Tuesday, July 13, 2010

RECLAIMED RUSTICS ~ The Wooden Shutter

The salvage find featured this week is the old wooden shutter. Often found in matching sets, old wooden shutters are generally inexpensive and fairly common.
Some say the shutter originated in 17th century France. When Louis XIV lived at Versailles, one of his favourite pastimes was to admire the beautiful women as they bathed in ponds around his gardens. Rumour has it, after noticing that the women also attracted the attention of the soldiers stationed to protect the palace, Louis XIV had shutters installed around the garden wall. This allowed him to continue his peeping without worrying about a flustered army of men being distracted from their duties.

When looking for shutters, there is a wide range of colour, size and character to choose from. It is only important that the shutters be cleaned thoroughly and for any unnecessary hardware (such as hinges) to be removed. This is especially important if the shutter is going to be mounted on a wall. A coat of paint may be applied to freshen up the shutter and give it a more refined look, however, I prefer to keep the original paint for a more distressed, rustic look.

There are many different uses for shutters and they are an inexpensive way to add character to any home. A series of three tall, narrow shutters can be hinged together to create a room divider as seen in the photo above. Or, as seen in the second photo, a shutter can be suspended horizontally to create a floating shelf - perfect for a small end table or display shelf. I have mine mounted to my kitchen wall (below). It's used as a mail slot for various articles such as recipes, photos, old postcards and important invitations or letters. It's a great use of space without taking up a lot of room and it instantly adds personality to any space!


  1. very nice post ... i am planing to re renovate my house and i was confused about the old wooden shutters and i was looking for some new designs. This post has helped me how to re use my old wooden shutters.

  2. Nice post about shuttering, Last year I had renovated my house our outdoor wooden shutters are milled from solid cedars and other premium hard woods, and are the most authentic and elegant hand crafted wooden outdoor shutters available on the market and I am happy with them.

  3. How beautiful you turned it out...just beautiful the way it is...

    plantation shutters clayton, ca

  4. Have you mounted anything to the back so that papers/mail don't fall through the slot?

    Love your idea, thanks.

    1. Hello,

      I didn't have to, as the slats are so tight together. The cards just stay in place. However, you could always attach a piece of board to the back if your shutter doesn't completely close - many don't.

      Hope that helps!

  5. Just beautiful shutters, I am looking for old ones everywhere but can not seem to find any, looking around Victoria and Adelaide areas... Wanting to be able to use them on a home in their original state.... Do you know of ideal places to find these types of shutters?

    Thanks so much!


Thanks for leaving your comments! I always love reading them. - Maria