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My first childhood home (I have something like 5 all the way through my teens) had those decorative window shutters that weren’t shutters at all but just pieces of wood fixed to the wall. I remember once trying to close one of them, only to break my nails and hurt my fingers. My mother laughed, saying that these weren’t meant to be moved.

Before the time when tempered glass became cheap and ubiquitous, shutters were often the only way to keep bad weather (and prying eyes) from getting inside the house. But shutters didn’t disappear; either they remained from old retrofitted homes (especially in Europe) or designers kept them around for decoration and a certain nostalgia factor.

Outdoor shutters: rustic and nostalgic

As I mentioned, nobody really needs outside shutters anymore. But old farmhouse-style homes still have them, and they go particularly well with the rustic style. Let’s have a look.

The Z-style shutters are definitely a blast from the past. But with the naked brick siding and the narrow windows, they make quite an effect. I especially like those flowerpots on the outside ledge!

Here’s another style of shutter. I love how they emphasize the curved window and how the wood contrasts against the siding material. The little metal tie-ins are neat details that add to the nostalgia of this traditional Southern home.

These functional shutters come with an original look. The simple addition of a tree pattern gives these shutters a whole lot of personality. And it seems that the owners will actually use them, since there isn’t a sign of drapes or blinds inside this window.

And this is for the truly nostalgic: farm-style shutters in every door and window of this studio space. Note the double shutters on the top floor and the single shutters on the bottom windows. Getting rid of these shutters would definitely kill the style of this rustic-looking building!

Interior shutters: modern and practical

Some people don’t like to wash drapes or dust blinds. Who can blame them? Shutters are definitely easier to clean and can be very effective to protect your family’s privacy.

This modern family room features indoor shutters that are just the right height to hide what’s going on inside, but still don’t block all the light from the windows.

This lakehouse guest bedroom also uses indoor shutters quite cleverly. They can be opened and closed (note the white knob on the right shutter) and the color fits perfectly with the rest of the room. It’s a great way to bring the outdoors indoors.

The story behind these shutters is surprising: the shutters themselves cost $4, and the owners simply painted them with the shade of the window frame, added some hinges, and voilà! Beautiful vintage shutters for privacy in a vintage bathroom.

These original custom-made shutters are more decorative than practical, but the organic look of the branches brings a nice support to the natural stone on the floor. There is definitely a feel that this owner loves natural materials for decoration.

Shut it, inside and out

Indoor shutters are a great alternative to drapes or blinds. They add style and ensure privacy for you and your family.

Outdoors, shutters add architectural detail to your home. Whether you have a rustic farmhouse or a modern shingles home, there’s a shutter style to suit your tastes.

Do you like shutters or would you rather go bare? What about shutters inside? Tell us what you think about these nifty window accessories!

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Anabelle Bernard Fournier

Anabelle is a freelance writer, writing teacher and blogger. She spends a lot of time at home, so she likes to make sure that it's cozy and nice, especially in her reading nook. In her free time, Anabelle knits, walks and learns how to write stories.