Curb appeal is important. It’s one of the primary factors for many people when they are deciding on a home to purchase, and one of the chief concerns of any home seller. Even if you plan to stay in your home for the foreseeable future, chances are, you’d prefer to live in a one that’s just as beautiful from the outside as it is from the inside.
To understand how curb appeal works, it’s important to note that the concept depends on many factors working together. All the exterior design elements of your home should exist in harmony and complement one another. From paint color to exterior stone and brick, to landscaping and roofing choices, your home’s curb appeal consists of the overall effect of all your exterior choices.
Improve Your Curb Appeal With Shutters
If you want to improve your home’s curb appeal, there are practically endless projects you can undertake to clean up and add visual interest to your home. However, perhaps none of them offers quite the impact of adding exterior shutters to your windows. When done right, shutters can help you play up the color choices you’ve made for your exterior, emphasize any period-specific design elements of your home, and add an overall boost to your dramatic impact and curb appeal.
Depending on size and material, shutters can be relatively inexpensive compared to other exterior projects. However, how do you decide which materials, shapes, and colors are right for you? We’ve compiled a handy list of tips to help you choose:
- Consider the silhouette. There are five major shutter types available, and each has a distinctive look that pairs well with certain home types:
- Raised panel shutters look like the cabinet drawers and doors found in most homes. This simple, clean style pairs well with country style or cottage style homes.
- Louvered shutters consist of several slats, angled to allow air and light to pass through. These shutters are commonly found on many home types, but pair exceptionally well with Victorian and traditional homes.
- Bahama and Bermuda shutters are a type of louvered shutter often used in tropical and coastal areas. They attach to the window at the top instead of the sides.
- Shaker shutters resemble raised panel shutters in their simplicity but have flat, solid panels. This style goes well with any home but is often found on cottage style or modern homes.
- Board and batten style shutters are made of three to four boards held together with a horizontal or angled board called a batten. These shutters pair well with farm homes or simpler stone and brick homes.
- Choose your style. Take a short drive around your neighborhood and note the various home styles and shutter styles paired along with them. You’ll want to choose a shutter style that is not only in keeping with your home’s architectural style but meshes well with neighboring houses as well. Also, consider your home’s geometry—if you have arched or rounded windows, arched shutters will pair best; for square or rectangular windows, choose a shutter style with straight lines.
- Get the sizing right. Your shutters should align with the length of your windows’ trim and comprise approximately one-quarter to one-third of the window’s width. When measuring for width, consider the spaces between your windows—you don’t want your shutters to overlap or touch. All shutters on your home, regardless of the window height, should be the same width.
- Choose a material. Depending on the existing materials you have covering your home, you’ll need to choose a complementary material for your shutters. In addition, you’ll need to consider your ideal price point and your willingness to dedicate time and energy to shutter maintenance, then choose a shutter material that corresponds to your needs. Typically, shutters come in three different materials:
- Wood shutters are the traditional choice and thus work well with most home exteriors. However, keep in mind that wood shutters age more quickly than other types of shutters and will need sealing every year to preserve their beauty.
- Vinyl shutters are a popular, inexpensive choice that pairs well with most exteriors and are also resistant to rotting, weathering, fading, cracking, and splitting. You can choose a wood-grain appearance for a slightly upgraded look.
- Composite shutters look and feel like wood, but are much more durable and less expensive than wood. These shutters are nearly as durable as vinyl shutters and are available in a wide variety of types and finishes.
- Consider your home’s color scheme. Shutters are an exterior window accessory and are meant to stand out a bit from the house itself. Choose a color that contrasts with the color of your home—for example, if your home is white, black shutters provide a nice, elegant contrast. If a direct contrast is a bit too bold for you, consider choosing shutters in the same color family as the home itself, but several shades darker or lighter.
- Choose a pop of color. Alternatively, if you want to make a bold statement, choose a bright color that will stand out from the rest of the exterior of your home. To provide cohesion between your shutter choice and your existing exterior, pull a color from your landscaping or another element like stonework or trim. Then, make your shutters bolder and brighter by choosing a contrasting color or a color in the same color family as your inspiration.
- Consider a fun detail. After you’ve chosen the significant elements of your home’s shutters, it’s time to consider the smaller details. Shutter hardware like decorative hinges, closures, shutter dogs (meant to hold shutters closed), and more can exist in a variety of metal finishes and add interest to your shutters. Similarly, custom cutouts, stencils, or contrasting panels can help transform your shutters from basic to beautiful.
Create Curb Appeal With Shutters
Improving the curb appeal of your home involves a series of decisions that must all coincide with one another to provide a cohesive, beautiful effect on your home’s exterior. Adding shutters is one way to add a quick pop of color and interest in a relatively inexpensive manner. However, consider the tips above and choose your shutters carefully to ensure that they complement your home’s exterior instead of distracting from it.