The Look of Louvered Doors
Shutters are the inspiration behind furniture with louvered cabinet doors. This detail gives furniture a casual, yet sophisticated style that is reminiscent of days gone by.
It is believed that shutters were first used in ancient Greece in order to provide light control, ventilation and protection. Those first shutters were likely constructed with fixed louvers made out of marble. Eventually, wood started to replace marble as a more suitable material for production. Designers started developing movable louvers to allow more control of the light and air entering a room. With the louvers pointed in the downward direction, the shutters also shed rainwater.
As settlers colonized America, they brought shutters to the New World. Traditional shutters often found in the northeastern states trace their roots to England, where a narrow louver was used.
Later, decadent mansions in the South used shutters with wider louvers. The term "plantation shutters" is used for this style. Plantation shutters were almost always painted white.
For generations, people have selected louvered wood shutters for their windows because of the durability, classic style and easy maintenance.
Over time, louvers have been used in more applications than just window shutters. Many utility rooms or laundry areas have doors that are louvered to allow proper ventilation. Closet doors often have louvered panels that prevent clothes from smelling stale. Vents for heating and air conditioning also feature louvers so that air is directed out into rooms.
Louvered doors on furniture are mainly used for decorative purposes. However, if they are featured on entertainment or computer furniture, the louvers also help to ventilate the hot air that is generated by electronic devices such as televisions, DVD players and computer systems.