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Shutters Vs Curtains: Which Should You Choose?

shutters vs curtains

Curtains have been a staple of home decor since they were first used in wealthy homes in the 15th Century. But shutters pre-date even this. They’ve been in use since the ancient Greeks!

The shutters vs curtains debate is a conversation that’s been happening for centuries. Both have charm and functionality, but the choice is ultimately yours.

We’re here to help you decide which is right for your home…

Shutters vs Curtains: The Great Window Debate

Let’s just start by saying we love curtains. We love shutters. And we love blinds. They each have their strengths and weaknesses, and it’s these aspects that can help you work out which window treatment suits your room the best.

Plus, it’s important to remember not every room in your house needs the same window treatment. Some people like the uniformity of having the same, but others like creating individual spaces, and that’s ok, too!

So, for some rooms, you might think that curtains are the best solution, and for others, shutters.

So let’s see what these titans of window dressing can do for you…

Making Light Of Things

One of the primary reasons people have for covering a window is to control the light entering the room. Whether it’s because of blinding evening sunsets or glare on the television screen, both shutters and curtains can give you the light control you want, but they do so in different ways.

Curtains & Light Control

The light-blocking capabilities of curtains aren’t perfect. In fact, the level of light control you have depends a lot on the fabric used. While some curtain styles can block light, most popular materials aren’t up to the job, such as cotton, linen, lace and sheer fabrics. 

Another common issue with curtains is that they tend to let light in at the edges, where you cannot fully secure the fabric to the edges of the wall. This can also happen at the centre of the window, where they are drawn together. So overall, curtains can give a diffused light effect, but nothing like absolute light control.

Shutters & Light Control

Shutters are the masters of room light control. They provide unmatched room darkening and let you filter light if you need a little illumination or mood lighting. 

It’s not an all-or-nothing situation – you can avoid direct sunlight, damaging UV rays and excessive heat while letting in the light you need – all thanks to the adjustable nature or shutters.

The Shape Of You(r Window)

Not every window is a perfect rectangle. You may own one of the many homes with a non-standard window, presenting a particular challenge regarding window treatment. You can’t simply buy an off-the-shelf pair of curtains for a circular, slanted, or even floor-to-ceiling window.

So, shutters vs curtains, which option stacks up to the task?

Curtains & Shape

It’s unavoidable – curtains are rectangular when drawn. While this works for standard windows, it does create a ‘cut and stick’ look, obscuring the shape of the window itself by simply sitting over it.

For bay windows, curtains can go on a track around the angles, but that makes drawing them trickier and altogether more frustrating when they get caught. And if you have skylights or angled windows, curtains were simply not made for you.

Shutters & Shape

Shutters can be used on any window shape (or size, for that matter!). Whether you have original bay windows, stunning patio doors or eye-catching arched windows, shutters can be made to fit seamlessly and integrate with the window itself. 

Because of their design, shutters look beautiful in almost any shape and size of the window and still retain their full functionality. 


Personal Style

You may already have a preference between shutters vs curtains, in which case the choice is a little easier. But if you like both, these factors may lead your decision…

Curtains & Style

Curtains have many fabric choices, letting you style them into your decor. It’s easy to find a look that you like since curtains have been around and in popular demand for so long. In fact, you may even be able to find the style you love at budget prices since they’re also very simple to manufacture. 

Shutters & Style

Shutters offer a similarly endless array of design choices. You can choose materials such as wood or aluminium, with a vast range of colourings to choose from. Best of all, shutters provide a classic and timeless elegance that can elevate any aesthetic, making your room feel all the more put together. 

Quite simply, shutters offer a high-quality finish that other window treatments can’t replicate.

No Peeking

Privacy is another crucial aspect of the decision between shutters vs curtains. With shutters vs curtains, both offer privacy, but there’s a little more to consider here…

Curtains & Privacy

Unfortunately, some curtains can still leave you visible from outside of your home. This is especially true in the evening when inside lights are on and it’s all the easier to see what’s going on indoors. However, you do have the option to install bulky curtain liners to thicken the fabric, reducing what can be seen. 

Shutters & Privacy

Shutters have privacy built in. By adjusting the louvres on your shutters, you can allow in natural light, while still restricting the view from outside. The slats can obscure you from view and you can still enjoy the last bit of evening light. Their strength for providing privacy makes them fantastic for bathrooms and bedrooms.

Shutters Vs Curtains – How To Decide…

There are even more factors to consider that we haven’t mentioned here, like thermal value and the cost – but the above should give you food for thought when weighing up shutters vs curtains.

And if you add blinds into the mix, you have a world of choice! If this makes it all the harder to know what’s best, get in touch. We’re experts in not only the function of shutters and blinds, but also how they can align with your vision for a beautiful and functional home.

Picture of David Browne

David Browne

David is Co-Founder and Project Director at the award-winning, Best Family Business 2020 – the Scottish Shutter Company. David has over 35 years’ experience in running and growing small businesses.




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