Tips for a stress free school year Posted on 1 Sep 14:11 , 0 comments

Shutters and children: A winning combination

Interior shutters with hidden louvres in a children's room

As a mother of four (now grown-up) children, I know the feeling only too well; the end of a long summer, filled with friends, excitement and holidays - energy levels begin to drop!

I remember needing to delve deep into the energy reserves just to get them ready for the new term, new shoes, clothes, pens and pencils the list is endless. Finally the day arrives, the children go back and a mix of emotions well up - relief and the empty missing feeling, I was lucky in that I always had my fifth child; The Shutter Shop, to keep me going!

As owner of The Shutter Shop, an interior shutter company which I set up when my eldest was only five, almost thirty years ago, I knew that the juggling of work and holidays puts even the most energetic and organised of mothers to the test!

Going back to work to focus on selling interior shutters and wooden venetian blinds into the London shutter market, gave me a different set of questions to think about but this time from interior designers and retail customers. I was replacing times tables with CAD drawings, spelling and grammar with panel configurations and geography questions with colour charts.  Even though the kids may have gone back to school they are still at the forefront of every parent’s mind so I thought I would share my experience of some of the most common questions I get when discussing shutters, blinds and children.

Shutters, a darker room and a good night’s sleep

If your children are anything like mine, the moment the sun is up, they are up! While there were cost benefits over other window solutions, all my children had shutters in their rooms growing up. Shutters block out about 97% of the light coming through the window on their own, but what I wouldn’t have given for our integrated blackout blinds to have been invented twenty something years ago!

Room darkening honeycomb blinds for shutters

Game proof shutters

I have been extremely fortunate that my son Ben (now 30) joined The Shutter Shop 18 months ago. He is now fully in control and running and growing our business with energy, but as the keen sportsman in his youth, he really put the robustness of our product to the test. Over the years any ball you can name has hit our shutters at some point during their life span. While I would love to say that our louvres can stand up to a rugby ball being hurtled at them, alas that is not the case and we have had to replace louvres in our shutters as we have for many customers. Fear not though it is possible and is much easier than you might think! However, they do take a fair bit of rough and rumble and I often have customers coming into replace shutters after fifteen years of use and while the guarantee is three years, the quality of the product means they will last!

Fiona Kelly mother of four children and owner of the Shutter Shop

Child safety first

The safety of children is of paramount importance to us and great care is taken to ensure that no toxic materials are used in the production of our shutters and that all our products adhere to strict government guidelines but we now have the ability to add key locks to shutters to give added security and as all our blinds come with child safety mechanisms they should give some peace of mind!

 venetian blinds by the shutter shop

Controlling the light for study

Today, children of all ages use computers on a daily basis from playing games to home work and revising for exams. Extensive viewing of the computer screen can lead to eye discomfort, fatigue, blurred vision and other symptoms of eyestrain. These symptoms may be caused by poor lighting, glare, an improper work station set-up. Ideally, the computer screen should be positioned in a way so that windows are not in front or behind it, but on its side. Also the adjustment of the interior light can make a big difference. Interior window shutters are our best allies, because they control the natural light in the room easing the strain on the eyes with just a small amount of effort like adjusting the louvres. Just a simple precaution can help to reinforce the appropriate viewing habits and assure that there is less strain on the eyes.

 children's room with window shutters

I hope these little pointers helps those who, like me, are constantly thinking about their children, but don’t worry unduly and when the children go back to school make sure you enjoy the space and do something that YOU want to do! Your energy levels will need topping up before you know it they will be back again!

Working and having children can be very tough, especially during the long holidays, but the rewards and confidence that it gives any person as an individual is enormous.  I would like to think that I have always had a great relationship with all my children and they are now all my best friends and we have fun together.