Many considerations go into choosing the right exterior shutters for a luxury home. Some of these factors are fundamental, like opting for fixed versus functional shutters or selecting the right material for custom exterior shutters.
And then there are the aesthetic aspects. How do you know what kind of shutter style is right for your home? If you’re considering adding or replacing exterior shutters on an existing home, here are a few recommendations to help you hone in on the perfect choice for your home’s design:
Start With Your Home's Architectural Style
There is no end to the number of architectural styles, and they are constantly evolving with personal tastes and changes in human needs. With luxury homes in particular, the architectural style is an important consideration because many borrow from different forms.
When assessing exterior shutters, start by considering the home’s architecture. Is it a classic style, like Cape Cod or Greek Revival? Is it more current, like MId-Century Modern or Contemporary? Is it something in between? Or is it a mix of styles?
Identifying the architectural style is an essential starting point, especially if there is a desire for historical accuracy. If you’re adding or updating exterior shutters on a Colonial-style home, for example, you may want a combination of panel shutters on the first floor and louver shutters on the second to reflect the traditional look and shutter usage. That said, some home styles, such as Cape Cod, lend themselves to various shutter types.
Familiarize Yourself With the Available Options
Once you have your home’s architectural style (or styles) identified, it’s time to move on to the shutters themselves.
Like architectural styles, shutters have gone through their own evolution over time. The material that they’re made of has changed. So have many of the minor design elements and options. Even so, most classic styles have been adapted or reinvented over the years and remain very much alive.
Here are a few of the most common shutter styles available:
- Mission shutters offer an “Arts & Crafts” design that emphasizes simplicity and cleanliness.
- Panel shutters are classic shutter options that can be both raised and recessed, and provide a sleek exterior decor option.
- Board-and-batten shutters bring a classic vibe to a home with their thick, recognizable, vintage appeal.
- Louver shutters offer a traditional ventilated look that never grows old.
- Combination shutters are Timberlane’s unique, head-turning take on panel and louver shutters.
When shopping for shutters for a luxury home, it’s important to note that you can tailor individual styles to the specifications of your abode. Each style is adjustable, from colors to finishes to materials; even functionality (which some architects argue is crucial to exterior shutters).
Research and Experiment With Different Pairings
Many architects and home designers consider exterior shutters part of a home’s “window ensemble.” In other words, the shutters, windows and trimmings are all part of a single design element that helps pull a home’s facade together.
As such, it’s a good idea to take an even closer look beyond the home’s overall stylistic appearance. How do the shutters pair with the windows themselves? Do particular shutter-window combinations seem to enhance or detract from the home’s exterior appearance?
As an example, if you’re seeking shutters for a stately Federal-style home, you may want to focus on panel shutters and louvered shutters. If the home has a lot of dentilation, which is common among Federal architecture, you may want to consider a simpler panel design. If the home lacks dentilated elements and the exterior could use a splashier element, louver shutters can spice things up.
Another example would be using board-and-batten shutters on a French Country-style home. This traditional type of shutter reflects a relaxed but practical appearance.
Avoid Common Exterior Shutter Mistakes
As you evaluate shutters, it’s important to avoid some common exterior errors. Some mistakes can lead to an awful facade and even diminish your home’s curb appeal and value.
One of the most common exterior-shutter hazards is poor sizing. This is why it pays to work with an experienced shutter provider who offers customized shutters.
Short shutters stick out like a sore thumb. But shutter width is also critical, particularly when the shutters must be functional. If the shutters are the right height but too narrow, for instance, they will not cover the full window treatment.
Remember that shutters are not just for the front of your house, or the side facing the most traffic. Leaving some windows shutterless can lead to a half-committed look and detract from a home’s market appeal.
Choosing Complementary Exterior Shutters for Your Home
Shutters may seem small individually, but they play a major role in pulling your window elements — and by extension the entire exterior of your home — together.
Timberlane offers custom exterior shutters designed to augment a luxury home’s distinctive architectural style. We work directly with architects, builders and homeowners to find the right shutters, whether aesthetic, functional or both, for your needs.