Fine Furniture For Your Windows – Why We Love Shutters


If you’re looking to add style and value to your home, consider plantation shutters as a window treatment.  Plantation shutters, which are often simply called shutters, are one of my absolute favorite window treatments because they are like adding hand-crafted, fine furniture to your window.

wood shuttersAvailable in real wood and composite wood, shutters add a touch of class and aesthetic beauty to any room. Shutters consist of slats, which are called louvers, mounted inside a solid frame. The louvers can be tilted by moving a rod at the back or middle of the shutter. For a cleaner look, you can also get shutters with hidden tilt, which allow you to tilt the louvers without a rod. Shutters are available in many different styles and come in a variety of paint finishes and rich luxurious stains.

With over 40 years of experience crafting fine wood window treatment, my favorite shutters are built by Norman. Norman’s quality, innovations and attention to detail has made this company famous and earned Norman many awards. Some of the innovations and design features that set this company apart include (1) shutter construction, (2) wood conditioning, (3) green practices, (4) invisible tilt, (5) louver size and (5) warranty.

Shutter Construction:

Shutter French DoorsNorman shutters are constructed using mortise and tenon joints. The same construction found in heirloom furniture, mortise and tenon joins have been used for thousands of years to connect wood together in an almost puzzle-like way. It’s strong, durable and less affected by the expansion and contraction wood undergoes as a result of temperature and humidity changes. Mortise and tenon construction will help your shutters withstand decades of shear stress and racking forces.

Wood Conditioning:

Wood drying (or seasoning) using a kiln is a common process to remove moisture from the wood. If wood isn’t properly dried before making furniture, the wood can continue to loose moisture and shrink. Too much shrinkage will affect the integrity of the furniture. Additionally, wood that travels from low humidity areas to higher humidity areas (or visa versa) can expand or contract as moisture content in the wood changes. Therefore, the best fine furniture is handmade from wood that is seasoned in your local region.

Norman understands the importance of properly preparing wood before it’s made into shutters. Their prescription wood conditioning process helps reduce post-installation drying and shrinking by conditioning the wood based upon the intended final destination. Basically, Norman seasons the wood based upon the region where the shutter will be shipped and installed.

Green Practices:

Like other window fashion vendors we partner with, Norman is committed to green sustainable practices. Everything, from the raw materials to the manufacturing process has the environment and consumer safety as a goal. This commitment to being environmentally friendly means Norman uses sustainable farming practices, doesn’t use volatile organic compounds, and complies with California Air Resources Board (CARB) regulations.  CARB is an environmental protection agency dedicated to promoting and protecting public health, welfare and ecological resources through the effective and efficient reduction of air pollutants.

Invisible Tilt:

While traditional shutters use a visible tilt rod, recent trends include larger louvers and an invisible or hidden tilt rod.  Many companies accomplish a hidden tilt by attaching a wire to the back of the louvers. Norman’s invisible tilt goes a step further and builds a gear driven tilt system into each stile (the vertical wood frames). This innovation means the louvers work like magic with flawless, precision and tight control.

Louver Size:

shuttersTraditionally shutters had small louvers about 1.5 inches wide and a ¾ thick frame. Commonly used in the North Eastern region of the country where windows were small, traditional shutters offered homeowners privacy, protection from the heat and UV rays.

Today, the trend is shutters with wider louvers and frames. Plantation shutters, which are also called California shutters, have much wider louvers allowing for maximum light and a more unobstructed view. Norman offers louvers in many different sizes ranging from  about 2 to 4 ½ inches with the most common being 2 ½ and 3 ½ inches wide.


Norman offers a Lifetime Limited Warranty against original defects in materials or workmanship for as long as the original purchaser owns the product. They can offer the best warranty in the industry because Norman products are built and designed with Norman quality, using resilient materials, high-end components and uncompromising workmanship. You can learn more about the Norman warranty by visiting the Norman website.

When you purchase shutters for your home, you are making a long-term investment. Shutters are a durable product that typically last twice as long as other window treatments when cared for properly. They are also easy to clean – just wipe with a soft cloth or swifter duster. Another advantage of shutters is their ability to over odd shaped windows.  Because shutters are custom designed to your specifications, they are perfect for large and odd shaped windows.

If you are considering shutters, call Made in the Shade Wichita at (316) 272-2173 for a free, no obligation in-home consultation.

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