Shutters for Colchester Barn Conversion
In August 2014 Indigo Blinds & Shutters were asked to install Plantation Shutters in a barn conversion in a small village just outside Colchester in Essex. Our customer was looking to create a modern feel whilst maintaining the beautiful features of the old barn. She was also after a practical and aesthetically pleasing window covering that would enhance each room. Another requirement was to have complete blackout in the bedrooms and the cinema room, although Plantation Shutters are particularly good at providing blackout, they do not prevent all light from entering the room. To solve this, we installed battery operated remote control ecopleat pleated blinds behind the Shutters in the relevant rooms. These blinds can be operated at the press of a button and require no additional wiring to be installed. This type of home automation is becoming very popular and blended well with the other modern features in this barn conversion.
Although our customer was looking for a high quality and top end finish, she was also trying to keep within a budget. After much discussion, she decided to opt for our MDF Shutter. Our ‘Seattle’ MDF range is our entry level Shutter product, its has a tough, durable finish and can be fitted to almost any window. It has it limitations though, in large windows and patio doors MDF can prove far too heavy on the standard hinge system. In this instance, we install a tracking system. Much like bi-fold patio doors, tracking Shutters have a top and bottom track and each panel is connected to a wheeled carrier inside the tracks that supports the weight of the panels. This allows us to use MDF Shutters in much larger windows and doors. Tracking may also be selected if you wish to fold all panels to one side, with the standard hinge system we can only hinge a maximum of 4 panels to one side.
MDF Shutters are also not suitable for bathrooms as they do not tolerate moisture. To solve this we installed our ‘Hollywood’ ABS Shutter which looks almost identical and is completely waterproof, these are more expensive than MDF but were only needed in the smaller bathroom windows.
Colour is always an important decision, it often depends on what style you are looking to achieve among other things. The MDF range our customer had chosen is only available in 5 shades of whites and creams, to expand colour options she would have to have upgraded to our ‘Boston Premium’ hardwood range. After much though, she decided ‘Pearl’ was the perfect colour to compliment the barns new decor. ‘Pearl’ is a light ivory colour and is available in all of our Shutter ranges.
It is often advisable to consider using lighter shades of colour if you are concerned about lack of light. White or cream Shutters often bounce light into the room creating a dappled, airy feel.
To keep to the contemporary feel, our customer chose to have a concealed, or hidden tilt system. This is where there is no visible tilt rod on the shutter but an internal mechanism that links the louvres so that they operate together. This option is ofter considered a more modern approach to Shutter design.
Pearl hinges were chosen to match the colour of the Shutters.
The master bedroom had the largest window, 3.5 metres wide by 2.5 metres drop. We installed a tracking system with 4 panels folding left and 2 panels folding right. We also incorporated two dividing rails in the panels to match with the window transoms, this also has the added benefit of being able to open each set of louvres independently, giving you much more light and privacy control.
One problem we faced in the master bedroom was the deep pile carpet. This causes a problem when fitting a bottom track. Although it is not completely necessary to install the bottom track, we prefer to as it gives the shutters more rigidity and strength. What we did to overcome this was to install a wooden infill section in the same colour of the shutters fitted directly to the floor boards and then had the carpet fitter return to finish the carpet up to it. This gave us a good solid base to install the bottom track and it looked great.
The Other Bedrooms and Hallway
The other rooms continued the design throughout the house. We matched the number of panels with the window configuration and in the larger, taller bedroom window we ‘split’ the louvres to allow the top and bottom set of louvres to operate independently without a dividing rail. This option is only available with the Hidden tilt system.
For the bathrooms we couldn’t use MDF. MDF does not tolerate moisture and should never be installed where moisture is likely to be present. Typical examples of where MDF shutter shouldn’t be installed are Bathrooms, Wetrooms, Utility Rooms and Conservatories that are prone to a lot of condensation. For this purpose we have our ‘Hollywood’ ABS shutter. Made from a similar material to composite front doors, our Hollywood shutter range is 100% waterproof and looks almost identical to our standard shutters.
If you are looking for Shutter fitted in Colchester or anywhere else in Essex, we would be delighted to visit your home, show you our range of products and provide you with a quote. Give us a call on 01787 828672. Or fill in our online form and we will get back to you immediately.