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Every home is different when it comes to style, layout, and overall design. The same siding or color scheme that looks good on your home may not look great on your neighbor’s home.
Exterior shutters are certainly no exception to that rule. A style that adds a “wow” factor to your home may not pack the same curb appeal punch on the house next door.
Style, however, is subjective. What really makes or breaks a shutter installation isn’t which type or color of shutter you choose. It’s shutter shape, size and placement. When shutters are improperly sized or installed, it can throw the entire look of a home off balance. The average passerby might not be able to pinpoint the exact problem, but they can feel it. A home with poorly placed shutters is unsettling at best and unattractive at worst!
To avoid mishaps when installing shutters on your home, check out these helpful tips.
Some of the most popular home styles, from Colonial to Cape Cod to Victorian to American Craftsman, included exterior shutters in their original architectural designs. If authenticity is important to you, exterior shutters in a historically accurate style can be the perfect finishing touch to the home of your dreams.
Of course, you can’t just haphazardly stick shutters next to any window and expect them to look great.
Shutters were invented to cover windows, providing protection from the elements and privacy for homeowners. It’s important to remember this when considering whether to add shutters to your home. Even if you never actually plan to close the shutters, it just makes sense from a design standpoint: Shutters should always look as if they can cover the window opening.
This rule of thumb is so important we repeat it several times in this post!
So, the first step on your shutter journey is to assess your windows and the space around them. Then, you can decide where shutters will — or won’t — work.
Windows come in all different shapes and sizes, from simple squares to elaborate arches. They’re surrounded by a wide variety of trims and casings. Thus, it’s a mistake to treat all windows as one-size-fits-all when pairing them with shutters.
For example, arched windows need shutters with arched tops, also called “radius tops.” Tall, thin, rectangular windows need shutters with the same shape. Big bay windows, most likely, don’t need shutters at all. Failing to match the shutter to the window shape will result in a look that’s awkward, even tacky.
If you’ve ever seen thin, rectangular shutters slapped next to a grand, Palladian window, you understand just what we’re talking about!
Size is just as important as shape when it comes to matching windows with shutters. The key to achieving a cohesive, authentic look is to measure windows properly.
Remember to measure every window’s height and width from inside the trim or window casing, as your shutters are meant to fill the window opening when closed. In general, each shutter should be half the width of the window opening.
Do your research and learn how to measure for shutters. Then, measure each window twice to make sure your measurement is accurate. That way, you can order the ideal size shutters and set yourself up for a seamless installation process — not to mention a stunning finished look.
The whole point of adding shutters to a home is to enhance the look and please the eye. Shutters that are slapped onto a facade with no regard for function do just the opposite. They’re off-putting and detract from the home’s overall appeal.
Whether you’re installing functional shutters with authentic hardware, or fixed-mount shutters mounted directly to your home’s exterior, the shutters should look as if they could work. In other words, they should be placed tight to the window, in a position where they could cover the window opening. They should appear to be an integral part of the home’s design, not a tacked-on afterthought.
If you see siding in between the shutter and the window casing, you know a shutter installation has gone wrong! Nailing the perfect look for your exterior shutters doesn’t have to give you headaches. Delve into our comprehensive shutter installation guides for a step-by-step roadmap to incredible curb appeal.
Shutter hardware is like adding jewelry to your shutter design to complete the entire ensemble. It’s an elegant finishing touch that can really take your home’s look to the next level. From subtle notes like pull rings or shutter locks, to more elaborate shutter hinges and tiebacks, there’s no shortage of options to choose from. However, be sure to choose wisely, and follow those installation instructions. You don’t want to ruin your perfect shutters with hardware that’s off the mark.