Plantation Shutters Compliment Clean Lines

Occasionally I will hear… “Shutters are too traditional for my space.”  Like any good design element, shutters are versatile enough to fit most a variety of  interiors.

It comes down to making the correct selections for your final vision of the space when they are ordered.  Something an experienced shutter consultant will be sure to help you accomplish.

The project featured below was designed to compliment a craftsman style interior.  Clean, crisp lines were in order.  To that end the shutters were ordered without the standard tilt rod and boast a hidden tilt instead.  The cut out for the doors lever radius was also modified.  Instead of our standard rounded cut out, we used a square cut out to better compliment the lines of the home.

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How to Update Room Finishes with a Plantation Shutter

Although we have many clients moving into new homes, we’ve been seeing more and more clients who are choosing to stay put and update an existing home.  

A challenging update those who remodel face is how to bring in new finish colors that complement the existing mill-work, not compete with it. 

 We help clients accomplish this  with a few different suggestions.

  1. The quickest and easiest way?  Cover it up!  This can be easily done with a custom shutter and its framework mounted on top of the existing casing.   We offer several different frames profiles and clients can choose the one that they like best.
  2. If you are looking to lighten a room with dark mill-work, choose a painted shutter.   We have 18 stock variations of white, or we can custom color match to your favorite swatch.  I suggest staying away from a brilliant, bright white if you have stained wood casings.  Choose a warmer white, with  creamy undertones or even a light tan.  Then it will complement, not fight, your existing colors.
  3. Do you like your mill-work, but want to freshen it up?  Add a new, complementary stain color!  Many of our clients have replaced their flooring as a way to add a new color.  A natural way to continue this flow is by adding custom finished plantation shutters to their windows.  These two grounding elements in a room, windows and floors, and the addition of key accent pieces in a similar finish, will transform a room.

Without a doubt, new custom shutters add style and pizazz.  Whether your goal is to compliment the homes existing mill-work with a custom matched finish on your shutters, or transform it into something fresh and new, Kirtz Shutters can help.   

plantation shutters and eyebrow arch were stained to match wood flooring and other accent pieces in the home

plantation shutters and eyebrow arch were stained to match wood flooring and other accent pieces in the home

Kirtz Plantation Shutters with VERTICAL LOUVERS

This job was running through our finish department and I just had to share!  We’ve never done ANYTHING like it before.  It is two plantation shutter panels meant to install with the 5 1/2″ louvers running vertically (two firsts for us!).  These panels are massive with 2 panels 62″ high x 84″ .   They will sit side by side in a wood opening and will be doweled together on-site during installation.   Did I mention they are a custom stained red oak?

These go in a funeral home, and the idea is to offer privacy for the family, but still allow them to see out into the chapel where the service is held.    We used a hidden tilt bar so that there are no interruptions in the sight line for the family.  Notice the two bottom pics.  The louvers are set partially open. Notice how one side offers visibility while the other angle privacy?

More photos showing how these look in the room setting will be added once they are installed.

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Exterior Shutters, plantation shutter style by Kirtz

Exterior Shutters are a small segment of what we do, but occasionally someone will want a plantation style exterior shutter and turn to Kirtz for help with their project.

There seems to be some confusion about what makes a plantation shutter exterior or interior grade, so here is a brief explanation of what to look for in an exterior shutter.

Wood Species– exterior shutters that stand the test of time are made of western red cedar, cypress (pecky or clear), or mahogany.  These woods naturally repel water and insects, making them the longest lasting most durable choice. not to mention the beauty of handcrafted mahogany shutters!

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Distressed Shutters, and Specialty Finishes on Plantation Shutters

Recently we have worked on a number of projects that have required specialty multi-step finishes.  Distressed Shutters have been especially popular lately.   This is one of my favorite things that we do, because we do it very well.    Lots of kudos must be given to the head of our finish department, Allen.   He has both the skill and the willingness to do this type of work.

How does this process work?

Any time we match a finish we request a physical sample.  This is incredibly important in specialty finishes because each finish is unique.   Did the original finisher have a heavy hand, or a light hand when he wiped off the glaze?  What tool was used to do the distressing?  A wire brush?  Chains?  A wheel?  There are an incredible number of variables, and since these shutters are often going up against millwork or paneling, it is critical to get a good match.

So we bring a sample that shows the finished look,  and the stain department does a strike-off (or sample) of their ability to replicate the finish on your plantation shutters.  This is then provided to the homeowner/designer for their approval.  Once approved, we proceed with the finish work.  Distressed, glazed, antiqued and sand thru finishes are going to have a longer than average lead time, due to the complexity of the finish.  But just like fine wine, it’s worth the wait.

Here are just a couple of photos of specialty finishes that have gone through our factory lately.

stained, distressed red oak shutters

stained, distressed red oak shutters

exterior shutters with a sand through finish

exterior shutters with a sand through finish

painted and glazed knotty alder result in an antique distressed look

painted and glazed knotty alder result in an antique distressed look

As nice as these distressed and specialty finished shutters look, they are all an effort to duplicate an old world look.  And the best way to get an authentic old work look is to use old wood.

Enter wormy chestnut……

For a history of this wood, see this link to our site http://kirtz.com/hardwoods/wormy-chestnut.html
The short version of the story is its old, like 100 years old.  So all that patina and distressing was actually earned by the wood through years of use.  Pretty cool, huh?   The picture below shows wormy chestnut shutters with a tobacco hued stain.  It looks great with a clear finish too, but this stain really gives it some nice warmth.  This wood, more than any other wood, is one that people gravitate towards when we put it on display.
wormy chestnut with a tobacco finish
Another wood that gives a nice authentic decayed look is Pecky Cypress. This wood has been attacked by a fungus that eats the wood.  This in turn makes lens shaped pockets throughout the tree.  The result is a very attractive multi-dimensional wood.   We treated this pecky cypress hardwood shutter with a heavy black glaze, thus intensifying the appearance of variation of the surface.
Pecky Cypress with a glazed finish

Pecky Cypress with a glazed finish

This is just a sampling of our work that I could pull up quickly this afternoon to show the variety in finishing techniques we use.  If you don’t see what you are after, that is only because you haven’t asked us to build (and finish) it yet.  Give us a call and lets see what we can do for you!