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5 Types Of Beautiful Vintage Shutters To Consider For Your Home

We often associate shutters with beautiful and historic European properties – more at home in Italy, France or Spain than here in the drizzly UK. But while it’s true that we may have less heat and sunlight to block out of our homes, that doesn’t mean we should miss out on the chic aesthetic of these rustic window-accessories altogether. Here, we take a look at some of the most beautiful vintage shutter styles to help you decide which one is right for your property.

Where to find vintage shutters

First things first, you’ll need to decide if you want to buy brand new shutters or vintage ones. For the latter, try searching reclamation yards, private sellers’ websites or even eBay. The good thing about buying second hand is that they’ll  have the vintage look baked right in. This helps to achieve that unmistakably ‘shabby chic’ aesthetic, perfect for making your home stand out as a true style statement – on any street!

The only problem with reclaiming shutters is that you might struggle to find the exact right size for your home. Indoor shutters have very little wiggle room – you might get away with a few centimetres but if they don’t fit they won’t look right. Outdoor shutters are more forgiving (they can be considerably bigger than the window opening) but you should bear in mind the proportions of the house. If they’re too big, your house can end up looking like a shed when they’re open.

Having said all that, if authenticity is important in your quest for vintage shutters, play the long game and you’ll find some eventually.

If reclaiming isn’t for you, however, there are plenty of companies out there that both manufacture shutters and fit them for you. This is probably the way to go if you want shutters that are tailor-made, and they’ll also have advantages like warranties and even energy-saving qualities, too.

Just be sure to avoid uPVC slats, frames and boards and go for a beautiful wooden set instead to really nail that vintage look. Plus, make sure the hinges, handles, locks and winders have a vintage feel, too – they can be a dead giveaway if they’re chrome-plated!

Can you make your own vintage shutters? 

If you’re into woodworking and home DIY projects, it is possible to make shutters at home. The simplest design to get right would probably be solid boards as opposed to slats, in which case, all you need is some planks, nails, screws, hinges and handles.

If you’re trying to go for the more traditional, slatted look, pick up an old pallet, break it down into its components and fit them back together in shutter form – planks arranged horizontally, with two cross-members holding them together. The wood should be naturally imperfect after years of use, and you can give it one of the finishes below to add authenticity.

Ensuring your shutters are the perfect size and shape is no easy task, though, so it may be worth in buying them new or – for the weathered, vintage look, going second hand.

Most beautiful designs and finishes for vintage shutters

There are several distinct looks that mark out vintage shutters. Read on for help deciding which one you want to go for:

Distressed paint board

The distressed look will happen naturally over time, but if you’re trying to recreate it, you’ll need to paint a few layers in different colours, then use sandpaper, planes, hammers, wire wool and even muddy water to make them look weathered and old. The outer layer of paint is often a duck egg blue or cream, providing that authentic, picturesque look found in so many stunning European seaside villages.

Laser-cut design

A classic look for shutters is to have a pattern or shape cut out of the wood. It will let some sun in, but it’s a lovely, quirky finishing touch that can add a gorgeous, dappled light into your home on those long summer afternoons. For this one, it’s probably best to head to a reclamation yard or search online.

Varnished wood slatted

For indoor slatted shutters, a really classy look is a dark wood that’s been varnished. It can evoke either an old-school library or a colonial appearance, and looks fantastic with indoor plants and wooden panelling.

White louvered shutters

A look that can conjure up the Deep South of America or perhaps the Côte d’Azur, white slatted louvered shutters are cool, light and fresh.

Untreated wood

If you’re brave you can go for pure untreated wood, and let the elements vintage your shutters up over time. The edges will smooth, and it will become paler, like driftwood, creating a beautiful totally rustic look. It’s worth bearing in mind that the shutters won’t last as long and will eventually come apart – although ad hoc repairs can add to its vintage credentials.

So there you have it, five gorgeous vintage shutter looks that may just transform your home into the characterful, European-inspired property you’ve always dreamed of.

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