Design snapshot: Slatted shutters sentiment

When fully operable, exterior window shutters can be pragmatic; close them to protect windows from inclement weather (or to protect privacy) and open them to invite daylight and view. But, many find shutters to be nostalgic, unnecessary, and/or difficult to maintain. Naturally, they can be. In fact, some of the best are.

I’ve written before (here) about sizing shutters appropriately, so they fit the windows they serve.  But, until now, I haven’t commented much on shutter design. We tend to think of shutters as having horizontal slats, sloped to shed water while also offering sun and wind protection. Sometimes, they’re paneled, sporting small decorative cut-outs (like here). Other times, such as in this photo, they playfully concede that their purpose is not to protect, but to delight.

Here, white, flat-stock slatted shutters echo the design of the white, slatted fence, bordering part of the yard. Despite there being little reason to close such permeable shutters, they’re sized to fit the windows they serve, which, as you can imagine, I applaud. Also, opting for a single shutter per window is a more dynamic choice than selecting a pair of smaller shutters to flank a window, which is a more static arrangement. Both windows are too close to their respective corners for the shutters to hang corner-side, so they each hang inbound and thus mirror each other. The effect bestows an otherwise simple elevation with the drama of symmetry.

The rose bush below, looking as if it might aspire to climb, invites the viewer to ponder whether the shutter design is somewhat trellis-like, as well. A sunny color palette reinforces the sunny tableau. Yes, these shutters are nostalgic, seemingly unnecessary, and perhaps a mild maintenance nuisance, but they’re also a design delight.

by Katie Hutchison for House Enthusiast