Formerly, shutters were considered rather “old-fashioned” and typical of colonial-style décor. Traditional maple-toned shutters adorned windows that looked upon rooms with cute maple tables and captain chairs, colonially-upholstered furniture, and maple-toned picture frames embracing landscapes. The shutters covered all or half of the window and folded in and out on hinges. Most did not have movable louvers, and valances often adorned the tops of the windows.
Today’s shutters are not your grandmother’s shutters! There has come a complete explosion and transformation of the “world” of shutters, and now a homeowner has choices for virtually any décor and any type of window. From colonial, to traditional, to modern, there are shutter styles to fit any lifestyle, and this variety results in stunning and wonderful versatility for homeowners. Here are some helpful tips for choosing the right shutters for your home.
Of course, shutters should be custom-made to fit each window. To purchase pre-made shutters will result in a sloppy appearance and will look amateurish. The choices become, then, the amount of framing one desires, and, of course, the type and size of louvers. In general terms, small windows can accommodate small louvers, but large windows should have larger ones. An established local retailer will be willing to bring samples into the home and make recommendations for louver size for each room.
Today, shutters can be made of virtually any type of wood, in order to match the wood in a room, specifically baseboards, paneling, and furniture. If, however, the homeowner has a particular color scheme in a room, s/he may want painted shutters, as opposed to a wood tone. There are a number of woods that accept paint well, such as basswood, and, again, choosing custom-made is certainly the way to go. A truly stunning effect can be achieved by using shutters to provide color contrast in a room!
While wood is still the preferred material of many, shutters now are made of faux wood and vinyl, as well. Having samples to compare within the home is critically important, in order to judge which material will best complement the décor. Material is also important in the consideration of light and temperature control. Shutters can act as an insulator during weather extremes, as well as block out all light for sleeping, if that is desired.
Installing shutters is not a job for an amateur. Precision is absolutely critical, if the shutters are to be flush with one another when closed. There are, as well, permanently installed shutters that do not move, but which have louvers that allow easy adjustment for as little or as much light as one wishes. While a do-it-yourselfer can perhaps install a curtain rod and hang drapes, shutter installation is for professionals only!