Thursday, November 11, 2010

Plantation Shutters - the solution to my design dilemma?

Morning stylemeisters, I have a favour to ask - I need some unbiased and honest feedback from you! I have a little dilemma that I've been mulling over for quite a while now, and I think I've come up with a solution, but you guys have so many fabulous ideas I want to run it by you first.

On the back wall of my kitchen, the previous owners have left a cutout between it and the formal living area. Take a look:

It's actually shown best in this 'stunning' before shot :) For those of you not familiar my kitchen makeover, you can pop over here and here for all the deets.

So - my dilemma is this: the cutout is great for the following reasons:
  • It opens up the kitchen to the rest of the house
  • Keeping an eye on the goings on of the teenagers - v.important 
  • Excellent for looking over the shoulder of said teenagers while they chat on their laptops (but don't tell them) 
  • Air flow and ventilation, especially in summer
  • Keeping an eye on the tv while cooking dinner
The problem? Well, it does limit the options as far as separating the formal areas from the kitchen/family area, it's not great for heating in winter, as the warmth from the open fireplace is lost up into the cathedral ceilings. And from a purely aesthetic point of view, it makes the formal living room a horror to decorate! So what else is there to do when you need some inspiration but scour the net for stylish examples, and this is what I found:

Stunning right? This is the only image I've ever found of a cutout wall between the kitchen and formal living area - all the others have opened to either a dining or family room. But this ticks all the boxes as far as I'm concerned - the opening is now a stylish feature in itself, and doesn't detract from the design of the living room at all. Of course, it doesn't hurt that the living area is gorgeous in its own right, but you get my drift. Here are a couple of similar pics...

source unkown

and hey - Cam and Mitchell have one too! From one of the best tv shows ever, Modern Family. 

via here

So - over to you, what do you think? I'm thinking I'll add bifold plantation shutters, so I have the option of closing the room off in winter, when I'd like a little separation from the formal areas, but maybe you have another solution? Or you have a photo stashed away in your files of just the thing? All suggestions will be gratefully received, so fire away!


  1. I think the Bi-fold plantation shutters are a great idea.

  2. Hello
    I would go the plantation shutter route. I would highly recommend you measure and fit yourself (I measured for a whole house of blinds and shutters and only got one window wrong!) Seeing as you are in Brisbane they may be able to offer more help measuring and fitting, but I found them to be the cheapest around, plus the quality and finish was great.
    Good luck

  3. Ok Kerri, since you asked. I've been thinking that Cam and Mitchell should close off their pass through for quite a while now.

    I would close it off. Here's why.

    1. From a design standpoint I think it throws off the balance of your kitchen. With a large gap on the right, it looks a bit like there's something missing,

    2. That wall is a focal wall of your kitchen. If you walled up the opening, you could do simple floating shelves or an antique cabinet of some kind in that space, providing a lovely focal point and creating a more balanced wall. Open shelves would work well with your open cabinet on the left.

    3. The view into the living room with the TV is not a great one from the kitchen, and I am sure in the living room, having a full wall would look much better on that side.

    4. Your kids and their friends may like some privacy. Likewise you may enjoy having it a little more private yourelf. I bet you have good kids and they aren't up to anything you need to keep an wye on that much.

    I am opinionated, I know, but if it was my house, that's what I would do.


  4. I love the shutters and I think it's totally in keeping with the Driftwood styling.

    Felicity x

    PS It never ceases to amaze me how a load of white paint can totally transform and improve to high heavens the heaviness of woodgrain. Loving your kitchen. x

  5. I like the shutters, but would also consider sliding barn doors (do you know what I mean by that?). I think your inspiration photos are great.

  6. I think you've solved the problem with the shutters. The image you have with the blue chairs is gorgeous. However, if you want that seperation you need something. I think the shutters will look perfect with your style and colour scheme. Modern Family is hilarious! x

  7. Kerri, I think it is a fantabulous idea!
    In my previous life as a building designer I had a few couples decide on this option in bathrooms / ensuites and work it into the kitchen as well. It looks sensational. Use a semi gloss for easy cleaning. You are onto a winner here for sure.

  8. I looovvvve that image you have posted with the blue sofa...that is a perfect example.
    Yes I think shutters would be perfect for all the reasons you mentioned.
    P.S. I looove Cam and Mitchell, they are my fave Tv characters.

  9. Plantation shutters are a great idea. Sorry I don't have any suggestions or hidden gems in my picture colllection but I simply had to say (again) how fabulous that kitchen looks now. Amazing job. A x

  10. Hi Kerri, we had the very same large gap but was between the dining and my end room still don't know what to call this end room in my home. So a few weeks ago we decided to install some plantation shutters to this space. What a difference it has made. Very classy and very appealing to the eye. I can close it off or open it up and will be great in winter to keep the heat in the family room. Would you believe I got mine from ebay and the handy hubby cut the wall slightly to accmmodate the shutters. I will have to send you a picture or blog about it soon. Good luck and I'm sure it will just finish off your kitchen nicely. Sandy x

  11. I'm loving your train of thought Kerri. I'm a huge fan of plantation shutters and think they would look amazing in this space. The last image you have is a great reference! Keep us updated xx

  12. Sounds like the perfect solution! You will have the best of both worlds with the shutters open or closed and I think it will really suit your kitchen. let us know what you decide!

  13. I am all for the plantations shutters Kerri, I think that would look fantastic. I also spy a little apothecary jar with coffee pods - very clever idea. Is that a recent 'run don't walk' purchase perhaps? ;-)

  14. Bifold shutters sounds like the perfect option to me Kerri. I think it would solve all the problems and I can't think of a better solution. I wish I had a little a cut out thing like that in my kitchen. Apparently there used to be a little servery window but the last owners covered it up.
    You know, I still go WOW when I see your kitchen makeover - you are amazing!

  15. Hi Kerri. No one's ever called me a stylemeister before, thanks for that:o)
    Bifold plantation shutters all the way!!!! (in my humble opinion).

  16. I love you kitchen! I love the shutters too! But I just love shutters, period. I think that they would be great, not only functional but fabulous!! Oh, and Modern Family is one of the best shows!

  17. I know if I had shutters they would only be closed when I was in a major grump...
    what about shelves, even glass shelves, with Nice Things on them? your pass through just seems a bit large and bare~

  18. I think the plantation shutters would look brilliant & will fit in beautifully with your fabulous kitchen. I look forward to the decision.


  19. Oh, the bifold plantation shutters look fab, Kerri - then you have the best of both worlds. J x

  20. First of all I LOVE all of your inspiration photos...and Modern Family of course!

    I think shutters would be beautiful. My parents had an opening between their family room and kitchen and they used shutters to create some privacy and separation between the two worked great and looked wonderful!

    Kat :)

  21. Yes, I am with the masses. Plantations. I saw on a blog somewhere, where you buy a wooden slatted door and glue a wooden rod down the centre to make it look just like the ones that can be adjusted up and down. Apparently a bit cheaper than the real plantations.

  22. I'm sure you'll know what I'll say - do the shutters! I love shutters, there is hardly a room in my house that doesn't have planatation shutters, in fact someone referred to our house the other day as "you know, the house with all the shutters" :D. I have a cut out between our kitchen/family room and the media room and we put shutters in there too, and they look fab. Oh and I love the idea of bifold shutters, I think that would look brilliant! x

  23. Firstly, it was so good to see your kitchen makeover did such a fabulous job. I think plantation shutters are incredibly stylish, always have! And it seems to me that they would suit that space really well. The only other suggestion I have is a folding screen which I guess is a little less permanent. But that's probably silly! And you have impeccable sitcom taste!

  24. i love the idea of the shutters and think they would go perfectly with your style. They would definitely add and not take-away in the style stakes I think! I also love the idea that you can shut the shutters in a 'do not disturb' kind of way when you need to hide away!

  25. I vote for anything bifold for this lovely space, you will still be able to keep a watchful eye on the kids, and keep the heat in the living area in winter.
    Suzy xxx

  26. If you want to close it off the shutters are a great option. I actually like it open though. In my last renovation I got in to big trouble from the body corporate for knocking an opening between the lounge & the kitchen. They were concerned the 7 storey building could collapse - details lol. Of course I put in the right lintel to make sure my upstairs neighbour didn't just drop in- if you know what I mean lol. If you want to see photos let me know & I can email before and afters to you lovely:)

  27. Kerri, great idea. We invested in plantation shutters and have never looked back.

  28. Oh you're funny. I love everyone's replies too. Ain't they great?! Can't wait to see what you do... Bead curtain? Bar doors? Rolladoor? Flystrips? Glass bricks? ;o)

  29. I love the shutter idea, and I've wanted a "pass through" that I could close off at will ever since Mary Tyler Moore had hers! When I was in design school and had to design a studio apartment, in retrospect it looked a lot like Mary's :)



Related Posts with Thumbnails