Our Clement Browne Shutters!

Throughout the renovation process, there are certain installations that completely transform a room. When it came to our recent lounge renovation, we previously had the installation of the bespoke fitted units, and the custom limestone fireplace that made the biggest difference to the overall look and feel of the space, however nothing came close to preparing for one of the final finishing touches that would create such statement from both the inside of the house and out – shutters! 

MrB and I had decided years ago, when we first bought the house, that we would eventually install shutters throughout. We love everything about them – the cosiness, style, and the look of them from the street! Finding the right company however, was one of the most important decisions. We wanted to make sure that the shutters were of the best quality, and that would last the test of time. We also knew that neither of us would be capable of installing them ourselves, so had to find a company that we trusted to provide the full service from consultation, through to installation. 

Completely coincidently whilst renovating the lounge, we were approached by Clement Browne about their range of made to measure bespoke shutters, and MrB and I immediately fell in love! Clement Browne supply and install a whole range of the most beautiful bespoke shutters, and are also proud suppliers of John Lewis & Partners, who we have shopped with for years and years, so we knew the quality would be exceptional.

Our Home Design Appointment

The first stage in the process was to arrange our free no obligation Home Design Appointment, and what an enjoyable experience it was! From the start, everything felt so personal. Instead of the usual sales people turning up on your doorstep trying to flog you everything you can’t afford, Clement Browne send out one of their many Master of Product, who is not only incredibly knowledgable on everything shutter related, but can advise which material, colour, and finish would best suit your room, making the whole process completely stress free. They also offer appointments up until 9pm to fit around any commitments you might have in the day, which meant that we didn’t have to worry about trying to take time off of work. 

After arranging the most convenient date and time for us, and having been allocated our own Master of Product, we only had to wait a few days for our Home Design Appointment with Dale.

From the moment I saw the van pull up on the drive, to the moment it pulled away an hour later, I felt like we were in safe hands. Dale was so friendly, and made the whole process feel like we had a friend over visiting. The appointment began by us showing Dale the room that we had chosen to have the shutters installed in, explaining roughly the types of ideas we had. Dale immediately began drawing illustrations of our windows with the type of shutters he not only recommended, but that complimented the ideas we had – and they were spot on! He had seen the design of the room, and matched the design of the shutters with it perfectly. Our square bay window in this room is unusually large – each pane of glass is bigger than normal, so we had to go with the Paulownia hardwood due to it’s light weight and durability – meaning it wouldn’t drop on the hinge as it was opened. We also had to decide how the shutters would open, and in what direction – I never thought I would have been so fussy about the direction of a shutter opening, but it took a good 10minutes to make a final decision that would give the best aesthetics as well as the best light. Dale helped with all of this, showing us examples of previous bay windows he had installed – making the decision a lot easier.

Once we had decided on the layout and openings of the shutters, we got down to the finer details. 

I had no idea how many variations of slat-size, and finish there were! Dale gave me every option available, and we scrutinised over each one, making sure we made the right decision. It was great to see that there were multiple options for different sized windows! The small slats on the shutters were perfect for smaller windows, and the largest were great for use on full height floor to ceiling doors/windows, so we naturally chose the medium size. (Although how beautiful are the solid panel shutters!! I now have my eyes on those for the back of the house!).

Deciding whether we wanted a centralised tilt-rod, or a hidden tilt mechanism so that the shutters open by moving the slats (connected by a concealed lever system!) wasn’t as easy as I first thought. Firstly, both look stunning, and either would have looked beautiful in the lounge! For me, this wasn’t a decision based on the convenience or usage, but more of an aesthetic one as it completely changes the finished look. I knew from Dales illustration that we would have a lot of shutter panels across the bay, and as a result of this we opted to not have the centralised tilt-rod for fear of it looking too fussy.

Then came the best bit (in my opinion anyway!) – choosing the colours and finishing touches! Dale explained that not only could we choose from over 30 paints and stains from the Clement Browne colour palette, but they also offer a custom colour matching service, meaning we could have had absolutely any colour we wanted, matched to anything we chose. We had already decided that we wanted to keep the shutters pure white, to compliment the radiator and quartz cabinet tops, and also keep the room bright and airy, so this was luckily an easy decision. 

However, one of the options I hadn’t even thought about, was choosing the colour of the hinges! I had no idea we could customise them in such a way that would make them feel truly bespoke to us. As we were going with the hardwood shutters, we had the option of all the hinge colours, however it is good to note that if you do go for the PVC shutters in a bathroom or kitchen, you will need to go for the stainless steel option due to the wet environment of the space. 

We knew exactly which ones we would be going for. Having already incorporated accents of brass throughout the lounge design, we were so excited to learn that we could carry this into the shutter design as well! Even though it is a small part of the overall design, having that tiny flash of brass as you open them makes them feel totally unique to us. 

Overall, the Home Design Appointment process was so simple and stress free with the help of Dale, our Master of Product. There was definitely a lot more decisions to be made than we first thought, but he made the process a relaxed and enjoyable one, and helped with any (and all) questions we had. 

If the outstanding service from the Home Design Appointment is anything to go by, then we’re excited for the installation!

Our final decision: Full height, Paulownia hardwood shutters with a concealed tilt-rod, in pure white, complimented with brass hinges. 

I can’t wait!! 

The Installation!

And just like that it was Installation day!!!

It felt like no time at all until our shutters were booked in for installation. Not only did the hardwood shutters only take 9 weeks to be made and installed {other companies have a minimum 12 week lead time!}, but they also managed to fit us in before Christmas! Normally the same Master of Product who completes the Home Design Appointment would come and install the shutters, however as it is so busy pre-Christmas, we were allocated another Master of Product – Andrew. 

At first I was apprehensive having someone different come to install the shutters, however from the moment he introduced himself (and met our pup Leo) it felt like we had known each other a life time! It was certainly clear how much of an importance Clement Browne place upon their customer service, and the individuals they employ – making the whole experience so much more relaxed and enjoyable. 

First things first, our whole lounge was protected (not easy with a 7ft Christmas tree in the middle of the room!) with cardboard and bubble wrap. I’m not going to lie, after having only just completed the lounge, I was a nervous wreck a the thought of moving it all around, but Andrew completely put me at ease and was so careful when moving everything. I’m not good with chaos, but I think my excitement levels about finally having shutters installed hugely outweighed any nerves I had. 

It was then time for the enormous frames to go in that house the shutters. Our bay window is really wide in this room, but Andrew had no issues getting it in place without damaging anything in the room. He took so much care over it, and really looked after our freshly painted walls – the result was that it fit seamlessly in place and complimented the bay window perfectly. Once the frame was secured in place, it was time to fit the actual shutters in place. 

WHAT A TRANSFORMATION!

I couldn’t believe how quickly the shutters were fitted! Within minutes, each shutter was secured in place, complete with the most beautiful brass hinges. Andrew then spent time showing me all of the different options we could have by manoeuvring the slats – fully shut, semi-private, fully open, and demonstrating how it would look to have the lower third fully shut and remaining open, 2 thirds semi-open and top open etc. as well as concertina-opening them fully – which I loved the look of so much! Every option made a completely different impact on the room, and gave the perfect finish to the space. It was exactly as we imagined! 

If you live in an older property, you will understand the frustration of coming across things like wonky walls, and dodgy wiring. Our window-sill also falls into this category, and is completely lop-sided – meaning we were left with quite a few gaps underneath the shutter frame in multiple places. However, Andrew reassured me this was completely normal, and began fitting little metal gadgets underneath the gaps to take the weight of the frame in the spaces where it wasn’t sat straight on the sill. He then boxed in and sealed the top and sides of the entire frame so that it ran flush to the ceiling and walls for the most seamless finish. 

Overall, it is safe to say both of us are completely over the moon with the finished result! We genuinely could not be happier with the shutters. For us, Clement Browne offered the ideal package of a trusted and respected brand, exceptional quality, and by far the most important in my eyes – outstanding customer service that felt both personal, and professional. 

Not only would I recommend them to everyone, but we are already booking in another Home Design Appointment for our newly renovated study and we are planning to use them for every room we complete in the house!

Xx

{*Clement Browne gifted us the shutters in exchange for this blog post, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.}

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This post has been written in collaboration with Clement Browne shuttters. The product was gifted in exchange for this post, however all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

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