Shutter design ideas, inspiration & pictures

When do you need a window shutter?

Like wooden blinds, shutters for windows are one of the most treasured window treatments. They provide a neat and classic look that outlast any design trend. While curtains and blinds provide their own advantages, they don’t always fit in with the hottest trend. Window shutters, however, never go out of style, and the long-lasting look of elegance and luxury they provide to a house (or any other structure) is always coveted.

As they can be installed both inside and outside, shutters are the ideal choice, especially if you live in an area prone to strong winds and rains.

How do I know which window treatment to buy?

·         If your room gets lots of natural sunlight, opt for window treatment that can control the amount of shine entering the room. Lined curtains, drapes or blinds in heavy fabrics are ideal for areas like this. Shutters can also work, as they can completely block out the light.

·         Should your room lack in natural lighting, your window treatment needs to be unlined and made from sheer, lightweight fabrics in light colours.

·         If your windows are oddly shaped, you might have to get your window treatment custom-made to fit your particular windows.

·         Always match the theme of your window dressing to the style/design of your room. 

Which is better: shutters, blinds or curtains?

Keep practicality in mind before purchasing your window treatment.

Temperature and insulation

Windows go a long way in insulating any structure. Glass in itself has almost no insulation value, which means your home loses heat through your windows during winter while absorbing it in summer time.

Shutters, blinds or curtains can create insulation for windows, reducing both heat loss and absorption. When it comes to insulation, the thicker and tighter fitting the window treatment is, the more insulation it will provide. That’s why close-fitting wooden shutters are the preferable choice here, both for the insulating properties of wood and because of the fact that they minimise the heat transfer through the air space between window and shutter.


Out of all window coverings, blinds generally have the shortest lifespan. The movement that wind causes, as well as regular stress due to opening and closing, results in the eventual failure of either the individual slats or entire mechanism. High-quality Venetian blinds might last nearly a decade, while fabric blinds have a much shorter lifespan.

Shutters, whether wooden or aluminium, tend to have a far longer lifespan due to sturdier construction and less operational stress, resulting in high-quality (and professionally installed) shutters easily lasting about 20 years.

Privacy and light control

Curtains can exclude light quite effectively, especially when lined. But when opened up, curtains allow for a direct view into the room from outside (unless net curtains are fitted).

Blinds do provide greater control over the amount of light allowed into a room and are also adept at providing privacy without compromising glare reduction. Your view, however, will be compromised.

Shutters offer a similar level of control over both privacy and light; their additional benefit is that they are secure and easy to clean. And seeing as they have no cords that can get tangled, break or pose a threat to children, they are considered the safer option.

How many types of shutters can I choose from?

Some of the favourite options considered trendy at the moment are:

Solid panels on the exterior – This strong, bold look gives a home an old-world feel. You can go one of two ways: a simple square to cover the window, or something a bit more ornate with a dome design that will sit above the window. Darker hues and small designs carved into the wood can complete the look. The solid structure of these shutters completely blocks out all the elements – sun, rain and wind.

Café-style shutters – Fancy the French bistro look? These cute little shutters are designed to be roughly half the height of your windows and are installed on the inside of your home. They are great options if you have big ground-floor windows that open onto a street or busy area in your garden, as they provide a bit of privacy without completely blocking the light. These shutters are generally louvered, meaning they can be adjusted depending on your needs: close the slats completely for total privacy, or tilt them open to let in some light.

California louvered shutters – Also called ‘plantation shutters’, this design has wide slats that can be adjusted to let sunshine in. They were originally used on the outside of homes in the deep south of the USA (on the plantations) and became trendy in 1950s California. Today, this type of shutter is very popular in homes with large windows that get lots of sun, effectively keeping the heat of day out of your home, yet they can also be opened wide to enjoy beautiful garden views.

Combination of solid and louvered – Not interested in going for a set style? Create a one-of-a-kind look for your home. First, consider how much light enters your room and how much privacy it needs from the outside world. Then plan the best design to let in as much sunshine as possible without heating up the room too much or allowing nosey neighbours a peek at your interiors.

How do I properly measure for my shutters?

This task is actually easier to get wrong than it sounds:

1.    Take into account your window designs, as your opening mechanisms and style will affect how much clearance you need.

2.    Pick your frame style for your shutters, which will be explained by the relevant manufacturers online or in store.

3.    Decide on the decorative touches, like how wide those individual shutter slats should be (this needs to be consistent with other shutters in your home).

4.    Measure your window with no rush and double-check all measurements. Call your window supplier and check their measurements too if you have the tiniest doubt.

5.    Be 100% correct, as shutters that don’t fit can’t usually be returned. 

Can I install shutters myself?

Numerous online tutorials show off easy ways to hang window shutters, given how easy it is to get the measuring part wrong. That’s why it’s recommended to hire a professional to ensure optimum results. Experienced DIYers might get away with doing this themselves, but remember that any mistakes will be on you!