Shutter design, tips and features for window shutters

Knock Knock. Hard wood solid shutters for anyone

Solid half shutter panels on a door close up detail of solid panel shutter

DATE: July 29, 2010

AUTHOR: Neil Davies


Solid shutters or as they are sometimes referred to as shaker shutters are a long standing traditional window covering which has appealed to some, but not all. We have all (well maybe not all, but many of us lucky enough to be living in countries steeped with history) will have seen traditional solid wood panelling on grand interior homes, stately homes often, you can see some beautiful examples here at Petworth House gallery.

Making the design choice for your windows to have solid window shutters is a tough choice, you have to be sure your interior can carry it off. We would recommend reading through our design section before making the first move, but for some home owners, shaker style shutters are a thing of beauty and practicality which sit absolutely perfectly complimenting their interior decor.

A solid shutter can add a depth of character to a room as well as a unique style. When many consumers opt for slatted shutters, or dare we say it curtains or blinds, a solid hard covering can definitely set your home apart from the Jones’. One the whole, a larger room is needed to carry off such a design statement. This is really because when the shutters are all closed (you could read our article about opening and closing shutters here) they will leave a pretty hard and stark solid finish. Now this can look really stunning, some companies provide different finishes of solid shutters, you can see really good examples of solid shutters and this company shows in their shutter gallery how these look in practical terms. - please come back after going!!

Now your room doesn’t have to be particularly large to carry off solid shutters. Sad, but true, I watched a great episode of DIY SOS which in which Julia really did design a gorgeous room with solid wood paneling and it was tiny but carried it off perfectly. Sorry I can’t remember which episode - if anyone knows - will you please let me know. Now they used for budget reasons MDF wood, however if you are opting for wooden solid shutters then please please please why not have solid wood? This company in the USA has great samples on their site for different hard wood shutters to see the difference and there are plenty of FSC shutter companies so why use manmade fibre board when you can have the real thing!?

Before making a comitement there are some other options with solid shutters. For one thing as briefly mentioned above you can have flat wooden panels or raised and bevelled shutters. If you think about a kitchen design, something along the lines of wooden traditional doors, you might be able to picture the raised suraface many of these panels have. That is exactly what the difference is between shaker style (aha see - shaker style kitchens) and solid raised styles. A subtle but important difference. Now this opens up yet more opportunity to make design variations in your shutter choice in the solid style. Namely with some shutter companies you can opt for a split between the top and bottom half of the panel, so (and this is quite exciting to someone as sad as me) you can now have solid panels at the bottom and slatted panels at the top! Bingo, for me this would be the perfect choice for many applications (see attached image - it demonstrates this) especially doors and taller windows.

So lets have a recap.

  • Solid panel shutters (whether you call them shaker or otherwise) can make your interior look like a stately home, almost instantly (well nearly)!
  • Your room will usually want to be quite airy to carry off a lot of solid panels, however the chances are if you have a lot of windows to cover, it probably is a pretty airy room.
  • Contradticting above, you can instal these styles in smaller rooms, make their colour a deciding factor here.
  • Smaller rooms and doors and room divisions lend themselves perfectly to half solid and half slatted shutters
  • Always go for hard woods if you can - and, we say choose eco friendly FSC haardwoods too. (we’ll write about this soon so stay in touch)
  • Closing your solid shutters will darken your room a treat, perfect for nurseries and bedrooms.
  • You will feel safe and secure behind a solid panel, but cafe style shutters might also do the trick

We really hope you find this useful I know it sometimes takes a woman's touch when thinking about interiors and design, so feel free to let us know if you have any points or further comments and we will defintely post your thoughts here. If they are nice of course. We appreciate your visit, hop back soon! If you are restoring a Victorian or period property you might want to follow up this article with a read of this article which mentions shutters and does and don'ts (in their opinion) to do with restoration.

Shutters do's and don'ts

Think about the design of your plantation shutters for windows try and think ahead and see past the fashions of the day. Shutters will (SHOULD!) last you a very long time, and buying screaming pink shutters for your windows may not be such a great idea in three years time when your daughter has grown up and wants red instead! Shutters for doors might be a nice idea too!

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