The History of Plantation Shutters

The history of plantation shutters is a fascinating tale of how people have adapted to their surroundings while simultaneously bringing beauty and style into their lives. From ancient Greece to the height of the southern plantation all the way to modern day, plantation shutters have offered humankind an elegant solution for how to control light and ventilation in their homes while also protecting them.

The Greeks
Early buildings were not pleasant places, especially if you lived in a climate that offered any sort of extreme weather. You either had to live in a home with few to no openings, or you had to brave the elements. Glass was not commonly available, so windows were left open with little more than cloth to cover them. That's where the genius of the ancient Greeks came in. The Greeks figured out that you could install shutters on the inside of your home to control available light and the climate inside.
These proto-plantation shutters were originally made out of marble to ensure durability, but the clever Greeks quickly discovered that it was possible to make them out of wood for a cheaper, easier to move version that became popular in many ancient homes.

The French
Over time, shutters continued to improve thanks to the ingenuity of talented wood workers. They added moveable louvers to improve light and ventilation control, creating the prototypes for the modern shutters we all know and love. The French were particularly wild for these new, moveable louver shutters. Their desire was further incited when King Louis XIV had them added to his residences. These new interior shutters provided a convenience never before seen, and the French simply could not get enough of this innovation.
Because of their popularity in France, interior shutters gained further admiration throughout Europe and the world.

The South
Stylish shutters naturally made their way into the New World and found a strong foothold in the sweltering summer heat of the South. Even though glass was widely available by the 18th and 19th centuries, southern homes found that the ventilation and shade provided by interior shutters offered them a far more comfortable climate. Interior shutters were used so frequently in the South that they became known as plantation shutters, the name by which they are still known to this day.

It is only appropriate that the name has stuck. Well-crafted plantation shutters visually evoke the same sensation that their name does: a sense of elegance and sophistication for your home. Whether your home is a plantation or not, these shutters add both utility and class.

Shannon Hodges is Director of Marketing at Eclipse Shutters. Eclipse Shutters is an Atlanta-based custom shutter provider with a network of licensed fabricators around the country. Their company has grown to become the number one shutter selling company in North America and largest manufacturer of tailor-made plantation shutters. Eclipse Shutters was established in 1992 and offers customers fast delivery and a 25-year warranty. Learn more about plantation window shutters at
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