Shutter hinges are just a necessary piece of hardware to hold the shutter to the wall, right? No so. There is much more to the shutter hinge than you might imagine. A brief look at the applications and style choices should shed some light on this affordable DIY home improvement project.
Styles through the Ages
For many homes now, shutters are simply an aesthetic feature to the home. Sometimes they are used as interior window treatments. But it wasn’t always this way. Shutters used to be an important feature in keeping the home dry and safe during a storm.
Exterior shutters were able to be closed from inside the house by pulling a knob and securing a latch. When closed, precious and expensive glass was protected from breaking during strong winds. Such storm shutters are still used, even though their make up has changed dramatically. In parts of the world where there are months of hurricane threats, shutters help protect the homeowner’s biggest investment from damage from the storm.
The hinges on shutters have also changed. Some are hidden and purely functional. In the past, shutter hinges were made of cast iron and could endure any kind of beating. Reproductions of the styles and materials of yesteryear are still available today to make a home renovation authentic even down to the smallest detail.
The styles of shutter hinges that were most commonly used were the strap style and the Mortise hinges. The strap hinge is a narrow bar type bracket that starts out wider and tapers off as it reaches into the shutter face. Often it would have a spade-shaped decorative feature at the end as well to dress up the front of the shutter.
The Hardware Behind the Shutter Hinges
The Mortise shutter hinge was even fancier. It resembles an “N” shape as it joins the shutter to the wall surface. These were also made of cast iron and designed to hold up to weight and the pressure of winds. Each style allowed for easy swinging open and shut of the shutter from the inside of the house.
Shutter Hinges with Modern Uses These replica hinges are a beautiful way to renovate in an authentic way. But if you like a sleeker, more modern look for a newer home, then shutter hinges are designed to accommodate that preference. These modern designs can be completely invisible on the face of the shutter. A middle ground option is to use a decorative brass or nickel finished hinge that does show but it not terribly ornate. This can add the dressing of jewellery to accessorize the shutter and compliment the room, while still having a sleek look.
Shutters offer a great alternative to window blinds. They can be made of wood, PVC composite material, or metal. Each has its own advantages and unique look. Wood is timeless, but can be high maintenance with painting. Metal can get dented and look worn. PVC seems to be the best low maintenance and have lasting good looks out of the three material types. Whatever style you decide upon, that look can be further enhanced by the type of shutter hinges used.