Window dressings as we know them are not a 21st century invention. Window shutters came before glass in windows and Venetian blinds appeared in the 18th century. As you can see, shutters and blinds are by no means modern, although the designs, materials and craftsmanship of the products you can buy today definitely are. At Oh So Shutters in Brighton and Hove, we have 25 years’ experience in the design, manufacture and fitting of roller blinds, wooden blinds and wooden shutters, including solid panel shutters. This guide will give you an idea of where modern window coverings originated.
If you are looking for quality shutters or blinds, including motorised blinds, in South East England, do not hesitate to give us a call on 03300 583225. We cover Hove and all the surrounding areas.
Before glass was used in windows, shutters provided privacy, security and a level of insulation. They first appeared in ancient Greece, where they also offered sun protection and ventilation. These first shutters were made from marble but as their popularity spread across the Mediterranean, wood became more commonly used.
In medieval Europe, solid panel shutters blocked out light and adverse weather. These window shutters also had an iron bar for security. Glass windows started to be used in Tudor and Elizabethan times but because they were so expensive, they were reserved for the top half of windows, with a shutter below.
In the 16th century, shutters started to become more decorative instead of just functional. Shutters continued to be a popular feature of homes throughout the Regency, Edwardian and Victorian eras. Many buildings in Brighton and Hove are typical of these periods.
Despite their name, Venetian blinds are commonly thought to have originated in Persia. They grew in popularity in France and across Europe through the late 1700s and were also found in the United States during this period. The mechanism which allows for adjustment of the slats was invented in 1841.
When it comes to fabric roller blinds, the first real example are Scotch Holland blinds. In the early 1700s, Scotch Holland linen was produced in Scotland, using linen from Holland. The roller mechanisms were very simple; a wooden bar with cords and the fabric lay in folds on the windowsill. Spring mechanisms appeared in the 1800s and eventually motorised blinds were invented.
Both window shutters and blinds remain in common use and you will see at least one or the other in most homes in Hove, the surrounding areas and across the UK. Wooden louvered and solid panel shutters provide function and elegant style in period properties as well as modern homes.
Today, manual blinds with spring mechanisms are still popular, as are Venetian blinds with pull cords and rods. However, the design of roller blinds has extended to motorised blinds which are operated via a remote control.