I’ll let you into a little secret. I loathe and detest the windows and patio doors in our house. If we had the money, I wouldn’t think twice – I’d change them all in a heartbeat. The UPVC white frames with their faux Georgian strips bother me every time I glance out of the window. So when The Shutter Store got in touch to see if I’d like to review a set of shutters, I almost snapped their hand off.
My only hesitation was ‘which window?’ I was worried it would look really odd just doing one window in isolation, but came up with the idea to do our patio door that leads out to our side return instead. These doors sit between our kitchen dining area, and the living space (our ground floor is largely open plan) and the view out of them isn’t particularly inspiring. They look out on next door’s garage wall and a super-ugly 1970s concrete wall (a garden makeover is in the offing so hopefully this wall will be a distant memory soon), and the idea of adding shutters to them was very appealing.
We were trying out The Shutter Store’s DIY range of shutters. These are still made to measure, but you have to do the measuring up and installation yourself (or hire a carpenter to do it for you). The bonus is that it means the shutters come in way cheaper – a great option if you love the look of shutters but have been put off by the high price tag. We were nervous about the measuring up, but there are comprehensive measuring guides on The Shutter Store’s website to help, and we followed one of these carefully. We ordered colour samples so that we could choose the shade of white that sits best with our white kitchen (if you go for the wood shutters you can pay extra to get these colour-matched to Dulux Trade or Farrow and Ball shades). There were also other design decisions to be made, such as number of panels and slat size. After triple-checking our measurements, we put in our order, and then waited for the shutters to be made and delivered.
We set aside a day earlier this week to install the shutters. We were both expecting the process to be pretty involved, but actually it was incredibly straightforward. Ben watched the installation video guide on the website and then we were good to go (after a quick phone call to The Shutter Store to double check a fixing). First we assembled the frame and fixed this to the recess. We lined the panels up and assembled the hinges between the panels (couldn’t be easier) . The panels attach to the frame with more hinges and that was it, done. It took us no more than two hours from start to finish.
I wasn’t prepared for how much more spacious the shutters would make that area feel. They’re a smart and chic solution that adds elegance to the space, and gives it a much more polished and finished look. I love the way the light pours through them, and the shadows they create on the ground and the dining table. They’re very easy to manoevre and can be folded back if we want to open up the doors, or closed up at night when we’re sat at the table having dinner.
The only one negative comment that I have is that the finish doesn’t seem very tough (especially not with young children around), and we already have a few nicks showing on the frame. Hopefully this will get better as we all get used to using them, and I’ll touch up the nicks we have with some white paint.
All in all, we’re really impressed with the product and the service. The shutters have made such a positive impact on the space that I’m really keen to add a matching set of shutters to the patio doors round the corner in our living area. Always thinking about the next project….
Product details: Our shutters are two-panel, full height with a rail. The finish is MDF Pure White, the hinges are stainless steel, and the slat size is 89mm.
Oh, and if you’d like to see a video of the whole process, that’s what this week’s Heather’s Space vlog is all about…
Disclosure: The Shutter Store provided the shutters for this post free of charge, but all opinions are my own and are honest.