The Best Shutters for Modern Farmhouse Homes


    The iconic American farmhouse is enjoying a renaissance fueled by new high-end housing developments and custom luxury homes, and exterior shutters are vital to the farmhouse’s distinctive style.

    A recent article in The New York Times declared farmhouses “the millennial answer to the baby boomer McMansion” and linked the farmhouse’s renewed popularity to its clean look and open floor plans. Mansion Global magazine recently highlighted the “barndominium” revival, in which homeowners seek farmhouses to reimagine those open interior spaces as everything from art studios to bars to chef’s kitchens to libraries to pet-grooming parlors.

    While some modern farmhouses retain a rustic appearance with deep, covered porches and dramatic gables, others favor hard lines and asymmetrical depth. Likewise, contemporary farmhouses accommodate several types of exterior shutters.

    Exterior Shutters and Farmhouse Homes


    The farmhouse style was popularized in the Midwest throughout the 1800s. While it borrowed elements from traditional barn homes and other residential designs adopted in the early United States, the farmhouse as we know it today became characterized by a two-story structure with a pitched roof, sheltered porch and expansive interior spaces.

    Exposed windows on historic farmhouses were often accompanied by functional shutters. The shutters could be opened to facilitate natural light and ventilation or closed to keep out pests and foul weather. For homeowners of the time lucky enough to have glass windows, the shutters also protected the glass.

    As glass quality and home-construction materials and methods improved in the 20th century, the demand for operable window shutters decreased, though shutters remain fundamental design components of many home styles. The right decorative shutters add instant curb appeal to a farmhouse home, and functional shutters deliver both aesthetic and practical benefits.

    Board-and-Batten Shutters: A Rustic Classic


    Shutters were often handmade through the 19th century, and many early American home styles — including the farmhouse — were adorned with board-and-batten shutters because they could be easily made with available wood scraps.

    The term “board and batten” has its roots in home siding. “Board” refers to long wood planks cut from trees and used to panel structures; “batten” applies to smaller wood strips used to cover seams and hold the siding planks together. The board-and-batten siding style is still utilized today, including for many modern farmhouses.

    As a shutter style, the board-and-batten format is recognizable for its series of vertical boards accented at the tops and bottoms by horizontal battens. Their old-world charm makes board-and-batten shutters ideally suited for many traditional home styles, including modern variations on the farmhouse.

    Panel Shutters: Simplicity and Versatility

    JVC dark blue panel shutters on tan stone and stucco house single window social edit


    Panel shutters are deceptively simple. Their name may imply level, rectangular boards designed to fit beside or over windows, but panel shutters actually offer diverse personalization options that lend them to both classic and contemporary home styles.

    Panel shutters may be made with raised, recessed or flat panels in varying depths and configurations to complement a home’s architectural lines. They can also be ornamental or functional for on-demand privacy, natural light or fresh air.

    Historically styled hardware like shutter capping, hinges, pintels, pull rings and tiebacks can enhance operability while providing period-appropriate flourishes. Panel shutters may also be customized with shutter cutouts.

    Mission Shutters: Arts & Crafts Sophistication


    As an American Institute of Architects article about the evolving farmhouse style notes, many modern farmhouses embrace aspects of the Victorian and Arts & Crafts home styles that followed.

    Mission shutters were born of the Arts & Crafts movement and partially in response to the perceived excesses of Victorian design. Mission shutters emphasize clean profiles with crisp, simple, geometric patterns, and they can be superb companions for windows on farmhouse homes.

    As with panel shutters, mission shutters are available with differing profiles. They also allow multiple options for shaped patterns and cutouts.

    Louver Shutters: Timeless Beauty and Performance


    Louver shutters are the oldest known shutter style, and their sustained popularity is due to their mix of timeless design and functional flexibility.

    Louver shutters are distinguished by rows of horizontal blades that may be fixed in place on decorative versions or able to open and close on operable models. Like the other shutter styles discussed here, louver shutters furnish myriad opportunities for personalization via blade sizes, materials, paint colors and stain finishes, and hardware.

    Louver shutters are historically utilitarian, and in the days of early farmhouses they were prized for their easy management of light, ventilation and privacy. Today, ornamental louver shutters are in vogue thanks to an elegant, time-honored design that suits nearly any home style.

    About Timberlane: Custom Shutters That Say, ‘Welcome Home’


    At Timberlane, our mission is to make the world’s finest shutters.

    Our skilled artisans have decades of experience handcrafting shutters that fit perfectly and provide lasting beauty and performance. Our knowledgeable design team loves working with trade professionals and homeowners to create the ideal shutters for each project, and we’re here to guide you through every step of the custom shutters journey, from style selection to material choices and beyond.

    If you’re ready to learn more about shutter options or request a quote, connect with Timberlane today.


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