Dressing bay windows with shutters

Here at Diamond Shutters, we cannot deny the appeal of bay windows. Their expansive frames and beautifully angled silhouettes grant them an ornate appearance from both inside and out, and they never fail to introduce elements of Victorian charm into the home. Such features perhaps explain why the bay window so often constitutes the centrepiece of a room, with many choosing to accentuate their shape and grandeur by placing a decorative rug or an eye-catching ottoman on the bay floor.

But the benefits of bay windows are more than aesthetic – they also free up space in your room, bring in bucketfuls of natural light, and allow expansive views of your street or garden. Overall, given their stately elegance and functional benefits, bay windows often prove to be a major selling point in terraced houses and modern flats alike.

However…

Many homeowners experience a kind of ‘love-hate’ relationship with their bay windows. While they do enjoy a number of great features, these same features can present certain problems in your space. The size of the windows can lead to a greater loss of heat and increased draughts, and the light can be overpowering when the sun is in a certain position. Furthermore, while you may have better views of the outdoors, people out on the street will also have a better view of your interior, which may compromise your privacy to some extent.

As we’ve established, bay windows benefit from a range of interesting and attractive design features – but preventing the above problems often requires smothering them in drapery or obscuring their unique form with large blinds. Is there an alternative window dressing which can complement the design of some bay windows while maintaining a certain degree of practicality? Enter: window shutters.

Benefits of shutters for bay windows

With our window shutters, you are able to complement your bay windows perfectly as each shutter panel is bespoke and made-to-measure. Whatever the shape and size your bay window, Diamond Shutters can craft custom shutters to fit snugly within each frame, enhancing their unique shape at the same time. Curtains or blinds will not only reduce the visual impact of your bay windows, but they will also take up more space on within your bay – for instance, curtains will cover the entire bey from ceiling to floor).

With window shutters, however, there is no excess material outside of the bay windows themselves – indeed, when your shutters are wide open, its almost like there is nothing covering your windows at all. In addition, window shutters offer greater control over light thanks to their adjustable louvers, allowing you to dampen to overpowering light that bay windows may sometimes cause in your space. Tilting the louvers also offer increased privacy, insulation, and security – it’s a no brainer, when you think about it!

How to style bay windows with shutters

If you’re sold on the idea of introducing you bay windows to a brand new set of window shutters, it might be worth thinking about how exactly you will style the windows. Which style of shutter will you choose? And how can you use them to enhance the overall appearance of your bay windows? Read our design suggestions below for some ideas…

  • Most people choose to install a single window shutter on each of their bay windows (usually three separate panels for three window frames). This makes the bay window look more cohesive and offers you more control over light and ventilation. If you did want to leave some of your bay window exposed, rather than omitting one window altogether, opt for café style shutters – these leave the top of your window shutter-free!
  • You will need to decide the best louver size to suit your bay windows. Larger louvers will allow more light to enter your space and give your space a more minimalist feel (although some claim that it lessens their privacy). Smaller louvers offer more privacy but often less light – which could be a good thing for street-level bay windows that usually suffer from too much sunlight. Read our guide on choosing the right louvers for more.
  • More a more traditional look, choose solid shutters for your bay windows – these were the most common dressing for bay windows in the Victorian era – mainly to give the windows increased security! Nowadays, they have the added benefit of keeping out drafts and improving insulation, thus eliminating some common qualms that people have about their bay windows. If you want more versatility, however, choose tier-on-tier shutters: these allow you to operate the top and bottom halves of your shutters independently, which in turn lets you attain the perfect mix of light and privacy.

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Fancy introducing some gorgeous new shutters into your home? Feel free to get in touch with the friendly team at Diamond Shutters to make your interior dreams come true!

Choosing the right colour for window shutters

Pinning down the right colour for your window shutters can be a big decision in terms of design, especially given the influence shutters have on your interior as a whole. Shutters define a space (whether a living room or a bathroom), so it is of utmost importance that you get it right. However, this will take a lot of planning, a hint of inspiration, and some advice from the experts. As a company who lives and breathes window shutters, we consider ourselves those experts, so in this post we are going to advise you on how to pick shutter colours for your home.

All in all, this process requires thinking about which colours are most often used for shutters, which elements of your interior you’d like to complement, and how best to keep up with the design and decor that defines the rest of your interior. Let’s start with an important question…

Which colours are popular with shutters?

Each type of shutter comes with its own selection of colours, and as such certain colours are more popular with certain kinds of shutter. For instance, Phoenix shutters are often paired with light shades of brown while Boston shutters are primarily seen in a selection of white tones. Practically speaking, if you would prefer to go for a ‘safe’ colour with your shutters, take a look through our gallery to get an idea of the colours previously used by our customers. All in all, white and wooden tones are the most popular choice of shutter colours, not least because such colours are incredibly versatile, more likely to blend into any interior regardless of colour palette.

But you don’t have to go with neutral tones simply because they are more popular with the average consumer. The range of shutters available on the market today is more diverse than most think – there are colours for all interiors, all palettes, and all personal tastes. So why not make a statement out of your shutters and pick a more bold and standout colour instead? Those looking to strike a contrast with their shutters and make them stand out against their interior should look toward those bolder colours (e.g. cherry reds, black walnuts, golden oaks). Dark-coloured shutters are less common than whites and browns but they can certainly pack a punch when contrasted with minimal interiors, and they fit like a glove into more urban homes. Bold and brazen colours not your thing? Try staining wooden shutters with a soft finish to accentuate the natural qualities of the grain and bring an element of authenticity to your space.

How to pick shutter colours that work

The shutter colours you choose often comes down to two things: your personal taste and the room itself. Just as every person has different preferences when it comes to their interiors, every room demands a different set of colours, textures, and patterns. The main question is: do you want your shutters to blend in with such features or stand out against them and work as a kind of statement piece? The versatility of shutters gives them room to fit both of these purposes, with the ability either merge or contrast with almost any interior. Just make sure you choose the colour that works best for your desired look. Alongside the form and material of your shutters, their colour and finish determines the prominence they have within your space.

More than any other feature, your walls establish the overall colour scheme within your interior. As such, the exact colour of your window shutters is largely dependent on the palette set out by the tones and shades that make up the walls surrounding your windows. With kitchen shutters, consider the colour of your units, countertops, island, and floor before settling on a colour. Likewise, the colour palettes in dining rooms and living rooms are often set out by furnishings, flooring, and decorations. In the bathroom, look toward the colour of the sink, the bath, the tile. Whatever space you are dealing with, you should figure out the overarching colour scheme before deciding which colour your window shutters will be and how they will function in the room – you just need to look in the right places to work it out!

The style of interior you’re dealing with is also an important factor when picking shutter colours. For instance, modern interiors usually look best when they feature a coherent palette of whites paired with clean lines and smooth textures. As such, contemporary shutters are often comprised of glossier materials like MDF or LVL, which can help foster a perfectly minimal palette when topped off with a white or beige coat. However, these modern and sleek colours can sometimes clash with the warm shades of brown that usually make up traditional interiors. Such designs are best served by shutters which come available in more ‘classic’ colours like wooden browns, elegant greens, or perhaps subtle shades of blue.

Can you paint your shutters?

Generally speaking, we do not recommend that you paint your window shutters. Why is that? Because it’s a job only for professionals (quite often, a job for machines) that most people will not have the necessary skills and experience to complete. Unless you’re like Da Vinci with a brush or like Banksy with a spray can, you will likely find it very difficult to apply an even finish of paint to shutters as they are very picky and complex in shape. Furthermore, paint can seep into the mechanism and stick very quickly (e.g. in between the louvers and the frame), so painting your shutters on a DIY basis has the potential compromise the functionality of your shutters.

But this should not pose any problems for those who know which shutter colours they prefer. Shutters come in a wide range of custom colours, more than enough to suit your personal taste, so the only problem you may encounter when getting the right colour is being spoilt for choice! For instance, here at Diamond Shutters we have a spectrum of wood finishes from golden oak to black walnut. In addition, we have a vibrant selection of paint tones encompassing every shade of white imaginable (for all you clean-cut minimalists out there). So get browsing, because whatever colour you end up choosing we are bound to stock an exact match!

For more information and guidance regarding interior window shutters, feel free to get in touch with the Diamond Shutters team and we’d be delighted to help. We’ll even guide you through the process of how to pick shutter colours that are perfect for your home and personal tastes!

Applying shutters in a contemporary home

Window shutters as we know them today come imbued with a sense of traditional elegance. Dressing windows from the continental cafés of France to the georgian homes of England, interior shutters enjoy a long heritage of popularity in designs stretching back decades. However, this does not mean that shutters are incompatible with more contemporary interiors. Quite the contrary. Over the years, they have evolved in line with modern design sensibilities. They are often adapted to suit minimalist or urban interiors while keeping their traditional charm. But how should you go about applying shutters in a contemporary home?

There are a number of factors to consider when designing a modern home with shutters, whether it’s the colour, the shape, the size, or the type of shutter that suits your home best. Whatever your individual requirements, there are a number of ways in which shutters can be applied to the contemporary home. As experts in window shutters, it is our job to explain how. So let’s take a look at some tips for incorporating window shutters with a modern twist.

Contemporary shutter design

Owing to modern manufacturing and carpentry, window shutters are now designed to suit contemporary homes as well as more traditional ones. They are favoured by many new builds and urban interiors for their clean and sleek appearance with a range of colours and finishes. That perfect balance of versatility and elegance is undoubtedly appealing by modern standards, despite the traditional heritage behind window shutters.

The traditional Victorian look of solid shutters and the European charm of café style shutters continue to work well as period pieces, but they still complement more contemporary interiors. Indeed, window shutters are no longer restricted to the hardwood designs of centuries old. Materials such as MDF and ABS make your shutters feel at home amidst the luscious sheen enjoyed by interiors today.

The minimalist aesthetic

Minimalist homes are all the range in the 21st century, hence more people are embracing window shutters for their clean lines and simple elegance. Shutters fit right in with these minimalist interior designs. Full height shutters can give your windows an appearance of balance and uniformity, especially when used without a midrail that divides the panel in two.

There are many more ways in which window shutters can take on this type of simplicity. Shutters with wider louvers (and therefore fewer louvers) benefit from having fewer lines and less of a ‘busy’ appearance, and shutters with hidden tilt rods give the dressing a more streamlined look by eliminating any vertical lines that cut across the louvers. Among others, these minimalist features present a great reason for applying shutters in a contemporary home.

What about the windows?

As our homes continue to enjoy neat bespoke designs with features that are made to measure, window shutters become a more popular choice with designers for their amazing versatility. Whatever the shape and size of your window, shutters can provide a perfect fit with that tailored appearance so commonly seen across contemporary homes. And we’re not just talking about shutters fitted for different kinds of rectangular windows… With circular, triangular, arched, and even hexagonal shutters available on the market, our special shaped shutters come in designs that can satisfy even the most obscure types of windows. Just make sure that the louvers of your shutters line up with the existing contours of your window frame and any patterns on the glass for that truly bespoke feel.

Practical benefits for contemporary homes

Designing and living in a contemporary home involves catering to the needs and requirements of modern times, such as our desire for eco-friendly features and technological efficiency. Luckily, window shutters boast a large list of practical benefits for the modern home as well as the aesthetic benefits listed above. First off, shutters have proven to be very energy efficient.

Their thick and thermal build helps prevent heat from escaping through windows, eliminating the need for artificial heating. Plus, with heaps of natural light streaming through your shutters you will find yourself relying less on artificial lighting during those darker months. As a result, homeowners who are conscious about their energy consumption in times where eco-friendly decisions are more pressing than ever, will not regret investing in some window shutters for their contemporary home. If you want to read more on the eco-friendly benefits of window shutters, consult out previous blog post on the subject.

For more help with your shutters get in touch with the Diamond Shutters team and we’d be delighted to help!

The many shapes and sizes of window shutters

One of the main benefits of window shutters for many of our customers is their versatility, especially when compared to other window treatments such as curtains and blinds. Not only can the design of shutters suit a range of different interiors, they can also fit window frames of any shape and size, no matter how awkward they may seem. Arched windows? Circular windows? Large french doors? No problem. If you have a window with a unique design that has always been left without any decoration, we are able to craft some bespoke special shaped shutters that fit your window beautifully. In order for you to understand this versatility, here we will detail the many shapes and sizes of window shutters available on the market.

Arched shutters

Arched windows are among the more common geometric designs seen in home interiors, usually forming a separate panel above larger window or crown doorways as with certain transom windows. Such windows can be fitted with complementary arched shutters which can add an extra degree of interest to this stand-out design feature. Window shutters can be designed to fit many different types of arches, from the individual semi-circles seen atop regular windows to the more complex designs of norman windows.

The louvers can be fitted to create a gorgeous sunburst pattern (with the louvers spreading outward from the centre of the bottom rail) which makes for an eye-catching statement when coupled with some full height shutters. Alternatively, arched shutters can be designed with horizontal louvers that span multiple panels of different shapes – this has the benefit of giving your curved windows a more uniform appearance.

Louver sizes

One of the defining aspects of any window shutter is the size of the louvers (the adjustable slats that span across the width of the frame). Whether the louvers are spindly or thick depends on both the shape of the frame and your own personal tastes – rest assured there is a perfect size for all windows. The width of the louvers is one of the more important variants on your shutters, which usually ranges from 47mm to 114mm depending on the manufacturer.

The width you opt for will not only determine the look of your shutters, but also how much light and privacy they offer to your space. As a general rule, intricate windows require smaller louvers while expansive windows (bay windows and french doors) require larger louvers. Aesthetically speaking, smaller louvers suit more traditional interiors replete with plenty of exciting decorative elements, whereas larger louvers suit modern interiors with a minimalist edge (bigger louvers means fewer lines dividing the room).

Geometric shapes

Shutters can be designed and fitted to suit even the most distinctive shapes in window design. There truly is no shape too outlandish for the versatile designs of window shutters; they can easily accommodate a range of interesting geometric shapes including triangles, circles, hexagons, and trapeziums. Rather than diminishing your privacy and light control by leaving distinctly shaped windows undressed, special shaped shutters give you full control over these features while simultaneously improving the aesthetic of your interior.

For instance, porthole windows often present a problem for blinds and curtains as these dressings do not work with non-rectangular designs. But window shutters can be tailored to circular windows, with louvers shaped to fit the rounded frame like a glove while remaining completely functional. Likewise, since the windows in rooms with sloped roofs (i.e. gable ends) are often triangle or trapezium shaped, they are not compatible with dressings that require level headrails to work. On the other hand, special shaped shutters can fit perfectly into angled window frames while remaining completely functional.

French doors and wider openings

Larger openings can often be difficult to dress effectively without covering the beautiful window design with reams of drapery or dividing the room up with blinds. You can complement the existing design of your french doors and bay windows with some complementary shutters, measured and fitted to your particular requirements. Indeed, shutters are able to highlight the beauty of french doors while still providing adequate light, ventilation, insulation, and privacy. Your shutters can even be crafted in accordance with the specific shape of your french doors, with specially made gaps to ensure they do not cut across the handles.

These larger shutter designs are usually made with full-height panels with large louvers, although some use tier-on-tier shutters or café-style shutters with a mid-rail that separates the doors into two distinct panels. Whichever style you choose, your windows and doors are guaranteed to look special when adorned with bespoke window shutters.

For more information and guidance regarding interior window shutters, feel free to get in touch with the Diamond Shutters team and we’d be delighted to help!

A guide to the different styles of interior window shutter

One of the main benefits of interior window shutters is their versatility. Shutters can accommodate the design requirements of any home, offering a wide variety of different materials, colours, finishes, shapes and styles to play around with. From bathrooms to kitchens through bedrooms and lounges, you can spruce up any room with the addition of fresh shutters.

If you’re sold on the idea of buying some new window shutters but do not know where to start, the most logical first step would be deciding which style of shutter best suits your interior. This decision depends largely on whether you would prefer flexible levels of privacy, insulation, light control, or all of the above. We understand that the terminology can get confusing, and sometimes the differences (however important) aren’t immediately obvious. As such, this blog post will aim to clear things up by outlining the individual styles of interior window shutters.

Full height shutters

As perhaps the most popular style of interior window shutter among our customers, it’s clear that full height shutters are a go-to classic within the industry. They come as full panels that span the length of your window from top to bottom, and you may install as many panels as you see fit across the width of your window.

Some full height shutters also have a midrail in the centre that divides the top and bottom halves into two distinct sections, each with separate tilt rods that allow you to operate the louvers of each section individually. This allows you to achieve a combination of privacy and good lighting without compromising one for the sake of the other (as is the case with curtains). Furthermore, the midrail itself provides structural support and prevents warping in your shutters.

While other shutter styles can be opened in separate compartments (see: tier-on-tier shutters), the full height shutters opens up in one piece. This means that they must be fully open or closed at any given time, which ensures maximum privacy at all times but may put off those looking for more control in their shutters. Aesthetically, full height shutters have been noted for their timeless elegance and robust design. Plus, the lack of busy panelling allows their clean lines to elongate your window frame.

Café style shutters

Named as such due to their long heritage in European cafés and restaurants, café style shutters are designed and fitted only to cover the lower section of your windows. On top of giving your room a traditional touch of continental sophistication, this style of shutters grants privacy from prying eyes while still letting in plenty of light. As such, café style shutters are ideal for street-level windows and front room bay windows that are often passed by people outside.

The top part of the window can either be left as it is or fitted with another type of window covering. Some are deterred by the lack of upper panelling as it leads to a lack of insulation, especially when it comes to homes with single glazing. In such cases, they can be used in conjunction with curtains to provide an extra layer of insulation. Alternatively, you may prefer solid shutters (see below) as they have a reputation for being great insulators.

Tier on tier shutters

If flexibility is your number one priority, tier on tier shutters offer you a great degree of control over light, insulation, privacy and noise. They come in the form of two individual shutter units (or tiers) stacked on top of one another, allowing you to open the upper and lower halves of your shutters separately (both with the panels and the louvers). This means that you can achieve a range of combinations and positions with your shutters.

Tier on tier shutters offer a combination of privacy and light (as the top half can be opened while the bottom half remains closed) as well as offering full insulation (as both halves can be closed, unlike with café style shutters). In other words, these are some of the most versatile shutters on the market – they have benefits unattainable by the likes of curtains and blinds. They are versatile in an aesthetic sense too, with a stylish design that suits a number of different interiors.

People often find themselves attracted to the functionality of tier on tier shutters, only to keep them locked in a single position. As such, before you opt for these, consider whether you would actually be using the top panels and playing around with different variations. If not, perhaps full height shutters are the best option for you.

Special shaped shutters

Special shaped shutters are named as such because, well… they are made in special shapes! Window frames come in a range of shapes and sizes, some of them more conventional than others. While curtains and blinds cannot be fitted to these types of frames, shutters can be designed to fit any window shape regardless of how difficult it may seem.

Special shaped shutters are the ideal solution for covering unconventional windows in a way that also adds a new dimension of interest to the frame – no longer should they need to remain uncovered. Whether the window frame is asymmetrical, triangular, curved or circular, no design is too difficult for these shutters. As well as remaining perfectly functional, their sleek designs and snug fittings add a graceful and bespoke look to any room. Rather than being a source of frustration, we think that distinct and interesting windows should be celebrated.

Solid shutters

Dating back centuries, solid shutters offer a classic look that evokes the traditionalism of Victorian and Edwardian homes. These shutters are completely solid (as the name suggests), foregoing the adjustable louvers enjoyed by other shutters. They were initially used to provide added security to unguarded homes, but they have since gained a reputation as great insulators and blockers of noise. Often made of solid wood, they are also among the most durable options on the market today.

Since lighting a room with solid shutters requires opening the shutter at its hinge, they are not ideal for those looking to achieve a balance of light and insulation. Still, while lacking in the same degree of control made possible by shutters with louvers, solid shutters can offer both complete darkness and complete sunlight with relative ease. In a design sense, they work best in traditional homes looking to celebrate their classic heritage.

Still a bit spoilt for choice? Don’t worry, our team of window shutter specialists are here to help! For help discerning which styles of shutter are best suited to your interior requirements, feel free to get in touch with Diamond Shutters and a member of our friendly team will be happy to help.