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.
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.