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The Truth Behind Ancient Marble Shutters

The history of the beautiful solid wood shutters available today spans thousands of years and several fundamental changes in purpose, material and positioning in a home.

One of the most fascinating examples of this is how the first shutters ever made were made in Ancient Greece between 800BC and 500BC using, of all materials possible, marble.

Marble is a heavy, multicoloured stone that is more associated with Greek statues and column construction than it is with window coverings.

The reason for this is that it is especially heavy, requires special mounting points on a house and has louvres that are fixed in place, simply because no mechanical system would make them easy to move.

Because of this, Greek shutters were not really used to control light levels but instead were used to provide ventilation in the hot Mediterranean climate and protect against strong winds, dust and rain that were common in coastal towns.

However, because marble is also very expensive, it was typically only used for this purpose by the upper class and since the blinds were pointed downwards, they did not allow much light in. However, whilst marble was not the right material, the idea did have value in itself.

Either the Greeks or other Mediterranean countries would replace the marble with wood, which was not only cheaper and easier to build with but also allowed for movable louvres, which meant that for the first time a shutter could shut out as much or as little light as the homeowner wanted.

Eventually, as the centuries progressed, shutters would spread across Europe, most commonly in the form of solid panels for security and block out light, switching from helping air to circulate to helping to keep warm air in at night.

As glass would take over as the window covering of choice, shutters changed from being purely practical to being more decorative in nature, and to this day they are still used as a stylish way to control the levels of light in a room.

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