Do plantation shutters block out light?
Plantation shutters are a popular option for windows in bedrooms. While they look beautiful, our clients usually ask us: Will plantation shutters block out light?
Shutters do not provide a complete blackout effect. However, when louvers are closed, shutters block out a great deal of light and offer full privacy. A shutter with larger louvers will provide a better effect than the smaller louvers. The reason is that smaller louvers have more gaps between the slats to let in the light.
To reach a full blackout effect we need to remove ALL gaps to let any light into a room. As this is nearly only possible in a room without doors and windows, we can get as close as possible with a couple of adjustments.
Plantation Shutters on their own
Plantation shutters by themselves are one of the best ways to create a dark room. Since the material of plantation shutters is solid, there is no light coming through the actual material of the shutter. What needs to be considered is the gaps between the louvers. Each gap will have light leaking through to the inside of the room. The best way to reduce the light leak is to reduce the gaps. This can be done by choosing the larger 4 1/2″ louvers. The benefit of the new modern, large louvers is not only the fact that they keep a room darker because there are fewer louvers in the opening, resulting in fewer gaps. It also provides a better view out and more natural light into the room during the daytime when you keep them in the open position.
Another way to reduce the light leaks on the shutters is to individually give each louver an extra push to close the gap further. Just touch the louver with your hand to minimize the space between the louvers.
For most people, this is sufficient to provide a dark room for a good night’s sleep. In almost all cases, our customers are perfectly happy with the darkness that plantation shutters bring to a bedroom. But, for people who are extremely sensitive to light, you might have to take it a step further by mixing the shutters with other window treatments.
Plantation shutters with room-darkening shade
So, you love the look of a plantation shutter, but it’s not sufficient enough to keep the light out.
If you have enough depth between your shutter and your window, it is possible to install a room-darkening shade behind the shutter. During the daytime, the roller shade will be rolled up, invisible to anyone in the room, hiding behind the frame of the shutter. As the evening comes around, you can open your shutter and roll down your room-darkening shade. Once it’s rolled down you can close the shutter as usual, and enjoy a window without light leaks. If you want to take it a step further, there’s the option of putting side channels on the roller shades. Side channels are installed along the sides of the shade, in which the fabric moves. This removes the light leaks of the room-darkening shade as well.
To avoid more steps in your evening routine, you can motorize your roller shades. Instead of manually having to open the shutter and roll down each shade, you can move them with a push of a button from a remote or your phone.
Plantation shutters with drapery
Another way to take shutters to the next level of room darkening is to combine them with draperies. This is the perfect solution for anyone who likes to soften up the look of shutters.
Draperies are a beautiful way to make your windows feel more luxurious and tie in with the design elements of a room. To create a luxurious feeling it’s crucial to install the drapes properly. What does that look like?
When in an open position you want to make sure that draperies do not cover up the space of your window, but instead keep the fabric to the side of the window and just slightly touching the side of the shutter. It’s also important to keep your rod close to the ceiling. This way your window will appear larger than it is. Do not put the rod right above your window opening, unless the opening goes all the way up to the ceiling.
There are no window treatments that will look good if they’re not fitted properly to each opening.