How to choose plantation shutters

Cassie Pryce

Offering both light control and privacy, window shutters will make a stylish and practical finishing touch in any room

A versatile solution

Shutters are one of the best window dressings if you want to have a degree of flexibility with both privacy and lighting in a room. Being able to tilt the louvres to different angles and open or close portions of the shutters mean you are able to control the daylight filtering into the room, and adjust the view from the outside world. Curtains and blinds cannot offer the same versatility, making shutters such a popular choice for living rooms in particular, as the room has to serve numerous functions throughout the day.

San Jose Argent white shutters, Blinds2go

 

Be budget savvy

It’s worth obtaining several quotes for your window shutters before placing an order, to compare prices and weigh up the different options available. Shutters are, on the whole, more expensive than blinds or curtains, but you’re getting a permanent window dressing that requires very little or no maintenance. A lot of companies offer a measuring service for their designs, or you can often choose a DIY measuring option if you’re budget conscious. Whilst this will keep the cost down, just beware that if you give the wrong measurements, you may have to pay a fee to do it again. The price of your shutters will depend on the material you choose, as well as the size and shape of your windows. Solid wood is the most popular material, thanks to its hardwearing and robust properties, but MDF comes in at a considerably lower price point if you’re on a tight budget. Plastic or moisture-resistant shutters are ideal for bathrooms or other damp environments, as they can withstand the humid conditions better than wood if they have been treated accordingly.

Orange full-height shutters, priced from £168 per square metre, California Shutters

 

Design decisions

Depending on the type of property you live in and your personal preferences, you’ll need to consider the type of shutters you’d like to have installed. Full-height shutters will, as the name suggests, cover the entire window from frame to frame. You can have a horizontal mid-rail included which means you’ll be able to control the top and bottom halves independently of each other for increased versatility. Tier-on-tier designs also cover the whole window but come in two parts; one covering the top part of the glass and one the bottom. This means the top half can be folded back when not in use if you want to allow more light into the room during the day, for example. Café style shutters don’t cover the whole window, normally just the bottom half or two thirds, and are well-suited to downstairs rooms where you want some privacy but not complete coverage.

 

Colour choices

Nowadays, plantation shutters are available in a wide range of colours so you can pick a shade to suit your interior decoration. White is the most common finish, as it will help the room feel light and bright, even when the shutters are closed or tilted, but greys and darker colours also have their place if you want a more dramatic feel. It’s important to consider how your shutters will look both from inside and from the exterior of your house, too. This elegant fitting is a great way to add kerb appeal to your property, so bear this in mind when making your selections. Ask your supplier to bring samples with them during the consultation so you can see what colour and style works best. 

shutters windowsBlue café-style shutters, priced from £299 per square metre, Shutterly Fabulous

 

Personal preferences

The size of your slats, or louvres, is something that can be tailored to suit your space and the help create the finish you’re after. The larger the louvres, the less you can fit into one shutter, as they have to be able to fold flat against one another when closed. Larger louvres tend to be better-suited to modern properties, whereas narrower slats are often chosen for period properties or cottages for a daintier finish. You will also be able to select whether you would like the tilt rod (used to control the opening and closing of the louvres) exposed or hidden. An exposed rod is normally placed down the centre of the shutters and this will give your design a traditional look, or, for something more contemporary, the mechanism can be built into the shutters and hidden behind for a sleek finish. 


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