There are many shutter styles you can choose from, and some will be a much better fit for your home than others. One of the first things you want to consider is your home’s architecture because this will give you some direction when it comes to picking out the correct shutter style for your home.
You may just find that you prefer a specific shutter style than your home’s style. This is okay. It’s completely possible to install traditional shutter pairings with your home, or you can personalize it. You can consider various options, colors, styles, and even cut out designs to really stand out.
Window shutters come designed with two functions in mind. First, different shutter styles will help to protect your windows against the elements, especially the wind. However, they’re also great for increasing your privacy levels. If you want a shutter style to protect you from the elements, in today’s market, the only ones that will do so are the hurricane shutters because they’re specially designed to protect the windows.
Shutters are also very decorative. The decorative purpose does come from the functional aspect. Original shutters got used in place of windows so they were once the only option for homes to help seal the elements out. However, today, shutter styles lean more toward the decorative aspect than functional.
There are many shutter styles available to you, and some are much more functional than others. You should carefully consider what you want and whether they’re for more decorative or functional purposes. Shutter by Rene Gademann / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
1. Accordion Hurricane
You’ll often find this shutter style in homes where there are regular tropical storms at some point during the year. Very similar to an accordion, this shutter can get folded down and stored neatly away until storm season comes around. As you may have guessed from the name, this shutter style is best to help protect your home from stronger rains and winds the storms bring about.
2. Bahamas and Bermuda Shutters
Many people mistake bahamas and bermuda shutter styles for louvered shutter styles because they have the same types of slates that get designed to block out sunlight. However, the biggest difference between the two is that these shutter styles have hinges attached to the top instead of the more traditional option where they’re fixed at the sides. You open these shutters by gently pushing them out at the bottom.
One big bonus to these shutters is that they’re much more sturdy than the popular louvered type of shutter. For this reason, bahamas and bermuda shutters are a solid choice if you live in a tropical area where powerful storms blow through on a frequent basis. This helps to explain the name, and you’ll get the best results by pairing them with hurricane windows.
3. Board and Batten
Board and batten shutters get the name due to how they get created. With this shutter style, you get several vertical boards that you fix together using shorter horizontal boards or battens. It’s a very popular window shutter that you can get in both interior and exterior options.
The design is very simple with these shutters, but the durability is what draws so many people to these shutters. Board and batten styles of shutters are very good, and this makes them ideal to install if your home is in an area where strong storms like typhoons come through. They can give your home another durable layer of protection against very strong winds and rain.
The top portion of these shutters are usually square, but you can find versions that come with arched tops. They allow you to create a very rustic but welcoming look on your home’s exterior, and it’s very popular to pair them with farmhouse-designed buildings or homes.
As the name suggests, this shutter style comes from the cafes spread throughout Europe. It typically combines the more traditional plantation setup along the bottom portion of your window. As a result, you’ll get a much nicer look that adds to your home’s exterior and offers a strong sense of detail. They’re very nice and attractive for a host of home styles, and they work best as outdoor shutters. Depending on how they’re built, you can also use them indoors in your kitchen windows.
5. Exterior Shutters
As the name suggests, exterior shutters go on the outside of your home on the siding. They can be functional in the fact that they can provide protection from the weather or increase your privacy levels, but they’re mostly used for decorative purposes to help boost your home’s curb appeal. However, Bahama shutters are also exterior shutters that serve a very important purpose of protecting your windows when the high winds sweep through.
6. Flat Panel Shutters
Flat panel shutter styles are the opposite of raised-panel shutters, and they are usually much more simple and less decorative. However, they’re still a solid pick if you want to boost the privacy levels in your home. The name comes from the fact that they feature solid flat panels in the design.
One disadvantage of this shutter style is that it won’t allow a cooling breeze to flow through when you shut them, unlike what a raised panel shutter will do. However, it does a great job at blocking the sunlight and protecting your property when strong winds come up. It’s also a nice option if you’re trying to increase the privacy levels of a single room in your home.
7. Hybrid or Custom Shutters
You may choose to go with hybrid or custom shutter styles. This allows you to seamlessly combine or blend any of the shutters you like to give you a unique look that stands out. For example, you can have shutters with a louver design on the top but the lower end has a raised panel design. The sky is the limit when it comes to this shutter style because there are dozens of ways you can mix and match to get a totally new look. However, you want to keep your budget in mind too.
8. Interior Shutters
Interior shutters are very easy to adjust from inside of your home to increase or decrease your privacy levels. Also, interior shutters give you options when it comes to how much window you cover, including full height, cafe with partial coverage, or tier-on-tier designs. You can also have custom interior shutter styles built to match your specific wants.
When people think of the louvered design, luxury kitchens come to mind. However, these are one of the most popular shutter styles on the market for both inside and outside of the home. It has slanted slats that overlap one another. This design allows the shutters to block out light and prevent people from seeing inside of the room, but they allow a light breeze to pass through at the same time. When it comes to aesthetics, this design can give your property a country-inspired look and feel.
The versatility of these shutters is one big reason why they’re so popular throughout the world. They can blend well with virtually any building style, but they work best with classic architectural styles like the Victorian design. You can get these shutter styles in double or single-height options. You place smaller support in the middle of your double-height shutters to make them more durable.
When you pick out this type of shutter, you have to decide the width of it. Most come with sizes that range from 1.25 inches up to 4.5 inches, but you can get custom-built options too.
This is another very popular shutter style, and you’ll find it used a lot in the southern portion of the United States. It offers a very laid back look to your home, and they’re usually meant to be internal shutters. Also called plantation slides, these shutters usually fall between 3.5 to 4.5 inches wide at the most. They’re used a lot in warmer regions because you can quickly open them to allow a breeze to blow through.
They can lend a very elegant look to your home when you install this shutter style. You see them installed in dining rooms and bedrooms a lot, but you can also put them into your kitchen windows without a huge hassle. White is the most popular color for plantation-style shutters, but you can choose stained options too.
11. Raised Panel
As you may get from the name, this shutter style uses a solid, raised panel upfront. The panels can work to enhance the appeal of shutters overall when you look at them from any angle, and they work well with most home styles. Just like the louvered shutters, these can be either exterior or interior add-ons for your home.
You’ll usually get a very classic look and feel with this shutter style. It’s great for any homeowner who wants to make their home look like the grand house from the turn of the 20th century.
Scandinavian shutter styles really aren’t that common today. However, they’re just as sturdy as Board and Batten shutters. As you may have guessed by looking at the name, this shutter is specifically designed to use in colder areas of the world. You may hear them referred to as cut-out shutters, and you install them on your home’s exterior.
The shutters come with a cut-out wooden design that is very similar to what you’d find if you went through a European village. They can make your home look very colorful and unique when you install this shutter style on your windows. They can add a cheerful feel to your home while locking the cold out.
A shaker shutter looks extremely similar to a raised panel shutter style but it comes with a flat body. The rectangular shapes get made with several recessed indentations that work to create a detailed and nice look without sticking out. You can place these shutters inside or outside your windows without issues.
Popular Shutter Materials
When you’re looking for high-quality shutters, it can take time. There are dozens of materials used for different shutter styles, and you want to find the one that is going to complement your design the best. They include but are not limited to:
Engineered wood is a different material that uses a series of joints that get paired together. This means that it’ll have several wooden parts that get secured together with a simple wooden body. You get a very sturdy look and feel that adds a nice complement to your style. You can paint it in many forms, but you can’t stain it because the joints would show at this point.
You can use foam synthetic materials to create a wood-like body that has a foam interior with a synthetic metal outer layer or surface. The foam gets applied to help absorb heat, wind, and cold. It can be useful for areas that experience wild temperature swings, but they can be heavier and this makes them harder to close in some instances.
Laminate usually comes with a series of thinner lumber slats that get fixed together to create a sturdy body. Typically, a glue gets used to hold everything together. Sometimes, you’ll get thin paper sheets that get painted and fixed using glue. This is a nice option where it’s common to get rain because laminate-type materials do well with rain. You still have to perform routine maintenance like you would with traditional wood in terms of stains or colors.
Metal is an ideal material for offering a very sturdy body, but it can chip or dent easily. You should watch for how the metal gets coated to ensure that it doesn’t buckle or warp. Also, the metal materials can get painted in several ways, or they can come in one singular shape to make them easier to prepare to hang. You want to monitor how well the material holds up to ensure they stay sturdy.
PVC is a very hardy vinyl surface that gets reinforced very heavily. It gives you a series of smaller connecting rods on the inside to hold the shutters together. This is very popular because it can handle the UV rays from the sun, and it comes highly recommended for properties in planting zones where the sunlight is very bright. It can scratch easily, just like any other vinyl surface, so keep it away from abrasive materials.
Wood is a very popular shutter material that can go with various shutter styles. It can get stained, sealed, and painted in several forms. You can also cut it in many ways. You should routinely inspect it to ensure that the material doesn’t warp, fade, or wear out from elemental exposure.
Seven Reasons to Use Shutters on Your Home
There are several reasons why you’d add a shutter style to your home, and we’ve picked out the most common ones below.
- Adds Beauty – If you’ve only ever had blinds on your windows, you could miss out on the aesthetic advantage that window shutters offer. For example, there are wooden shutter styles that you can stain to match the wood trim or furniture.
- Durability for the Windows – Plantation shutter styles have a basis in storm shutters, and they’ll work to protect your home from strong winds and strong impacts due to debris or trees.
- Easy to Clean – Wooden shutters are usually very easy to clean, and many of them come with an exterior coating that only requires you to wipe it down with a damp cloth. When you compare it to many window treatments available today, especially fabric ones, they take much more to maintain and clean.
- Energy Efficiency Contribution – Shutters work to create another insulation layer on your windows. So, if you don’t have newer energy-efficient windows, high-quality shutter styles can help reduce your heating and cooling bills.
- Extends the Life of Your Furniture and Fabric – Direct sunlight brings UV rays that causes fabrics and furniture to fade. Unless your glass on the windows has Low-E coatings on them, shutters can help keep them looking like new.
- Privacy – Along with allowing you to control how much sunlight gets into the room at one time, shutters also give you more privacy than most window treatments will. You can enjoy great indoor ventilation with them without worrying about people being able to peer in.
- Safety – Most shutters are safer to have around kids and pets as they don’t have to pull cords, dangling strings, or longer pieces of fabric that could pose a hazard.
We’ve outlined 13 shutter styles that you can use to boost your home’s property value and increase your privacy levels in your home. You can easily find the shutter to match your home’s design, have them installed, and enjoy all of the benefits that come with them.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.