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Versatility is the word for our tier-on-tier window shutters. With the upper panels being physically separated from the lower shutter panels, you can choose to swing open all panels at once, or leave the lower shutter panels in position, just tilting the slats for privacy.
Venetian blinds lack the flexibility that plantation shutters offer. While many homes today have wooden Venetian blinds installed on their windows, they are dated and don’t offer the variety of uses that shutters can give.
If you consider how regular Venetian blinds work, they have pretty basic functionality – you can have the blind down or pull it up to clear the window covering from the glazed area. The problem here, versus shutters, is that you can only pull the Venetian blind up. That means, you leave the lower section of the window exposed and people are therefore able to look directly into your home. The blind stack is covering the upper portion of the window – but really, who wants to have privacy on the upper portion of the window?
With tier on tier plantation shutters (or double hung shutters as they are commonly referred to in the USA), the entire window is covered but you have an unrivalled number of options regarding how you both control light coming into the room and privacy.
Tier on tier is just as it sounds – two ‘tiers’ of shutter panels. Normally, they are installed to cover the whole window, although in some cases, for very tall windows, customers can specify a tier on tier design but cover just three quarters of the window).
The big difference with this design and the reason why they are so much more versatile than Venetian blinds is that you can open up the panels any which way you like or tilt the slats. The most popular day to day configuration that our customers enjoy is leaving the lower panels closed but swinging back the panels hinged on the top portion. You can then tilt the slats on the lower shutter panels at an angle, allowing in daylight but, importantly, stop passers-by being able to look directly into your home. This gives you privacy but light through the top half and the lower section of the window, with light coming through the slats.
Compare that to slatted blinds (either wood Venetians or aluminium) and you cannot operate that window treatment in the same way.
Another design detail to get right is choosing the optimum slat or louvre size for your shutters. The trend today is very much towards a larger slat size (76mm and 89mm are the current Shutterly customer favourites). This means that there is less fuss on the window and more light can flow between the slats (even when tilted at an angle for privacy). With a Venetian blind the largest practical slat is 50mm. This adds many more horizontal lines onto the window, thus making it look busy, be ineffective at giving you privacy and allowing maximum light into the room.
What you do need to bear in mind before you choose your shutter design is how often you really think you will actually open the shutter panels versus just tilting the slats. We spend time discussing this question with our customers to help them arrive at the right solution for them. So – why do we present this question when thinking of a tier on tier shutter design?
It comes down to ensuring that your shutters complement your room and home décor. This means that the way your shutters will be used during daylight hours, has a big impact on how your room will look.
If you opt for tier on tier with the thinking that you’ll open the panels regularly (in their entirety or just the top panels) then perfect. This design is ideal. We would often recommend panels that are narrower and, perhaps, can bi-fold (fold onto each other) so that when opened, the shutters don’t take up a lot of wall space.
This design will mean your glazed area is opened up, you’re letting light into the room and the shutters are off the window.
However, if in reality you leave the panels closed the majority of the time, by having these narrower panels (which work so well with tier on tier) you are adding more fuss to the window in the form of more vertical pieces of wood (the solid, peripheral part of each shutter panel).
We have a team of true shutter experts who are trained to help you select the best design for your window. Whatever your style, plantation shutters (be they tier on tier or otherwise!) offer significantly more both aesthetically and practically than Venetian blinds.
To take the next step to explore the best shutter options for your home, contact us to speak to a friendly and knowledgeable member of the Shutterly team.