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While the original plantation shutters were more practical than decorative, modern day plantation shutters come in a variety of styles. For example, most plantation shutters installed in homes these days are installed on the inside of the window, whereas originally plantation shutters were installed on the outside and were used primarily to protect the house from hurricanes and other bad weather, dust storms, etc.
One thing that remains the same in some instances is the type of wood they are built out of. In the olden days, hard woods found on the plantation were cut down and made into plantation shutters. These days it is also very easy and common to find these shutters made out of hard wood. But you can also have them made from faux wood as well as other materials too. So the concept of plantation shutters being something practical and serviceable has shifted to where they are now considered highly decorative in most situations.
If you are wondering exactly what plantation shutters are, they are shutters made from individual louvers that are set into panels. The louvers themselves can vary in size, anywhere from two to four inches wide. The panels of these interior plantation shutters are generally customized according to the actual window size and length or are made to fit standard window sizes.
As mentioned above, their name originated from their being primarily made and used on plantations during the early pioneer days of the US. They provided protection from storms and other adverse weather conditions and also doubled up as a safety measure, keeping the property safe from robbers and thieves. Of course, they also provided privacy for the plantation owners families, as the shutters could be closed up whenever privacy was needed.