Window shutters are a sophsticated window treatment which can be timeless in the right setting. 

bathroom window shutters - a guide to choosing window shutters - home improvements - granddesignsmagazine.com 

Image: Blinds2go

The louvre size, choice of material and opening method are just some of the options to consider when selecting this versatile window treatment.

This quick guide which will help you choose and purchase the right shutters for you and your home.

Before you buy

bathroom open shutters - a guide to choosing window shutters - home improvements - granddesignsmagazine.com

Image: Clement Browne

Take into account how you will use your shutters before you commit to a design. For instance, will you open them up regularly or keep them closed and adjust the louvres to control the light coming in? It’s worth discussing your requirements with different suppliers who will advise you on the best fixings for your needs and whether you need a track or not.

Interior shutters can be solid or feature a series of louvred slats that overlap each other. The louvres can be opened and closed to let in more or less light and for privacy. Traditionally, they are controlled via a tilt rod but the latest designs can be operated by hidden mechanisms or by remote control. A latch or lock can be fitted to provide an extra layer of security. Shutters require regular cleaning to remove dust, which can be a fiddly process, and they take up more space than blinds so may not be ideal for very small windows.

DIY or bespoke?

pink shutters - a guide to choosing window shutters - home improvements - granddesignsmagazine.com

Image: Clement Browne

The number of windows you want to cover, the style of shutter and what it’s made of will have a big influence on the final cost of your shutters. At the premium end of the market, companies provide a full service where they will measure, make and fit your shutters. You simply choose the style, material and colour you want.

A less-expensive option is to measure up your space, place your order online and fit the shutters yourself. The designs are custom-made to your specifications but there are no installation costs. This is only recommended for standard windows; a full service option should be taken for anything out of the ordinary. 

Which style of shutter is right for you?

wooden shutters - a guide to choosing window shutters - home improvements - granddesignsmagazine.com

Image: Shutterly Fabulous

Tier on tier

Tier-on-tier designs have two independent sections, one on top of the other. The tiers can be opened and closed separately. For instance, the bottom can be closed for privacy with the tier above kept open for light and fresh air. 

Full-height

Full-height options are classic in design and are ideal for most windows, but are particularly suited for tall ones, in which case they usually have a centrally placed dividing rail for strength. The louvres above and below the rail can be adjusted separately. For large expanses of glazing or patio doors, a tracked system is recommended. 

Café-style

Cafe-style shutters are fitted at the bottom section of the window only. They suit rooms where there’s no need for complete privacy but may not be suitable for bedrooms or bathrooms as they don’t provide total blackout at night. 

Solid panels

Solid panels are available in a range of designs, from simple shaker styles to those with raised or moulded centre panels. They are ideal for creating a near blackout effect and offer high levels of noise insulation.

The right material

office shutters - a guide to choosing window shutters - home improvements - granddesignsmagazine.com

Image: Thomas Sanderson

Top-of-the-range interior shutters are made from solid hardwood, which can be lacquered, stained or treated to reveal the timber’s natural beauty. Look for sustainably sourced options: those with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification are from managed forests that don’t have a negative impact on the environment. Shutters made from teak, paulownia, basswood, poplar, oak or cherry can be bought from specialist companies and DIY chains. They are a significant investment, and prices vary according to the type and whether you have them installed professionally.

Shutters made from MDF or craftwood are more affordable options. They have a wood-like appearance but can only be painted, not stained. Hybrid composites are a mid-range product combining an MDF frame with wooden louvres. Composites won’t warp or crack in fluctuating temperatures. For bathrooms, uPVC or ABS are waterproof.

 

What is your opinion on window shutters? Share your thoughts with us by tweeting us @granddesigns or post a comment on our Facebook page.

 

MORE ARTICLES

What to consider when choosing glazing for your self-build

A guide to broken-plan living spaces

Building regulations: what you need to know

Kevins Column

Top self build highlights at Grand Designs Live 2019 hosted by Kevin McCloud

Find top experts, specialist exhibitors and a wealth of inspiration for your self-build or renovation project all under one roof.
visit-award-winning-grand-designs-live-hosted-by-kevin-mccloud
 
 
handleless-kitchens
Home Improvements

Handleless kitchens: design ideas for sleek cabinetry

Take inspiration from these real spaces using handleless kitchen cabinetry for a more streamlined space.
copper-baths
Home Improvements

Copper baths: what you need to know

Here's what you need to know before investing in a copper or nickel bathtub for your bathroom design.
how-to-choose-and-install-the-perfect-stove
Home Improvements

How to choose and install the perfect stove

The right stove can really be the core of your home, welcoming and warm. Find out what to look for with an expert guide to...
green-homes-grant-tradesperson
Home Improvements

Green Homes Grant: 5 tips for finding a tradesperson

HomeOwners Alliance offers up the best practice for finding someone to undertake your Green Homes Grant renovation projects.
spray-foam-insulation-for-greener-homes
Home Improvements

Spray foam insulation for greener homes

Take a look at how spray foam insulation and solar panels are perfect partners for improving your home's energy efficiency.
guide-to-secondary-glazing
Home Improvements

Green Homes Grant: guide to secondary glazing

For period properties or home's where replacing single glazing isn't an option, secondary glazing can offer a solution.