This is the fifth post in a series on Window Coverings. To date we’ve covered The Whys and Hows of Window Coverings, Using Ready-Made Curtain Panels, Customize Ready-Made Curtains, and Window Toppings.
Today’s topic is shutters and I’m pleased to introduce guest blogger Esther Steinfeld, a trends blogger for Blinds.com, America’s favorite place to decorate with blinds, shades, shutters and draperies. Esther offers half a dozen tips for using shutters in on your windows.
Six Design Tips for Decorating with Shutters
While certain window treatments go in and out of style, shutters are classic and chic. They’re not only great-looking, they actually add value to your home and increase curb appeal. Shutters are one of the most popular window treatments, and are like furniture for your windows. They’re great light blockers, awesome insulators, and even help deter burglars from trying to break into your home. When considering whether shutters are right for you, here are some helpful tips:
1. Wood or fauxwood: Custom wood shutters are a show-stopper, the perfect finishing touch to a redecorating or remodeling project. They’re no after-thought; they’re sure to steal the show in a newly redecorated room. They can hold their own in a window, or pair well with top treatments like valances and draperies. Because they are so grand-looking, they do well in living rooms, dining rooms and formal sitting rooms. Of course, you get what you pay for. These are often expensive, which turns homeowners away from shutters altogether. If the price point is the problem, fauxwood shutters are 25-50% less expensive than real wood. Fauxwood shuttersare easier to clean – they can be cleaned with a damp paper towel – and are resistant to warping and fading, making them ideal for high humidity rooms like bathrooms and kitchens. Both wood and fauxwood shutters are easy to install.
2. Color: White is the most popular color for shutters by far. White shutters create uniformity throughout the home. Your home will look dazzling from the street with white shutters in every window. If you’ve been known to repaint your home on a fairly regular basis, white will always match, no matter what color you choose. In most cases, fauxwood shutters are only available in white and off-white, while wood shutters can be stained to match any wood tone. Choose a wood stain like birch or oak for a more traditional look, or a dark stain like dark for a modern look.
3. Shutter style: Shutter panels can be configured more than 20 ways, depending on the size of your windows and how you want the panels to open. Most people prefer the configuration that involves the least number of panels for the size needed. The most popular configuration utilizes single panels that swing open, like little doors. Some prefer bi-fold or tri-fold panels that accordion-fold into the window frame. If your windows are big enough, you can configure your shutters so that some panels swing open, and some fold. You can also customize them to open to the left or to the right.
4. Inside or Outside Mount?: Most people choose to mount shutters within the window frame because inside mounted shutters provide the best insulation and energy conservation. They prevent detrimental energy loss better than almost any other window treatment. The look is clean, and will hide any window casing imperfections; however, not every window is right for inside mounted shutters. If a window does not have enough depth, the shutter must be mounted outside the window frame. Outside mount is also necessary if the window frame is in an imperfect shape, or if the window tilts open for cleaning.
5. Full height and café-style: Full shutters that cover the entire window are the ones most purchased. Full shutters are the most purchased and the most multipurpose. Café shuttersdo not span the entire height of the window, they only cover the bottom half. They leave the top portion of the window opening completely uncovered. You can designate how high you want your shutters to go. Choose café shutters if your window has an arch; the arched portion of the window will remain uncovered while you will have full functionality and privacy control over the rectangular portion. Café shutters also add a certain country cottage flair that traditional shutters do not. They’re great for that window just above the kitchen sink.
6. Last but not least…Louvers: Louvers are the horizontal pieces that rotate to provide light control and privacy. Depending on the brand and type of shutter material, louvers come in widths of 1 1/4″, 1 7/8″, 2 1/2″, 3 1/2″, 4 1/2″. The larger the louver size, the more light and visibility you get when the louvers are opened. Larger louver sizes are best used on larger window sizes and are more popular in contemporary rooms than the smaller sizes. Choose 1 ¼” louvers for traditional shutters.
Shutters are long-lasting and timeless. Choose shutters and instantly transform your décor. You’ll be amazed by the difference!
Open & Shut(ter) Case
Shutters do it all – they control light, they last a long time, they work with decor that’s traditional or contempory and they work alone or in concert with curtains and valances. Thanks, Esther, for sharing your expertise with us. For folks trying to decide whether or not to consider shutters it’s kind of an open and shut(ter) case!