Window shutters have made a major comeback in home design over the last couple decades. After falling out of favor for much of the mid-20th century, shutter popularity is surging once again. What accounts for their renewed popularity? As a classic and functional window covering, shutters offer benefits that never go out of style.
What Are Window Shutters and How Do They Work?
Shutters are window coverings composed of horizontal slats, or louvers, that are installed on each side of a window frame. They can be closed like doors or rotated to control light, privacy, and airflow.
Wooden Shutters come in two basic types: functional and decorative. Functional shutters have working hardware and can be closed. Purely decorative shutters are permanently mounted in an open position. A hybrid is shutters with removable pins so they can be opened or closed.
The louvers are tilted using a rod, wand, or remote control. By adjusting the slats, you regulate natural light, ventilation, and outward visibility. When completely closed, shutters provide insulation, noise reduction, and security unmatched by other window treatments.
What Materials Are Window Shutters Made From?
Window shutters come in several material options:
- Basswood – The top choice for painted wood shutters is durable North American basswood. It resists warping and holds paint well.
- Mahogany – For a rich stained wood look, mahogany makes premium shutters. It has gorgeous grain and ages beautifully.
- Poplar – Affordable poplar is a plywood substitute suitable for paint or stain. It lacks basswood’s strength but makes budget-friendly shutters.
- Composite – Low-maintenance synthetic shutters are made from materials like PVC, polymers or compressed wood pulp. They won’t rot or warp.
- Vinyl – Lightweight and water-resistant, vinyl is mainly used for exterior shutters in climates with termite issues. It holds up well outside.
- Aluminum – Modern metal shutters provide sleek looks and narrow, customizable slats. Aluminum withstands the elements.
Why Are Window Shutters Back in Style?
After being displaced for decades by blinds and curtains, shutters are now one of the most sought-after window fashions. Several factors account for their renewed popularity:
- Nostalgia – Shutters bring back memories of stately plantation homes and cozy cottages. They fulfill peoples’ longing for tradition and craftsmanship.
- Versatility – At home in modern, traditional, cottage, and other decors, shutters complement various design styles. They mix well with other window treatments.
- Natural materials – Eco-conscious consumers like real wood and other natural window shutter materials. These are perceived as less synthetic than many blinds.
- Light control – Shutters allow you to adjust incoming natural light seamlessly. This helps create ideal lighting conditions.
- Durability – Properly built wood or composite shutters last for decades. Their longevity makes them a sound investment.
Window Shutters for Every Room
One reason for the shutter resurgence is how well they enhance different rooms.
Living Rooms – Shutters add character in formal living areas. Closed, they make a dramatic backdrop for curtains. Open, window shutters frame windows elegantly.
Dining Rooms – Louvered shutters complement dining room formality. They filter sun to prevent fading and give privacy when desired.
Kitchens – Cafe-style shutters are perfect for kitchens. They maintain airy openness above while controlling lower visibility.
Bedrooms – Shutters improve bedroom insulation. Closing them allows daytime napping by blocking light and noise.
Bathrooms – Bathrooms get privacy and natural light modulation from shutters. They conceal when needed and open to avoid a closed-in feel.
Home Offices – Home offices benefit from shutters reducing outside distractions. The room darkening helps focus while working.
Options for Customizing Your Window Shutters
To make shutters truly your own, numerous customizations are available:
Louver Size – The most common louver widths are 3.5 and 2.5 inches. Narrower sizes let in less light when closed.
Louver Shape – Square-edged or rounded-edge slats each give a distinct aesthetic. Arched or oval shapes are further options.
Tilt Control – Continuous tilt rods close louvers simultaneously. Individual louver tilting provides the most light modulation.
Colors and Finishes – Shutters come in endless painted or stained hues. Distressed finishes like weatherwashing add old world charm.
Sizing – Shutters should be sized precisely for each window. Avoid generic stock sizes that leave gaps.
Shapes – Shutters can be made for specialty windows like rounds, angles, and sunbursts.
Hardware – Black, brushed nickel, bronze, and other hardware finishes let you match your shutters to existing décor.
Window Shutter blinds
Window Shutter blinds are a popular type of window covering that feature horizontal slats that can be tilted open and closed to control the amount of light coming into a room. They are available in a wide variety of materials including wood, faux wood, aluminum, and vinyl. Some key features and benefits of shutter blinds include:
- Adjustable privacy and light control – The slats can be adjusted from fully open to fully closed, allowing you to control both privacy and the amount of natural light in the room. This makes them quite versatile for different settings.
- Stylish appearance – Shutter blinds have a clean, streamlined look that can complement many décor styles from traditional to contemporary. Wood shutters in particular add warmth and richness.
- Durability – Quality shutter blinds are built to last for years. Materials like wood, aluminum and vinyl are long-lasting and able to stand up to moisture and sunlight.
- Energy efficiency – Fully closed shutter blinds can act as an extra layer of insulation to reduce heat loss in winter and block sunlight to keep rooms cooler in summer.
- Noise reduction – Window Shutters can help absorb sounds from outside when closed. The solid panels and slats prevent noise transmission.
- Customization – Shutter blinds are available made-to-measure so they can be sized and installed perfectly for any window. Custom colors and stained finishes are also possible.
- Easy maintenance – Shutter slats can be easily wiped clean. They don’t require frequent cleaning like fabric drapes or blinds.
Finding a Quality Window Shutter Provider
Not all companies are equal when it comes to window shutters. Follow these tips for finding a quality provider:
- Seek an experience specialist who focuses on shutters, not a general window covering installer.
- Look for basswood, mahogany, or composite shutters made to hold up over time. Avoid flimsy materials.
- Get a lifetime warranty or guarantee against defects, cracking, and fading.
- Ensure they take precise measurements and make accurately sized custom shutters.
- Ask about tilt options, hardware, finishes, and other customization capabilities.
- Read reviews and talk to past customers to verify quality products and service.
Investing in shutters from a reputable company will ensure durable, high-performing window coverings that enhance your home for decades.
Window Shutters never entirely faded from use, but they have experienced a major resurgence as homeowners rediscover their aesthetic and functional advantages. Their rich materiality, customizability, and ability to solve problems like glare and noise make them a sound choice. Properly installed wood or composite shutters will serve you well for many years before other window treatments need replacement. When it comes to combining aesthetics, performance, and longevity, few options compare to the enduring appeal of classic shutters. They remain one of the best ways to dress up windows in style.
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