Cafe Shutters

Cafe shutters solve a privacy/light control dilemma in French cafes. Will it solve your dilemma, too?

cafe shutters

French cafe owners were faced with a problem. They wanted to provide privacy for their clients but the window coverings blocked out the sunlight.

How can they let light into the cafe while protecting the privacy of their clients?

The solution: They put shutters only on the bottom half of the window so while the occupants were kept private, light was still able to come via the upper half.

This ingenious idea is not only used in cafes, it's used anywhere where privacy and light are both of utmost importance. The key is that these shutters cover only the lower part of the window allowing full light to come in from the top while providing full privacy at the bottom; a very sought after solution for window treatments.

Another time when half height shutters where extremely useful was when glass had just become available and was still very expensive;  as a way to save money people would just spend for glass on the upper half of the window and continued to cover the unglazed portion on the bottom with shutters.

curtains and shutters

Any shutter style can be transformed into a half-size shutter; just put it into the lower half of the window and there you have it. The upper empty half can be left bare or decorated with a fabric valance.

Cafe shutters are easy to install since they don't need to be fitted exactly at the height; wherever the top of the shutter ends that will be the shutter height. You also don't need to be particular about size, just use a standard size, you're anyway not going to fill up the whole window.``

For more versatility, you can get shutters that have an upper and lower part. You can open the upper part by day for light and close it at night for safety while keeping the lower ones closed for privacy at all times. You can also adjust the louvers for the in-betweens.

Another pretty twist is putting in stained glass into the upper shutters and louvers into the lower ones for a cafe-like shutter.


To purchase shutters in the New York, New Jersey, Long Island Metro Area click here.



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Specialty Shapes

Do you have an odd shaped window and are wondering how to cover it?

Check out our window treatment ideas for specialty shaped windows.

You will find:

  • Separate pages for each shape window ex. arch, trapezoid, etc.
  • Ideas that allow you to get the most use out of your window
  • How not to lose the unique architectural look of your window
  • How to protect your window's view while protecting your privacy

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