments the architecture of the window, and offers light and privacy control that can be so critical in these windows.