The history of shutters and screens is more extensive than you may expect. Both have played a crucial role for centuries when it comes to providing privacy, controlling light and protecting indoor areas from the elements. They were particularly important as both screens and shutters predate the invention of windows.
Of course, the screens and shutters of ancient times differed significantly to the aluminium privacy screens or thermopoly shutters we see in modern homes and businesses today. The shutters and screens of ancient times had their own unique style and purpose.
Going back to ancient Greece, the history of shutters begins with people trying to control light and air while keeping out occasional rain in the Mediterranean climate. Glass was very expensive and hard to come by, so it was rarely used. Shutters were the only thing used to cover windows and keep out the elements. Ancient shutters were made of marble. This certainly made them beautiful and stylish but not very practical compared to future iterations.
In Tudor times (1558-1603), wooden shutters started to appear in homes, allowing for the ability to open and close them. These were made from solid timber panels that were secured to the inside wall and folded back to be flush with the internal wall when the window needed to be open. The same style of shutter persists today and are now known as cafe style plantation shutters.
Shutters grew in popularity and spread across Europe, eventually going to America with colonialists. There, the trend of plantation shutters became popular on American style housing in the south. The Americans integrated new sophisticated designs to create the plantation shutter as we know it today.
Louvres could now be angled to adjust lighting and ventilate the room while still protecting from the elements. The wood used also became more lightweight, practical and aesthetically pleasing. Today, modern plantation shutters are popular throughout the world and are even more functional, durable and stylish.
Ancient screens were quite different to what we consider screens today. Originating in China around the 4th century BC during the Han dynasty, screens were folding, freestanding pieces of furniture. They consisted of several panels or frames connected to each other and had a variety of decorative and practical uses, from privacy to a backdrop for dances and ceremonies. After gaining popularity in China, they spread throughout East Asia.
Folding screens would be made from dark timber and sometimes even silk or paper in Japan. The screens feature gorgeous pieces of art depicting mythological themes, scenes from nature and royal life. Today, they remain widely popular in Asia and elsewhere around the world for decorative purposes. Of course, we have since invented new types of screens to provide privacy and protect us from the elements.
Guardian Screens & Shutters are specialist suppliers of top-quality shutters, screens and security doors in Brisbane. Ask our experts to help you achieve a stylish contemporary look in your house with the right window dressings. Call us on (07) 380 81308 or you can contact us online, and we’ll get in touch at a time that suits you.
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