Shutter ideas – 10 smart solutions for windows

Control light, ensure privacy, and keep spaces stylish with these shutter ideas

Shutter ideas – kitchen with dark cabinets, pale counters and full length shutters
(Image credit: California Shutters)

Looking for shutter ideas for your rooms? An option for living spaces, bedrooms, kitchens and bathrooms, shutters look smart, will stand the test of time, and are easy to care for, too.

Shutters can be combined with other window treatment ideas, or used alone for a streamlined dressing, creating privacy and controlling light in interiors, and they can even be fitted to create shade on a porch.

There’s an array of different shutter designs to choose from, as well as different colors and finishes, and we’ve put together a selection of ideas to inspire.

Shutter ideas

‘Shutters can be fitted to all types of shapes meaning you can cater to any awkwardly shaped window or doorway,’ says Sam Tamlyn, general manager, Shutterly Fabulous (opens in new tab). They can also help insulate rooms in colder regions, and keep the heat out when it’s warm. Take a look at these shutter ideas.

1. Team shutters with drapes

Living room bay window dressed with curtains and shutter

(Image credit: Future / Davide Lovatti)

For a stylish window treatment, consider combining shutters with curtain ideas. The shutters can fulfill the role of providing privacy in an overlooked room – and here it’s only café-style shutters that cover the lower part of the window that are required – while the curtains add softness to the interior.

‘Shutters plus curtains is one of our favorite bay window ideas,’ says Lucy Searle, global editor in chief of Homes & Gardens. ‘The curtains frame the elegant window and provide color and pattern, and shutters prevent the room from being overlooked.’

2. Make a statement with black

A bay window with traditional wooden shutters

(Image credit: Future / Damian Russell )

While shutter ideas often feature white or wood finishes, think black to make a striking statement with your window treatment. In this room, they’re part of a palette that combines black with gold accents in a modern living room design. When open these solid shutters leave the large window exposed, keeping the room filled with daylight.

4. Match shutters to wallpaper

Room with desk and chair, patterned wallpaper and shutters

(Image credit: Shutterly Fabulous)

To create an interior that feels cocooning and cozy, complement wallpaper ideas in rich colors with shutters that repeat a hue from the design – it’s one of the options available in any room in which you use shutters as a window treatment.

‘Look at whether you would like your shutters to match and blend into the wall color and room décor or whether you would like to create a design statement and focal point through a contrasting or vibrant colour,’ says Sam Tamlyn.

4. Control light and privacy with shutters

A home office with full height shutters

(Image credit: Future / Jan Baldwin)

Featuring adjustable louvers, plantation shutters offer control over light and privacy while also adding a layer of insulation to windows. Easy to wipe clean, they can also ‘allow in considerably more light due to light from the louvers being reflected onto the ceiling making a room feel lighter’, says Livia Gusman of Just Shutters (opens in new tab)

5. Keep it natural

Living room with gray couch, parquet floor and rug and wood shutters

(Image credit: Shutterly Fabulous)

Wood shutter ideas are a great alternative to painted finishes when considering living room color ideas. They’re ideal for interiors featuring neutral tones and will up the quotient of natural finishes in any room. 

Want a natural element but a more dramatic effect? Go for wood stains in richer and darker tones.

6. Make a feature of solid wood shutters

Teal painted solid wood shutters

(Image credit: Paper & Paint Library )

If you’re lucky enough to have a property complete with beautiful authentic solid wood shutters, be sure to celebrate them. If they have an original wood finish then take care to preserve this, alternatively if they have already been painted try highlighting them in a bold color. 

'Painting traditional wooden window shutters allows for almost floor-to-ceiling color without taking a bold color onto the walls,’ says Andy Greenall, head of design at Paint & Paper Library (opens in new tab). ‘To maximize architectural detailing on the shutters, opt for a satin finish such as Architects’ Satinwood which, as well as being practical and durable, offers a 30 to 35 per cent sheen level, which will highlight the paneling and create a beautiful light-reflecting surface.'

7. Bring shade to a porch

Porch with seating and shutters

(Image credit: Benjamin Moore)

Think shutter ideas to keep a back or front porch cool and comfortable when the sun is high. Using them here can create a cohesive feel between the interior and exterior of a house if they’re the chosen window treatment inside rooms. 

Choose a soft green color for them and the shutters will link to the foliage of the yard, too, and create a soothing light for a space made for relaxing.

8. Ensure the perfect fit with custom shutters

Made-to-measure curved window shutters in a bedroom

(Image credit: Thomas Sanderson)

Windows are a huge part of the character of a period property, and to preserve this it’s important that they are given sympathetic window treatments. Opting for a made-to-measure service will ensure that blinds or shutters can be designed to fit around the architecture of your home, even if your windows are shaped or curved. 

9. Choose vinyl shutters for a bathroom

Vinyl shutters in a bathroom

(Image credit: Hillarys)

Offering the ability to alter light levels without compromising on privacy, shutters are a brilliant bathroom idea. However, it’s important to consider material as wood can warp in humid areas. 

‘For bathrooms, we recommend choosing vinyl shutters or faux wood Venetian blinds,’ says Yvonne Keal, senior product manager at Hillarys (opens in new tab). ‘Both mimic the look of real wood but will withstand moisture – giving you the best of both worlds.’

10. Opt for flexibility

Bathroom with freestanding bathtub and pink shutters

(Image credit: Shutterly Fabulous)

Tier on tier shutters are a flexible option for a room like a bathroom in which different levels of privacy might be required during a day. They allow just the lower part of the window to be covered, or the whole expanse of glass as needed. 

In this room a pink finish has been selected that adds welcome warmth to the space. 

Inside a home, Shaker style solid panel shutters are a popular option. They’ll block light effectively when needed and are ideal if streetlights are intrusive or to prevent daylight interrupting sleep. 

Louvered shutters are also a good choice for interiors that’s often favored. They can be full height to cover the entire window or café style across the bottom, and allow fine light control, making them ideal for living spaces and home offices to avoid glare on screens.

What goes well with shutters?

Curtains go well with shutters, creating an elegant window treatment. The pleats of the fabric bring softness that contrasts with the line and material of the shutters, and they’ll frame the window. Plus, in a cold climate, using both will result in optimum insulation for the window.

Measure for curtains that hang to the floor to make the window look as tall as possible, and fit them so that they draw back completely from the glazing and expose the shutters fully when they are open.

Fit the shutters first to ensure they can be mounted as necessary and their panels open without the curtain rod causing an obstruction.

Sarah Warwick
Sarah Warwick

Sarah is a freelance journalist and editor. Previously executive editor of Ideal Home, she’s specialized in interiors, property and gardens for over 20 years, and covers interior design, house design, gardens, and cleaning and organizing a home for H&G. She’s written for websites, including Houzz, Channel 4’s flagship website, 4Homes, and Future’s T3; national newspapers, including The Guardian; and magazines including Future’s Country Homes & Interiors, Homebuilding & Renovating, Period Living, and Style at Home, as well as House Beautiful, Good Homes, Grand Designs, Homes & Antiques, LandLove and The English Home among others. It’s no big surprise that she likes to put what she writes about into practice, and is a serial house renovator. 

With contributions from