Have you ever noticed there are no curtains in my house? I don’t have anything against curtains per se. It’s just that the clean lines and no-fuss vibe of curtain-free windows win for me every time. So when Shutterly Fabulous contacted me to suggest a collaboration, I was delighted for the chance to explore why shutters might be just the solution our windows have been crying out for.
It was a major selling point of my current home that it had original Victorian solid panelled shutters in the living room bay window. There’s not much to beat the cocooning satisfaction on a winter’s evening of closing out the cold and dark, lighting the candles and getting all hygged-up under a blanket. The Beast from the East might have made its unwelcome presence felt elsewhere in the house, but our shutter defences ensured that there was a least one cozy sanctuary from the polar conditions outside.
But if the thermal advantages alone aren’t enough to win you over, let’s look at all the other reasons why shutters could be the answer to your window dressing dilemmas.
If you’re an out and out maximalist, voluminous swathes of boldly patterned swags and pelmets might make your heart race. But many of us prefer a more pared back aesthetic in our homes. Shutters lend a simple elegance to a decor scheme and make rooms feel less cluttered, making them ideal for smaller spaces.
This ombre effect brings interest to this sophisticated monochrome design.
But uncluttered doesn’t necessarily mean masculine. I love that the use of pink shutters in the window below brings a softness to the scheme though avoiding an overtly girly look.
If you’re lucky enough to have period features in your home – whether that’s intricate cornicing, picture or dado rails, or wooden panelling aound your windows, you want your window dressings to enhance rather than cover or detract from them.
Solid panelled shutters compliment period homes perfectly whether Georgian, Victorian or Edwardian. Being sympathetic to the build-era doesn’t mean the styling needs to be classic though. The unexpected contrast of traditional features styled in contemporary ways can be a decor triumph. Just look, for example, at the stunning impact of the tonal colour-way of these solid panel shutters.
Not all bay windows have original working shutters intact. The master bedroom in my house has a square bay and has proved problematic to dress. Not wanting to hide the lovely wooden panels around the frame disqualified curtains. But the roller blinds I’ve opted for as a cost effective solution meantime aren’t practical. For much of the year, the effort of rolling up and down five separate blinds twice a day is disproportionate to the fleeting reward of daylight.
Shutters would be a much better option. They work perfectly for a bay, avoiding the need to deal with each window separately. They allow the beauty of the window design to shine, without the distraction of excessive drapery or awkward curtain poles.
Perhaps you live in a large detached manor with a long sweeping driveway. Or a chocolate box cottage at the end of a country lane with only squirrels for near neighbours. No? The chances are, like the vast majority of us, you are overlooked by neighbours or passers-by to some extent.
Personally, I’m very much from the school of thought “let the onlooker beware”. If anyone’s life is dull enough to find entertainment in watching me going about my daily routines, they have my sympathy. The rest of my family have more modest tendencies however. It’s a bone of contention that I am forever trying to maximise my exposure to daylight, while the Houses Husband prefers to keep the blinds down until he’s fully ready to face the day.
An option which affords privacy without sacrificing light could help maintain marital bliss. Tier on tier shutters where an upper section operates separately from the lower part, fit the bill perfectly; ideal in a bedroom where you need a full window solution at night time, but some privacy during daytime hours. Unlike some other window screen options, tier on tier shutters leave you the option of opening both sections fully too to maximise light once you’re respectable.
In other rooms where it’s not essential to fully cover the window, there’s the option of cafe-style shutters. Perfect for bathrooms or public rooms at street level, this is a screening option that offers the practical advantages of net curtains but with considerably more flair.
Increasingly we’re seeking ways to bring the outdoors in. The previous owners of my house attempted this by installing French doors in the former window opening of the family room. Unfortunately only one half of the door opens without unlatching the other at the top edge, meaning you have to be either six foot plus or waif-thin to utilise it as a point of egress. If Karlie Kloss ever pops over for tea on the patio, she’ll be just fine. Sadly I have to make do with the kitchen back door.
If you’re fortunate enough to have larger French windows or a length of bifold doors, how do you deal with sun streaming in when you don’t want it to? And how do you create a cozy atmosphere in the evenings? Choosing curtains for long lengths of glazing risks dominating the room with an excess of fabric plushness. Shutters offer the perfect contemporary solution to show your feature off to best effect.
In my dream home there’s a converted attic space, all mine to use as an office/studio. (My dream home also has an attached garage/storeroom with oodles of immaculately ordered shelves, so no need for boxes stuffed with Christmas decorations and old school reports in this space.) It has beautiful roof lights that let sunshine flood in and the gable ends have gorgeous little feature windows, with views of the sea of course. But had my imagination extended to the practicalities of dressing my fantasy windows, I confess my dream might have come a little unstuck.
Until I saw the image below from Shutterly Fabulous, I wouldn’t have considered shutters as a solution for unusual-shaped windows. But just look at the perfection of this shutter in a window for which I can’t imagine any other solution.
When my boys were younger there were times when I would have sacrificed Prosecco for life for just one more hour in bed. My pre-child preference for the longer days of summer months was quashed the instant I realised that meant the boys would wake up even earlier, literally jumping out of their toddler beds at the crack of dawn. I resorted to all kinds of window treatments in an effort to maintain nighttime levels of darkness in their room, with little success. I was delighted to find that our current house had solid wooden shutters in the boys’ rooms, creating near black-out conditions. It is ironic that almost as soon as we moved here, perhaps in anticipation of their approaching teens, the boys developed an aversion to early mornings. Almost in an instant the challenge flipped to getting them out of bed.
Obviously I should have installed shutters in their room when they were young enough to need encouragement to lie in. Shutters are the ideal blackout solution for a child’s room. Plus, they have the advantage of being preferable from an allergy perspective too. Being easier to clean than curtains or fabric blinds, they are especially suitable for asthma sufferers.
Have I given you some food for thought? If you’re considering shutters, you won’t find a company in the UK with better credentials than Shutterly Fabulous. Scoring an impressive 9.5 on Trustpilot, this is a company which obviously lives up to its promise of being devoted to quality and service. They are specialists and use only premium-grade hardwood for their wooden shutters. They don’t do hard sells. But they do offer a price match guarantee and a 3 year no quibble guarantee. They’ll give you expert advice on every aspect of choosing your shutters and can even colour match for you. And their blinds are, um, completely fabulous actually.
This post was sponsored by Shutterly Fabulous, a company I would be delighted to use myself. All of the images in the post are theirs.