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.
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.
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!