External window shutters can be installed for purely decorative purposes, or they can have a practical application, such as keeping out draughts during the winter, providing shade in the summer and increasing the security of your windows. When you decide to install external window shutters, you'll need to choose a style of shutter that complements your style of windows and the construction material of your home. Here's an overview of three design options to consider when purchasing external shutters:
Decorative louvre shutters are ideal for those who don't want to completely block out natural light when the shutters are closed. The slats come in different widths, and in some models, the angle of the slats can be adjusted to vary the amount of light that can come through your window. The louvre design is classic and suits both period and contemporary house styles. However, as each shutter is composed of a number of slats, they don't always work well with small windows, as they can make the window seem too busy or crowded. Louvre shutters come in solid wood or PVC, and if you're concerned about being able to clean them easily, the PVC variety is easy to care for. If you don't mind applying a stain or weather seal to your shutters every couple of years, solid wood louvre shutters can look more elegant.
Panel shutters are solid, so they can be a good option for those who primarily want to block out draughts and who don't mind having no natural light in the room when the window shutters are closed. A plain panel design works well with small windows and houses with a modern brick construction. The panels are also available with decorative mullions, borders, wood grain texture or etched patterns, which will suit those who want solid shutters that aren't too plain. Panel shutters are available in solid wood or copolymer, and the latter requires no maintenance.
Board shutters have a rustic look that will complement country homes or beach houses. Composed of vertical boards that are joined together with horizontal cross battens, these shutters can be solid or have spaces between the boards. The vertical boards also come in a variety of widths, and if you have small windows, opting for wide boards can prevent the shutters clashing with the design of your windows. Board shutters are also available in solid wood and copolymer, and although wood needs to be weather treated, wooden board shutters will complement your home if it's constructed of wood or stone.
If you're unsure of the best style of external shutters for your house, your shutter provider can show you samples of the shutters they think would enhance the appearance of your home.