Are you one of the 59% of Americans who intend to continue with the home improvement trend during 2021? In that case, you should put window shutters near the top of your list of renovations for the year.
Window shutters will help shield you from the summer sun, reducing your need for air-conditioning, and placing you bang on trend with the latest focus on reducing energy consumption. They’ll also add elegance and style to any space.
Here’s your guide to choosing window shutters to suit your needs and design style.
Exterior vs Interior Window Shutters
You can install decorative exterior shutters on virtually any kind of home. In areas where extreme weather incidents like hurricanes and tornadoes are the norm, these types of window shutters can help protect your windows from flying debris.
They also deter burglars to a degree.
Interior window shutters give you optimum control over light, airflow, and privacy. In winter, you can keep them closed to help trap warm air inside your home, in summer they provide shade and airflow when you open the slats.
How to Choose Window Shutters
When you first arrive at the store, you might find yourself overwhelmed with the variety of options available. If you want to save time and avoid making a costly mistake, it’s best to arrive prepared.
These are the things to consider when you’re deciding on the best window shutters for your home:
Shutter Styles for Exterior Shutters
One of the main considerations when it comes to these kinds of shutters is size. Even if you’re installing them for decorative purposes only, you should make sure they’re wide enough to close fully over your windows.
These are your options when it comes to choosing exterior shutter designs:
- Louvered shutters with angled slats for light and air
- Raised panel shutters have the appearance of cabinet doors
- Board and batten shutters with several boards held together by a Z-shape on the back
- Cut-out shutters are a type of custom exterior shutters with a cut-out design
- Scandinavian shutters for storm protection
If preferred you can combine some of these types of shutters. For example, you could choose any of these types with a cut-out design.
Interior Shutter Styles
Interior shutters are convenient and effective replacements for curtains and blinds. They’re usually made from lighter materials than their exterior counterparts.
These are the different types you can choose from:
- Café shutters with a louvered design that covers half the window
- Shaker style shutters like raised panel shutters with a flat body
- Tier on tier shutters have two tiers that operate independently
- Solid panel shutters with no slats or louvers
- Plantation shutters with tilted louvers
Plantation shutters are the most popular option for interiors thanks to the wide range of available materials and shutter blade sizes. They’re a versatile option that suits most homes.
Picking the Perfect Materials for Your Shutters
A major consideration when choosing window shutters is picking those made from materials that suit the style of your home. If you’re budget-conscious you might want to consider price versus maintenance costs as well as durability.
These are some of the available shutter materials today:
This is one of the best materials for plantation shutters, although you can get these types of shutters in any material. Wood shutters suit a home with a classic look, and you can also paint, stain, or shape wood to suit your preferences.
They’re not suited to bathrooms since wood doesn’t stand up to prolonged exposure to moisture. Wood shutters require ongoing maintenance to stay at their best.
Wood Composite Shutters
Composite shutters comprise medium-density fiberboard (MDF). Homeowners often choose this material because it’s economical and durable.
MDF’s a good alternative to wood shutters.
Plastic and Vinyl Shutters
Plastic can take a punch from the elements as well as moisture. They’re also affordable, easy to install, and require little maintenance.
You can get plastic shutters with a faux wood appearance or in any color you want.
Vinyl’s another good option for affordability and ease of maintenance, but it’s not as tough as plastic.
Made from aluminum or steel, hurricane shutters are lightweight, and you can install them both indoors and outdoors. They won’t crack, rot, or warp, but they can rust unless they’re treated with an anti-corrosive preparation.
Things to Consider When Choosing Window Shutters
Think carefully about your main reasons for installing shutters. You don’t want to arrive home only to discover your gorgeous shutters aren’t as storm-resistant as you’d hoped, or your sturdy storm shutters don’t suit your home at all.
These are the questions to consider:
- Are they purely functional, or do you want to add a little style to your home?
- Are you in search of more privacy from prying eyes?
- How much light do you want to introduce into your home?
- Which material suits your budget and the style of your house?
If you’re interested in shutters for purely interior purposes, it’s a good idea to ask an architect or interior designer to guide your choice.
This is especially important if you’re installing shutters as part of a major revamp. It’s difficult for a layperson to visualize what their completed home may look like and you’d be in the dark when choosing shutters for a design you haven’t seen yet.
Are You Ready to Get Started?
Window shutters are a worthwhile addition to any home thanks to their uses as well as aesthetic benefits. Don’t get carried away by whimsy though, keep practical aspects like the size of your windows in mind too.
If you’d like to discover more interior and exterior design ideas for your next home improvement project, keep browsing our blog. We have ideas for every type of home and budget.