There’s no need to be bound by convention when it comes to outdoor shutters. There’s such a wide variety of styles, colors and materials available, you’re only limited by your imagination. While conventional shutters add interest to any home, there’s also a lot of opportunity to create something completely unique with your shutters.
Mix it up! Don’t assume you’re required to use the same type of shutters on your entire home. There are some really great shutter combinations that add a lot of style and functionality. One of my favorites is the Bahama/Louvered Shutter pairing (Fig 1). The bottom windows have that great exterior accent with an unobstructed view, while the second story windows offer shade and privacy. And as pretty as this house looks, it’s also well protected from hurricanes.
Not just for windows. Shutters are a great addition for doors, too! As Fig 2 illustrates, exterior shutters add a lot of charm to these doorways, as well as protection. Design note: shutters work best with narrow doors, because each one should be about half as wide as the opening. Even if they’re not operable, decorative shutters should give the appearance that they could close and cover the entire opening.
Exercise restraint.You’re not obligated to put shutters on EVERY window. Depending on the width of the window, it actually looks better to leave some unadorned (remember, they should at least give the illusion of being able to cover the whole window when closed). Fig 3 shows a beautiful clean design where less really is more.
Add design elements. Spice up plain shutters with sunbursts and headers. This distinctive exterior window molding creates a polished look, and can be configured to fit just about any home. Fig 4 shows a really great use of these design elements, combined with louvered shutters.
So flex your creative muscles and don’t be afraid to be unconventional. We’d love to see what you’ve come up with!