Design Dilemma: How to Choose Shutters | Home Design Find

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Design Dilemma: How to Choose Shutters

shutters1 how to tips advice

Let’s face it, curtains have always felt a bit fussy.  All that cloth… well, think grandma’s front parlor. These days many of us are looking for more streamlined options. This could mean blinds or shades, but when we want something more substantial, shutters come to mind.

Not only do shutters provide privacy, but they can also help protect your home from drafts, as well as block street noise. They are more versatile than many shades, in that they allow you to filter light to just exactly the level that you want — from pitch dark, to softly filtered light, to bright light. While shutters can appear quite clean with a modernist appeal, there’s also something pleasantly “Old World” about them, too.

Here are your options:

Full-height shutters. (Pictured above).

The advantages: These cover the entire window, from top to bottom. They are excellent insulation from light, drafts and noise.
The down side: They’re less adaptable than other models of shutters which can provide partial coverage as needed. This type of shutter works best on patio doors and bedrooms.

Tier-on-Tier shutters:

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The advantages: These shutters offer two sets of panels, one above the other, operating indepenedently. They offer the greatest control over light levels and privacy.
The disadvantages: They appear busier than other options because of the two tiers. They work best on taller windows. They are best for bay windows and windows that face onto the street, where you can close the bottom tier when needed. They may look best in more traditional homes.

Cafe Style Shutters:

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The advantages: These shutters cover only the lower half of the window. They are cheaper than full height shutters and let in more light.
The disadvantages: They are primarily for privacy rather than light, noise or draft protection. They work best in rooms that are directly on the street where there are no taller buildings that overlook a room. These would be a bad choice for any room, such as a bedroom, that require total darkness.

Solid Shutters:

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Advantages: Here’s a style of shutter that is not widely used today. It’s solid panels that cover the window entirely. They can be found in any style, as full-height shutters, two-tier shutters or cafe-style shutters. These are great in cold climates where retaining heat is of the utmost importance.
Disadvantages: There’s not much room for flexibility here. It’s either open or closed. They work best in bedrooms in Victorian houses.

Don’t forget these points:

  • Shutters can also be designed to fit special situations, such as arched windows.
  • They come in many different forms: wood can be oil, stained, painted, sand-blasted or paint wash. Vinyl has become popular in recent years, but if you’re going for luxury you can have shutters made in fabric, faux leather and suede.
  • Consider the architecture of the window itself. If your window has two panes, the window will look more balanced with a two-paneled shutter. If it has four panes, it will look better with four panels when open.
  • Consider remote- controlled louvres or sliding panels on a track for hard to reach windows.

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One comment so far to “Design Dilemma: How to Choose Shutters”
  1. kitchen remodeling Charlotte Says:

    I love my full height shutters in my home! They make it look so classy and are fully functional. I'm thinking about cafe style now for my kitchen. Thanks for the article!

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