When choosing your new window treatments and dressings, you will likely think about blinds and curtains, but shutters are a fantastic option to also consider, not least because they can be installed both inside and outside a home.
Shutters are a perfect choice if you live in a location that is frequently in contact with strong winds and/or harsh rain, as they really help you to close your home to the elements and they also contribute to a cosy and snug interior aesthetic. You will also find that if you have a period home, shutters usually help to amplify the heritage look of your façade.
Both blinds and shutters have their pros and cons, but if you are having trouble deciding between the two, take a look at these vital considerations to take into account:
Blinds come in a myriad of styles, from solid fabric through to Roman shades and slatted wood, which means that you can tailor your style to perfectly complement a home. With so many different materials on offer, you won’t have to compromise your preferred aesthetic.
Privacy is easy to guarantee with blinds, as you can up the light-tight element by having blackout material mounted to the rear of your blinds.
There will be a suitable blind material for every budget, from economical vinyl Venetian styles through to amazing exotic wooden blinds.
Shutters are generally a more expensive window dressing option, as they tend to be made to order, so as to perfectly fit your windows, but the aesthetic they create will actually add value to your home, especially if you have wooden windows that will blend well.
Shutters come in a variety of styles, so as to suit every single style of house, from traditional bungalows through to contemporary dwellings.
Shutter slats can be adjusted to give you the perfect combination of shade and privacy, while still letting slithers of natural light in. You can also have indoor and outdoor shutters, working together.
Hurricane shutters offer fantastic protection from harsh climates.
What you need to bear on mind, alongside your personal tastes, is the style and age of your home, as this will directly affect whether you opt for blinds or shutters. So many people simply choose what they like best, without considering the wider aesthetic of a house, but this is vital, as both offer perfect privacy, so it truly does come down to what looks the most natural.
There are three main types of window shutters to choose from, which are:
1. Board and batten – the simplest form of shutters, these look similar to pallets in construction, are usually made from wood and create a beautiful rustic aesthetic. Making them ideal for use outside.
2. Panelled – these offer a more Colonial and traditional look, which means they are frequently used inside a home, for decorative as well as functional purposes. They look fantastic when made from wood and painted a pretty colour.
3. Louvered – the most ornate and therefore expensive form of window shutters, louvered designs have moveable slats, creating a Venetian-blind style effect. Given the cost of these designs, they are mostly used inside, as sunshades.
It might sound simple, measuring your window apertures to identify the sizes of shutters that you need, but you might be surprised by how many people actually get it wrong. Follow these steps to make sure that you don’t fall into the same trap:
1. Take into account the type of windows that you have, as your opening mechanisms and styles will affect how much clearance you need.
2. Choose which frame style you want for your shutters. All shutter manufacturers will explain the different styles, in their websites.
3. Decide on the decorative elements, such as how wide you want your individual shutter slats to be. Remember to make a note of this, as when you order shutters for elsewhere in your home, you’ll want the same proportions.
4. Measure your window. Take your time and double check your measurements. If in doubt, call your window supplier and check their measurements as well.
5. Remember to be exact, as shutters that don’t fit can’t normally be returned, so you could face a lot of unnecessary expense!
While there are lots of online tutorials for hanging window shutters, given how easy it is to get just the measuring part wrong, we recommend that you hire a professional to do the task for you. If you are a seasoned DIY expert, you might be able to tackle this yourself, but remember that any mistakes will need to be rectified at your own cost.