The Interesting Origin of One of Today’s Most Popular Shutter Styles


Plantation shutters are an incredibly popular style of interior shutter in today’s homes. They are beautiful, functional, and low maintenance, allowing you to control your home’s light, temperature and ventilation with ease. They increase property value and the aesthetic appeal of your home, while making living more comfortable. There are endless reasons to install plantation shutters in your home – but you may wonder where they got their name. As it turns out, plantation shutters have a long and interesting history, dating all the way back to ancient Greece.

Ancient Greece, Home of the First Shutters

Plantation shutters may have gotten their name from the peak of southern plantation living in the U.S., but their origins date back much farther. It is widely believed that the first time this innovation appeared was in ancient Greece. Greek homes and buildings boasted many windows for ventilation, but they needed something to protect the structures during the many storms. Strong coastal breezes during the daytime in Greece led to harmful tropical storms with severe winds and heavy rains.

“Necessity is the mother of invention.” This is true in the case of window shutters. One day, some clever mind in Greece (the identity of whom remains unknown) came up with a shutter system in the plantation shutter style to allow for ventilation but protect homes during storms. The first plantation shutters were made of marble, not wood or vinyl like today’s versions. Marble shutters were incredibly strong and durable compared with other window coverings like cloth, and they quickly grew in popularity around Greece as the main preference. Marble shutters became a mainstay of Greek construction, lending a unique appearance and functionality to houses around the Mediterranean.

From the Mediterranean to France

As the marble shutters with fixed louvers spread throughout ancient Greece, years passed by with the invention still maintaining its popularity. The invention made its way to other parts of the Mediterranean, where wood soon replaced the original marble design. Wood was much easier to shape than natural stone, and it gave the shutters more flexibility and movement. Changing the shutters to wood brought them into the hands of the average consumer of the time, since wood was much more affordable and easier to source. Wood workers soon mastered the craft of creating the shutters, and improved the original design and functionality. The wooden construction made shutters even more popular.

After making its rounds through the Mediterranean, the plantation shutter had become such a household staple that King Louis XIV of France insisted on installing them in his palace during his reign from 1643 to 1715. The shutters let the ladies nap in comfort, enabling pleasant air circulation and privacy. In kitchens, the shutters let cooks control the sunlight used to warm up the spaces. With the many uses and the visual appeal of the shutters, it was no surprise King Louis insisted on their inclusion in his domicile. Wooden plantation shutters then became a desirable royal accessory and spread throughout Europe, including Spain.

Plantation Shutters Gain Their Name

Southern San Antonio plantation shuttersBy the 18th and 19th centuries, the shutter had made its way into America, likely through Spain’s influence during the colonization of the South. The South jumped to adopt the trend, integrating the ingenious shutters in many grandiose homes and cotton plantations. Known for their opulence and elegance, southern plantations needed shutters to complete their image. The beautiful window coverings became a principal element on iconic plantation homes, lending cross ventilation in the suffocating heat during long summers. It’s here the shutters earned their current name, “plantation shutters.”

Current Trends for San Antonio Plantation Shutters

Today, the ever-popular plantation shutter continues to evolve. Homeowners now can select wooden, vinyl, or even aluminum plantation shutters for a unique mix of beauty and function. Just as they added a touch of elegance to southern plantations, they do the same for modern homes today. Plantation shutters continue to be a popular choice all over the world, providing benefits such as:

  • Excellent airflow and ventilation.
  • Flexible louvers for simple operation.
  • Elegant, string-free design.
  • High-quality construction.
  • Durable wood and vinyl materials.
  • Easy cleaning and maintenance.
  • A variety of styles and colors to match any décor.
  • Beautiful in traditional and modern homes.
  • Increased property value.
  • Extra privacy and home security.
  • Blocking more sunlight than traditional shutters.
  • Protecting furniture from sunlight.
  • Keeping homes cooler in the summer.

Since plantation shutters get installed right into your window frames, they typically stay with the house, which boosts the overall value of your property. It’s one of the only shutter systems that allow you can make the cost of installation back upon the sale of your home. From bedecking windows in ancient Greece to improving homes around the world today, plantation shutters have been here through it all. With such a rich history, they must be doing something right. Purchase your own plantation shutters and discover their charms and benefits yourself.

Custom Plantation Shutters in San Antonio

With The Shading Company, you can customize your San Antonio plantation shutters for the exact look and feel you want. Custom-paint or stain wooden plantation shutters, or select from many beautiful vinyl colors. Hybrid materials and polysatin compound constructions offer classic looks with new-age durability and UV ray-blocking capabilities. Our dovetail construction exudes class and craftsmanship, bringing out the inherent character of the traditional plantation shutter style that’s been around since the beginning.

San Antonio plantation shutters

The Shading Company offers six different artisan techniques for our plantation shutters: glazed, glazed and burnished, classic distressed, heirloom distressed, rustic, and textured. Each offers its own unique look to the table – some have rustic mineral streaks and pine knots, while others are modern and minimal. Select the style that speaks to you, and choose from three different colored glazes for the finishing touch. Don’t like wood? Our hybrid plantation shutters use advanced materials to create an extremely durable and visually pleasing alternative.

Join thousands of homeowners who have discovered the incredible innovation that is the plantation shutter, and come to The Shading Company of San Antonio. We offer a long line of different styles, materials, and colors for any need or preference. Let us work with you to create a custom plantation shutter solution that’s ideal for you.