Shutters vs. blinds

Two very different looks, two very different products. Which is right for your home? Putting personal taste and the obvious visual differences aside, there are some functional differences between blinds and shutters that could affect your choice. Here’s a quick guide to the pros and cons of each to help you make your decision.

Blinds

In the simplest terms possible, blinds can be split into two groups – slat blinds (verticals, venetians and Veri-Shades®) and full cover blinds (rollers, romans and honeycombs).

Pros

  • You can pair them with other window coverings, eg. curtains or sheers or a different type of blind.
  • Fabric blinds offer a softer aesthetic.
  • They come in a huge variety of styles, designs and colours so it’s virtually impossible NOT to find a blind to suit your home.
  • Constructed from a good selection of materials, you can get a blind suited to any environment (eg. PVC for wet areas like bathrooms or lined romans for dark bedrooms).
  • Affordable (although costs do vary based on the materials used and how large the blinds are).
  • Easily adjustable to let in varying degrees of light. Venetians and verticals are the best at this although it is also possible with certain types of rollers, romans and honeycomb blinds.
  • You can motorise some types of blind for a true child-safe option.
  • Options for blackout or thermal lining help to improve the conditions in your home.
  • Pretty easy to keep clean.

Cons

  • While durable, they are less robust than shutters and have a shorter lifespan.
  • Although they are reasonably low maintenance and easy to clean, blinds do require more effort than shutters. Also, some blinds can require from professional cleaning and servicing.
  • Some fabrics and materials can become damaged from UV rays or too much moisture.
  • Venetian blinds used in excess can be visually overwhelming because of the multitude of thin, horizontal lines; strangely this is not the same with vertical blinds.
  • Cords and chains can pose a safety risk to children if not properly stored or kept taught.

What rooms do blinds work best in?

There isn’t a room in the house that wouldn’t suit a blind, but it’s more about the type of blind you choose for each room. For example, fabric roman blinds or wooden venetians aren’t good in bathrooms because of the moisture. You can find more advice on this sort of thing in our guide to choosing the right blinds for your home. Download a free copy now.

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Shutters

Read our blog for all you need to know about the different kinds of shutters out there.

Pros

  • They’re a unique structure that adds value to your home.
  • Hardwearing, highly durable and long lasting - expect shutters to last up to 10x as long as blinds.
  • Very child safe with no cords or chains.
  • Depending on the materials used, shutters can be excellent insulators, deflecting heat in summer and keeping cold out in winter.
  • Low maintenance and easy to clean. Larger blades (or slats) make cleaning them easier than blinds, plus there’s no cord that connects them all so it’s a quick wipe down and you’re done.
  • Visually attractive and suited to any home style. Shutters are a timeless yet modern and elegant window treatment.
  • Available in a range of materials including wood, PVC and faux wood.
  • Excellent light control and ventilation, especially if you request a cut in the tilt bar or apply a divider rail. This allows the shutter to be split into two operations so you could have the bottom blades shut and the top open or vice versa.
  • You can have the windows open and shutters pulled closed without them flapping around in a breeze like a blind.
  • They’re perfect for doors as they can be fixed. Blinds will move, even if you attach them with a bracket.

Cons

  • Significantly more expensive to purchase than standard blinds such as aluminium, wooden or wood-look (PVC) venetians, verticals and roller blinds. However, it is worth noting that some blinds can cost more depending on fancy features such as motorised operating mechanisms, for example.
  • They do tend to take up more space as they are fitted to the reveal (the wood that the pane of glass is fitted within) rather than in the recess. To be flush with the frame requires deep reveals with minimal obstructions like door handles and window latches, which can complicate the fitting.
  • They also take up a lot more space than blinds when they are open so keep in mind the location of your walls and furniture; you may not have enough clearance to the side of your window or door to allow them to open.
  • Their weight can make them unsuitable for some window styles.
  • They take longer to make and install.
  • Not quite as versatile as blinds, which have many different types; shutters are what they are, although you can have different styles, eg. café style, where only the bottom portion of the window is covered.

TIP - choose wide blades for windows where you don't want to compromise the view too much.

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What rooms do shutters work best in?

The versatility of shutters is amazing; they really do work for every room. The one consideration to really focus on is the space and size of the room. Shutters need a clear area around the window frame to be opened, so if you’re dealing with corner windows (for example) they might not be a great idea, or you could opt for fixed non-opening shutters.

If insulation is your primary focus, wooden shutters work well. And should your home need an extra hand retaining warmth, there’s no reason your shutters couldn’t be paired up with curtains or a roman blind.

For any further info about choosing the right blinds or shutters for your home, download our helpful free guides.

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