A white house with Bahama shutters

What Are the Different Shutter Styles?

Four exterior shutters

Some of the most popular shutter styles: board and batten, louvered, raised panel, and combination.

It’s the little things that make a big difference, especially when it comes to your home. Have you ever noticed how something as simple as a window box, hanging basket, or set of shutters can make your house look completely different? Choosing the right shutters, the first time, isn’t the easiest chore, though. We’ve explained the differences between the most popular shutter styles out there so you can make the best choice for your home.

Board and batten shutters are simply constructed from three or four uniform boards tied together with cross-boards at the top, center and bottom. These rugged shutters were originally designed to keep water, wind and bright sunlight out of barns and stables when glass was still prohibitively expensive. Eventually farm houses were fitted with board & batten shutters, as well, to match the outbuildings. Today, board and batten shutters blend seamlessly with charming rustic homes or up against natural products like stone or rough cedar.

Louvered shutters are the shutters that usually spring to mind when people think about shutters. These delicate-looking panels are made from a series of slatted boards that allow air and light into the home no matter the position of the slats. Most modern louver shutters are merely decorative, but they continue to have a universal appeal across architectural styles. “Operable” louvered shutters are also available – that is, shutters where the louvers really move.

A white house with Bahama shutters

Bahama shutters are perfect for coastal homes.

Bahama shutters are the iconic shutters of the tropics. When hurricane weather threatens, these top-hung shutters can be swung down and latched in place to protect glass windows from high winds. On beautiful days, the top-hung, slatted design of Bahama shutters allows tropical breezes to blow through open windows without inviting the heat of the sun. Bahama shutters add a little splash of tropical flair to any home while protecting flooring and curtains from direct sunlight.

Raised panel shutters were brought to Colonial America from Western Europe to help keep the cold out during those long New England winters. Unlike other types of shutters, paneled shutters can completely block outside light, making them ideal summer energy savers for homes with little natural shade. Raised panel shutters really stand out on a colonial or saltbox style home.

Combination shutters combine the delicate look of louvered shutters with the sturdy construction of raised panel shutters to create a truly American feel. Combination shutters have a quiet dignity that won’t overwhelm even the most delicately detailed home, making them the perfect complement to nearly any style structure.

Add character to your shutters with a cut-out design.

Add character to your shutters with a cut-out design.

Cut-Out shutters allow you to add a customized touch to your home with designs and geometric patterns cut from raised panel, combination or board and batten shutters. After choosing the style of shutter that best compliments your home, these shutters are further enhanced with your choice of design. Cut-out shutters enhance many homes, but were most popular from the 1920s to 1950s.

How should you decide which style of shutters to add to your home? That depends on your personal style and the look you’re going for. Board and batten shutters are appropriate for a country home, raised panel shutters fit in on a classic brownstone, and Bahama shutters complement a coastal beach house. Cut-out shutters let you express your whimsical side, while louvered shutters are more traditional. The material used to manufacture the exterior shutters might also play a role in your decision. Vinyl shutters are the most affordable, and it’s easy to find vinyl versions of the most popular shutter styles. Super durable fiberglass shutters, however, may not be available in every design.

Hooks & Lattice features an online showcase of these popular shutter styles with many options to complement your home’s design. Check out our handy guide to measuring your windows for the best shutter fit!

How to Decorate with Hanging Glass Terrariums

A grouping of hanging terrariums with air plants.

Fill glass terrariums with air plants for a low-maintenance hanging garden.

Hanging glass terrariums are everywhere these days, popping up in florists’ shops, homes and even on the web. These delicate glass ornaments are an attractive design element on their own or when decorated with small plants, sandy shells, or mosses, but when grouped and played against one another they can really make your living space chic. How can you add some stylish terrariums to your home? Here are some helpful tips.

What can you use to fill your terrarium?

Although you can fill hanging terrariums with just about anything, some elements are pretty common: plants, water, flowers, candles, rocks, shells, and tiny statues top the list of go-to fillers. Some of these things work better than others, if you’re planning on keeping your terrarium stocked for the long haul.

Plants: Air plants, members of the genus Tillandsia, are far and away the best plants for hanging terrariums. They require little care and are adapted to living in environments where deep rooting isn’t possible. These plants bloom in many colors, and best of all, many remain very small throughout their lives. Small aquatic plants and live mosses can be good choices if you remember to water them regularly. Colored sand, water and clean soil are common mediums for plants in globe terrariums.

Candles: Use small glass globes to easily suspend candles in midair. Glass catches the light in lovely ways, and tea lights are always inexpensive. There’s no need to worry about wax dripping anywhere or a fire hazard (as long as you securely hang your terrarium globes).

Other Decorations: If you opt out of live plants, the world is your oyster. You could fill your terrarium with dried mosses, pebbles, marbles or glass beads as a base for your soon-to-be original designs. Rocks, dried plants, tiny statues, shells and glass sculptures do well in globe terrariums intended for long-term use because they can tolerate the humidity that may build inside these glass balls when plants are included in your design. Dry terrariums may benefit from the addition of preserved plant materials like lichens, dried flowers or seed pods.

Cut flowers in terrariums at a wedding

Glass globe terrariums filled with cut flowers can add to special event decor. Image from Isari Flower Studio.


Combining multiple terrariums

Glass terrariums are flexible decorating pieces, useful for both short-term and long-term projects. Imagine the fun of a holiday party punctuated with themed terrariums sitting around a decorated buffet table or how a single, planted terrarium would brighten your office. Even outdoor weddings are enhanced by glass terrariums with floating candles when they’re strung as a background to the bride and groom.

People are making some cool things out of glass terrariums for their everyday lives, too. A plain light fixture with a wire frame can be upcycled into a unique, personalized chandelier with the addition of about 10 small terrariums hung at varying lengths all around the light. The same concept, applied to a grid structure, creates an interesting piece to hang over your dining table, kitchen island or in the middle of a living room.

You can take the concept further and create curtains from dozens of floating glass terrariums hung from a horizontally-mounted wooden or metal support. Open floor plan homes are great for flexibility, but it can be difficult to differentiate between the spaces. A divider made from a floating glass terrarium curtain will allow you to feel like each space is clearly defined while leaving the brightness and openness of your home intact.

Tabletop or wall-mounted tree branches make a great place to display just a few small hanging terrariums. You can even reuse old multiple pane windows by removing the glass and hanging terrariums inside each section and wall-mounting or hanging your creation from the ceiling.

The design possibilities are endless with globe terrariums, whether you choose just one for a small project, or a whole case of assorted sizes and shapes for something much bigger. Check out the wide selection of ready-to-fill hanging terrariums available at Hooks & Lattice.