Starting the search for new shutters can be a daunting task. There’s so much more to consider than simply what you think looks nice. Ahead, learn the differences between four popular shutter styles and how to make the right selection for your home.
Pairs well with: Farmhouse, Cape Cod, French Country, Ranch & Craftsman style homes
Whether classically joined or with a playful “Z” bar, board and batten shutters bring a touch of old-world charm to a home’s exterior.
Pairs well with: Colonial, Greek Revival, Italian Villa, Georgian, & Craftsman style homes
Once the standard for shutters, this style is still as popular and versatile as ever. While the louvers once functioned to allow for airflow in a pre-air conditioned world, you can still get the style with fixed louvers.
Pairs well with: Colonial, Victorian, Greek Revival, & Craftsman style homes
Time-tested and always in style, paneled shutters continue to be a top pick year after year. Whether the panels are raised or flat, this style is perfect for people who prefer a minimalist, clean look.
Pairs well with: Coastal Homes
Sometimes called Bermuda shutters, this style of shutter is most often found on beach houses because they can block light while allowing a breeze. Instead of being installed on the sides of windows, they are installed at the top and open outward away from the home like an awning. If needed, they can easily close to protect the windows during a hurricane.
Now that you know more about each of the four most popular shutter styles, ask yourself the following questions.
What's Your Home's Architectural Style?
While there are no “shutter police” who will come knocking if you make an unexpected choice, it is smart to take cues from your home’s architecture. Broadly speaking, you can’t go wrong pairing a traditional-style home with louvered or paneled shutters. Likewise, a farmhouse with board and batten shutters is almost always a guaranteed good look, but the same shutters would probably look wrong on a Spanish-style home. Go for a cruise in your neighborhood and take note of what shutters stand out to you in a good way.
Would You Consider Mixing Styles?
If you find yourself drawn to more than one style, you might be able to incorporate both. Some homes look balanced with two different styles of shutters. For example, a two-story home with single-panel shutters on the bottom floors and louvered shutters on top is not uncommon. Or, keep the same style but add a bit of interest by changing up the shape (e.g. rectangular louvered shutters on the bottom and arched louvered shutters on the top). As long as you allow for symmetry, there’s no need to choose one or the other.
Consider How Color Plays Into It
As you contemplate shutter styles, don’t forget to factor in how color will impact the overall look. While you may love the look of Louvered Over Flat Panel Shutters, you may decide that Flat Panel Shaker Style Shutters would look better with the bright yellow paint you had in mind.
Of course, the most important detail to consider when choosing your shutter color is the exterior color of your home. If you have a light-colored exterior, choose a shutter color that is at least a few shades darker. Similarly, dark-colored exteriors look best with shutter colors that are at least a few shades lighter than your home’s siding. The key is contrast, which will allow your shutters to both stand out and complement the color already showcased on your home.
Depending on your exterior, shades of white, black, or gray paint are pretty fool-proof options for your shutters. Then again, if you want to make a statement, consider going bold with a brighter color. A deep red, light blue, or dark green can add personality to the home without being distracting.
There’s no “right” answer, but hopefully you now feel more prepared to narrow down your list of potential shutter styles. Want to try before you buy? Don’t forget you can get a Shutter Kit to get a better sense of materials and color options for your shutters!