Exterior Shutter Ideas from Around the World

    Blue panel and bermuda shutters white stucco house front-1

    Exterior shutters and their uses are not bound by borders. While shutters are believed to have originated in ancient Greece, they have been refined globally based on evolving regional needs and aesthetic desires.

    The earliest known shutters were used in entryways and featured functional slats designed to keep out pests and inclement weather while providing light control and airflow regulation. Later window shutters were adapted variously for ventilation (louver shutters), privacy (panel shutters), storm protection (hurricane shutters), decorative accents (mission shutters) or mixed uses (combination shutters).

    International markets and trends continue to influence the design and use of exterior shutters, and the impacts often reverberate more rapidly and broadly today thanks to the immediacy of the internet and an increasingly global economy. Following are just a few ways shutters are being utilized in other countries that also apply to how shutters may be deployed on luxury homes and historic structures in the United States.

    Improve Energy Efficiency

    Pale green operable louver shutters with radius tops on gray stucco house single window top floor-social edit

    As global temperatures rise with climate change and utility rates continue to climb, many trade professionals and homeowners are seeking ways to improve residential energy efficiency. One solution is operable exterior shutters.

    In the United Kingdom, where air conditioning is a relative rarity compared with the United States, there has been a growing movement in recent years to install functional exterior shutters to help regulate interior temperatures. The average home can lose up to one-third of its energy consumption through its windows, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

    But a UK-based study into the thermal performance of traditional windows found that functional shutters that can fully close over windows offer an average 51-percent reduction in thermal loss. The same research found that operable shutters can be used year-round to maintain consistent indoor temperatures and reduce monthly energy consumption.

    Preserve Historic Integrity


    India has seen a renewed focus on preserving its historic buildings with a particular emphasis on traditional colored windows and functional shutters.

    In some cases, preservationists have restored existing shutters by stripping the previous finishes, adding fresh coats of paint and re-installing the shutters with period-appropriate hardware. In other cases, classically styled new shutters made from wood have been installed with new but historically accurate hardware.

    As in the United States, an increasing number of homeowners in India have begun to favor traditionally styled, operable shutters for contemporary residences that emulate historic architectural designs or are constructed with time-honored building materials and techniques. It’s important to note that in the U.S., many states and municipalities have regulations regarding shutter materials, styles, colors and hardware for historic districts and structures.

    Create Gathering Spaces



    Through his TikTok channel, an enterprising builder in Poland is popularizing the use of exterior shutters to create distinctive gathering areas on patios and porches.

    As the builder demonstrates in his videos, shutters may be employed to give separation to outdoor cooking spots, enclose social gathering areas, or fabricate intimate spaces for dining or relaxing. He has also applied exterior shutters as privacy fencing.

    Exterior shutters can further add privacy and character to poolhouses and outdoor bars. They can also be used to enhance indoor-outdoor flex spaces such as sunrooms or create crossover serving spaces between a home’s interior and a patio or porch.

    Blend Privacy and Personality


    In Spain and other Mediterranean countries, louver shutters have been prized for centuries for their capacity to control light, ventilation and privacy.

    Spain, for instance, ranks among the top countries for total daylight hours per year, and residents have long used functional shutters to manage interior light. Other Mediterranean nations have deep roots in Arab cultures, which value privacy within living spaces; operable shutters provide the benefits of natural light and airflow as well as on-demand privacy.

    Shutters also allow abundant opportunities for personal expression. Mediterranean countries including Spain are known in part for the vibrantly colored exterior shutters that enliven the surrounding environments and reflect residents’ individualism.

    About Timberlane Shutters: Peerless Beauty and Performance

    gallery-ocean-home2-social edit

    Timberlane is dedicated to crafting the world’s finest exterior shutters.

    Our skilled artisans have decades of experience manufacturing custom shutters for luxury homes and historic buildings. Whether you’re seeking decorative shutters to amplify a home’s curb appeal or desire the advantages of operable shutters, our knowledgeable design team can help you create shutters that fit perfectly and offer enduring beauty and function.

    We love collaborating with homeowners, architects, contractors and builders to design the ideal shutters for each project. If you’re ready to learn more about custom shutters or request a quote, connect with Timberlane today.


    Inspiration Curb Appeal FAQs