Renovation Style: June/July 2014

Shutter to think of it.

By: Amy Elbert

If windows are the eyes of your home, exterior shutters are the mascara. Shutters add a dressy, finished touch to a house, giving it personality and style. Whether you’re adding or replacing shutters, here are some tips and fun facts:

To determine the appropriate size for shutters, imagine closing them over the windows. They should fit inside the window frame and meet in the middle. If you’re covering a double window, you can fudge a bit: Choose shutters the right size window if it were standing alone.

Even though most homeowners never close their shutters, architects recommend installing operable models for authenticity. Traditionally, shutters were attached to the window frames with hinges, says Rich Heggs, vice president of marketing and sales are Timberlanes, Inc., a Pennsylvania-based shutter company. There are a variety of hinge and tieback styles from which to choose; you can also add bolts, latches, and pull rings.

The hardware that holds a shutter in the open position is sometimes called a dog. Heggs says in England people talk of “dogging” shutters or leaving them “dogged” open. Styles range from intricate flowers, grape clusters, and shells to more basics and propeller designs.

When selecting a shutter style, Heggs suggests complementing the trim details elsewhere on your house. Still at a loss?

Here are some general guidelines:

  • Board-and-batten shutters suit French country, Cape Cod, Tudor, and cottage homes.
  • Try raised-panel shutters on a Colonial-style home.
  • Colonial- and cottage-style homes also look good with paneled shutters that have decorative cutouts.
  • Louvered shutters are consistent with Victorian, Southern, and coastal styles.

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