The modern farmhouse concept blends classic features of traditional rural homes with contemporary elements. Houses of the early American farm were hand-built by the landowners strictly for utilitarian purposes. The farmhouse was the central source of rest, replenishment and security focused on maintenance and management of the land around it. Construction materials were practical and subject to availability. Rooflines were straight and simple. Clapboard siding was predominantly painted colonial white and windows were strategically placed to efficiently infuse natural light. Porches provided shade and a place to remove muddy boots. Exterior farmhouse shutters managed sunlight, encouraged air circulation, and protected windows from severe weather or uninvited guests.
A majority of exterior farmhouse shutters installed utilized slats, or louvers, to maximize function. Multiple tasks were required of these invaluable window accessories, but they were primarily installed to regulate temperature. Intense summer heat could largely be reduced by closing exterior shutters. East and west panels prevented direct sunlight from entering the home, while slightly opened louvers allowed for air to pass. Farmhouse shutters could then fully swing open with hand-forged hinges for maximum access. Shutters remained open with basic shutter dogs that locked the panels in place. Solid wood farmhouse shutters added a layer of well needed insulation to the window for cold winter conditions. Sleet, snow, strong winds and hail threatened the constitution of primitive window glass without the welcomed barrier of exterior shutters.
As discussed, louvered exterior shutter were favored because of their versatility. Yet rustic board and batten shutters were easy to construct and performed many of required tasks. Board and batten shutters were built like barnwood doors. Vertical boards were positioned and secured with horizontal battens. Spaces could be left between the boards for a limited breeze to pass.
The modern farmhouse home has come to adopt the rugged board and batten shutter. The simple straightforward approach perfectly contrasts contemporary features that may have been infused into the overall design. Modern farmhouse shutters rarely require operation, eliminating the need to consider venting, light control, or security. To complete the appearance, installation with authentic exterior shutter hardware is recommended.
Paint colors were restricted in the late-1800s and early 1900s so the available palette was limited. Black exterior shutters were the standard. It is recommended for vintage farmhouses to remain historically accurate. However, modern farmhouses have leniency in the paint color selected.
Adaptations of the farmhouse style are many and varied. Many consider the French farmhouse style the original benchmark, while others champion the American version. Both are beautiful in their own right.
ShutterLand can supply and advise on the purchase of exterior farmhouse shutters.