When it comes to window treatments, shutters are an often overlooked option.
While many people opt for curtains, blinds, and shades, shutters are an attractive option too. Stylish, energy-efficient, and easy to use, this window treatment has increased in popularity over the past few years.
However, choosing the perfect shutter can be a challenge, especially when you’re doing it for the first time. These tips will make the process a lot easier.
3 Tips on How to Pick the Perfect Interior Window Shutters
Window shutters offer many benefits. Aside from being attractive and versatile, they’re also practical and easy to use. The material, louver size, and operating method are some of the key aspects to consider when choosing the perfect window shutters. This quick guide should help.
1. Choose the Right Material
Top-quality interior shutters are typically made from solid wood, which can be stained, lacquered, or treated to highlight their natural beauty. Some of the most popular species of wood used are teak, paulownia, basswood, poplar, oak, and cherry. They’re a big investment, and prices vary according to their installation method (DIY or professional) and the material used.
If wood doesn’t fit your budget, you can choose more affordable options like MDF or Craftwood. They have a wood-like appearance and can only be painted, not stained. Hybrid composites are a mid-range option, combining wooden louvers with an MDF frame. The biggest benefit of composites is that they won’t warp or crack with changes in temperature. For humid areas like bathrooms, waterproof uPVC or ABS are the best options.
2. Decide on Functionality
Think about the purpose of your shutters. Are you looking to block sunlight, increase your privacy, or add style? Do you need additional insulation? Some shutters cover only half of the window. Is this what you need or do you want full-length shutters for complete privacy? Only when you decide on how you plan to use them can you choose the right shutter style.
3. Choose the Perfect Style
Typically, there are six main window shutter styles to choose from – Full Height Shutters, Tier-on-Tier Shutters, Shaped Shutters, Cafe Style Shutters, Solid Shutters, and Tracked/Sliding Shutters.
These are probably the most sought-after style due to their classic design and versatility. They fit almost all window types but are particularly suitable for tall ones, where they typically have a centrally placed dividing rail for strength and support. The louvers above and below the rail can be adjusted individually. For excessively large windows, a tracked system is a better option.
This shutter style is extremely versatile and easy to use because the top and bottom tiers open independently of each other (not just the louvers). The top/bottom tier can be opened for light and fresh air, while the other can be kept closed for partial light control and privacy. Here, the window covering consists of two sets of panels (an upper and lower set), typically designed and measured to fit any natural breaks in the window.
- Shaped Shutters
Custom-made shutters are the perfect (and sometimes only) solution to cover an irregular or unique window shape. These include triangle, curved, arched, porthole, half-circle, oval, octagon, angled, sunburst, trapezoid, and elongated ones. They’re often suitable for windows located in the gable ends, roofs, attics, and eaves.
Café-style shutters cover only the bottom section of a window and are more suitable for rooms that don’t need complete privacy and sun-blocking. They’re a popular option for windows on the ground floor overlooking a lake or garden, or for first-floor rooms that require plenty of sunlight.
- Solid Shutters
Available in a range of designs, from common Shaker styles to those with moulded or raised centre panels, solid shutters can create a near blackout effect and offer noise insulation. They are vertically hinged, which facilitates partial or complete opening and closing of the shutters.
- Tracked/Sliding Shutters
These shutters are ideal for large windows or where the opening is very wide (like as a room divider). The bottom track or sliding system offers stability and smooth operation of the panels. The bi-fold option is a common one but requires space as the panels will need to stack back and forth across the window/opening. Some have magnet plates in their panels to ensure security. Bypass shutters are not hinged together but sit in gliders that allow them to slide in front or behind each other; they typically cover half the window/opening when opened.
Window shutters are a great way to improve your home’s curb appeal and security. They perfectly combine beauty and functionality; making them one of the most effective ways to improve your home. But to maximize their function, you need to choose the right style, material, and size. Apply the above-mentioned tips to choose the perfect window shutters.