Thursday, February 20, 2014

I dreamt of plantation shutters

I have always loved plantation shutters, well, ever since I first became aware of them that is, back when I first arrived in Austin and worked for a window treatment company, then in its infancy. When I bought my first home I could not even think about plantation shutters due to the cost, instead I had Mark (owner of said window treatment company), install shades for me throughout the house, these were still serving their purpose when I finally sold the house 12 years later.

By then I had met and married my husband, and in order to be able to offer his mother a home, we moved to a larger house. This time, with many more windows and an immediate need to cover them, we opted for a temporary solution and purchased over the counter shades with the intention of upgrading when we finally came to that item in our long list of 'to do's.

Three years later I finally realized my dream and my home now has plantation shutters throughout. I did not get that window treatment company I worked for to install these shutters, because Mark is no longer running a company in its infancy, it has grown up and blossomed into a major force in the Interior Design world in Austin, Cravotta Interiors is way out of my league now. But we were determined to support home industry and buy American and we found a local company in Georgetown who manufacture and install plantation shutters, Southern Shutters not just an all American product, but made here in Texas, and while we could have done the job cheaper with a foreign product, we have long supported the buy American policy and this was no exception, our reward is the extremely good service and first class materials and workmanship.

We started slowly a year after we moved in, in part to avoid having to pay out a huge amount up front, and in part because we had an immediate need to cover two windows in our living room that had an arch and so were difficult to cover with over the counter solutions, and because we wanted to be sure we were happy with Southern Shutters. We also had one of the spare bedrooms upstairs done as it has a small bay and was also impossible to cover with over the counter shades. Southern Shutters matched the color of our woodwork, then they sent us a sample piece of wood painted with the paint they planned to use on the finished shutters for us to compare with the existing woodwork. They did not continue to manufacture until we returned the sample with our approval.

We were very happy. The shutters were (and still are) even better than we had hoped. We followed up some months later with the dining area and the dining room, leaving my mother in law's master suite the only windows on the ground floor not yet done.

At last we took the plunge and got the rest of the entire house done, it was a big upheaval, particularly for my mother in law as she had to vacate her room for most of the day, as all of the windows needed to be accessible to the installers, so computers and TVs needed to be unplugged and moved and any furniture close to the windows also had to be moved out of the way. Worst of all, heavy exercise equipment needed to be moved clear of the windows in our workout room. My husband and I moved what we could the night before, at least we moved what he couldn't move without help. He took the he day of the shutters off work and rose early in the moving to do the rest of the preparation while I stayed well out of the way at work.

During the morning of the installation I was working away, but my mind was partially preoccupied with imagining how much of the installation might have been completed and how it must look, when my husband called, I was excited to hear how it was looking but instead he asked me if I had heard from Southern Shutters because apparently they had gone out of business. I was horrified and devastated, I couldn't believe it and I said as much. He replied that I was right to not believe it because they were at the house and the installation was well under way and looking good. I admit it, I called him an 'A$$ hole!' I don't think it is a credit to his sense of humor that he thought it was hilarious, but I guess at least one of us was amused and luckily for him, I don't often hold grudges, and even luckier, for both of us, my windows were being well treated.

Coming home to the finished installation was amazing, like the fairies had visited while I was away and magically transformed my window treatments into a dream come true.

Some photos (and the two bedrooms are great also I didn't bother taking photos). I need to reiterate that Southern Shutters of Georgetown TX are terrific. I would and do recommend them to everyone.

Mildred's windows before above, after below

Office before
The office looks great too
Now we have to put the exercise equipment back in place

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