By Lori Melton
Shutters can obviously add beauty, charm, and architectural flair to your home, but you may not realize how working exterior and interior shutters can provide the privacy for which they were originally intended. Shutters are made from many different materials, including wood, aluminum, and composite materials, and certain kinds are designed to provide privacy. Check out three important tips for using shutters to enhance and maximize home privacy below.
Install a Hinged, Louvered, Wood Shutter for Historical Accuracy
Most people recognize the exterior beauty shutters can add to the windows on the front of the home. However, many people don’t realize that shutters originally served a very important purpose – to provide privacy when closed. If you want to maintain the historical accuracy of a shutter’s original style and intended purpose, you’ll want to install hinged, louvered, wood shutters or Board and Batten shutters that can actually close and fit snugly against the window. Some shutters may also be double-paneled, so they fold out to cover the window and fold back against each other when open. If you live in a storm or hurricane zone, you’ll want to talk to local home improvement and window retailers or licensed contractors to get storm-rated, hurricane-rated protection window covering and shutter ratings and recommendations.
Size and Window Shape Matters
In order for exterior shutters to provide the best privacy and potential weather protection, you’ll want to make sure the shutters properly fit your windows and follow the windows’ shape. In other words, don’t put an arched shutter against a straight window and vice-versa, and make sure you don’t hang them backwards. It will look terrible and won’t provide proper window coverage when closed. You’ll also want to make sure shutter hinge offsets, standoffs, and tie-backs are properly placed. Consult a window/home improvement specialist for instructions if you are considering DIY installation. Or, if budget allows, hire an experienced professional to custom-fit and install your shutters to fit your function, design and privacy wishes.
Interior and Exterior Plantation Shutters Add Extra Privacy
Interior plantation shutters add classic beauty to your home. Other window treatments can be opened or closed, but plantation shutters can be tilted up or down to let a desired amount of light in, while still giving you interior privacy. Plantation shutters are usually custom-fit to your window, so they are unique to your home and add a custom aesthetic. They are also much more durable than vinyl mini-blinds which can rip or break. And, they are cordless, using a tilt bar to easily tilt the slats for light or they fold totally back to expose the entire window.
Exterior plantation shutters can also enhance privacy in many different outdoor spaces including back patios, sun rooms, balconies, outdoor kitchen/bar areas and more. If you need your pergola or outdoor grilling station enclosed, exterior plantation shutters are a great option. Bi-fold, freestanding panels can also serve as privacy screens for sun-bathing, outdoor showers and pool houses. They also make great enclosures for gardens and cozy garden seating areas.