Are window shutters out of style in 2024? Interior designers weigh in

Is it time to move away from window shutters? We've asked interior designers for their thoughts and feelings

are window shutters out of style
(Image credit: Benjamin Moore / California Shutters / Plain English)

There are so many window treatment options out there. From curtains long and short to blinds (and all the styles they come in) to shutters. Shutters, typically reserved for more traditional-looking homes, can sit stylishly alongside most interior design styles from farmhouses to more modern homes. But, are they on trend?

With the rise in popularity of softer fabric window treatments or coverings, and the growing trend for cafe curtains, it can be easy to see why shutters might start to feel a little outdated in 2024. But they do bring a sense of nostalgic style, clean lines, and a lot of privacy that can be hard to achieve with window blinds and curtains.

So, we've taken it upon ourselves to sit down with some experts and get them to weigh in on window shutters. Their pros, their cons, and whether they'll be using them in their or their client's homes this year.

Are Window Shutters Out Of Style?

window shutters in a garden sun room with wooden ceiling

(Image credit: Benjamin Moore)

Shutters are versatile window treatments that have adorned homes for centuries, offering both functionality and aesthetic appeal. But have they become a thing of the past?

'YES, goodbye and good riddance,' says Kristen Fiore of Kristen Elizabeth Design. 'Unless you live in Florida or Hawaii, avoid shutters in your home. "Plantation Shutters" have a very distinct look that is most suited to tropical climates only so in homes that are in other climates, I feel that they look out of place. They are heavy and block an enormous amount of light into the room and home.'

While shutters offer excellent light control, their design can sometimes feel a bit imposing, especially in smaller spaces.

'Plus, shutters are cumbersome. The only way to open or close them is to use the louvers, you can never have a fully open window,' she continues. 'They create a feeling of being enclosed, even when open, the louvers can act as bars blocking a view and the light. Whenever we see them in a home we are updating, it is an immediate design choice to remove the shutters and welcome in the sun.'

modern bathroom with terracotta floors and window shutters over a freestanding bath

(Image credit: Ca' Pietra)

According to designer Bethany Adams, however, window shutters continue to hold their own in the design world. They offer a level of privacy and light control that many other window treatments struggle to match. 

'The moniker "plantation shutters" certainly should be [out of style], but the style of the shutter itself, however, is perfectly fine and useful in houses of the correct proportions (read: large),' she advises. 'Most of us would be better served by a 1" shutter which is harder to source, but much more appropriate to the scale of most homes.'

modern kitchen with dark cabinetry, light oak floors and soft yellow window shutters

(Image credit: Hilary's Blinds)

The general consensus is that window shutters can block out a lot of natural light, so you need to be sure to use them in an open space that prioritizes privacy over brightness. 

'Shutters are classic but I think it’s important to consider where you are putting them because they can block a lot of light in a space if not used correctly,' advises Meredith Owen of Meredith Owen Interiors.

A kitchen or bathroom, for example, could just be the perfect spot for shutters. For one, they're inherently waterproof and do a great job providing privacy for bathrooms and overlooked rooms in your home.

neutral dining room with oak cafe style window shutters

(Image credit: California Shutters)

Sam Tamlyn, managing director at California Shutters, says: 'With inevitable splashes and spills that occur in kitchens and bathrooms, easy maintenance is paramount. Shutters are a breeze to clean, requiring only a quick wipe between slats with a damp cloth.'

Additionally, shutters are known for their durability and low maintenance requirements, making them a practical choice for busy households.

'Wherever you are in your home, privacy is essential to relaxation,' says Sam. 'Unlike other window treatments, shutters provide complete flexibility for light and privacy, especially tier-on-tier and full-height designs. This means you can easily adjust the shutters throughout the day to suit your needs and requirements. For bathrooms, opt for tier-on-tier shutters to allow plenty of light in without taking away from privacy. For kitchens, especially those on busier streets, café-style shutters are always a popular choice.'

sage green small english kitchen with window shutters

(Image credit: Plain English Design)

Ana Zuravliova, trend specialist at Blinds Direct, agrees, saying: 'While 2024 is looking like a year for the maximalists and lovers of bold patterned curtains and blinds, shutters still have an important part to play in home interiors.'

'When compared with soft fabric curtains and blinds, shutters offer equally beneficial light management and greater privacy, while also offering more versatility in certain rooms,' Ana advises. 'In the bathroom or kitchen for instance, where steam can severely damage soft fabrics, faux wood shutters are moisture resistant and will add an elegant finish that lasts for years.'

'The sleek appearance of shutters also makes them suitable for almost any 2024 interior design trend from minimalist rooms, to providing a counterbalance in vibrant maximalist spaces.'

blue shiplapped dining room with wood paneled ceiling and a rustic dining bench seat

(Image credit: Logan Killen Interiors / Jacqueline Marque)

If you're sold on the look of shutters, but concerned about the functionality in your home a great alternative is bamboo, rattan, or traditional chik blinds. Or, of course, you can go for a softer approach with curtains, drapes, roller, or Roman blinds. 

Blinds and shades can provide the clean and streamlined appearance of shutters without the hassle of having to deal with slats, and they're much less obstructive. Additionally, curtains will offer a softer, more traditional feel, adding warmth and texture to a space. Ultimately, your choice between window shutters and alternative treatments will depend on your style preferences, budget, and the desired look and feel of the intended space. 

While there is always much debate on what is 'on trend', it's clear that shutters are a timeless fixture that absolutely still has a place in modern interiors. With ease of light control, durability, and versatility, shutters offer a great option for homeowners seeking functionality and style. The key is to choose a window treatment that enhances the overall look and feel of your home, without getting too hung up on design trends.

Charlotte Olby
Content Editor

Charlotte is content editor at Homes and Gardens, having joined the team the week before Christmas 2023. Following a 5 year career in Fashion, she found herself working at many women's glossy magazines including: Grazia, Stylist and Hello and most recently working as Interiors Editor for British heritage department store Liberty. Her role at H&G fuses her love of style with Charlotte's passion for interior design, and she is currently undergoing her second home renovation in Surrey - you can follow her journey over on @olbyhome