Whilst in some respects similar to blinds, window shutters are a solid blackout solution that lets in very little light and provides a timeless, elegant design to a room.
Given that shutters often need to be designed with particular needs in mind and are commonly made-to-measure, it is important to choose the right material that enhances your room, rather than causing design clashes or long term problems as they get older.
Unlike blinds, which have quite a wide choice of materials, solid wood shutters are the primary solution for most homes, with different types of woods having distinct advantages and disadvantages.
Hardwood is the traditional choice for window shutters going back as far as the era of Louis XIV, who allegedly had them installed into the Louvre palace as a way to watch people on his grounds.
As an older wood, hardwoods such as beech and oak are exceptionally strong, long-lasting and hard-wearing, but this strength also makes hardwood blinds more expensive than most other options.
However, an alternative, known as hybrawood, has also become an option, which provides the look of hardwood with a durable metal core and polyvinyl slats. This maintains the look of natural wood but also a long-lasting core.
Softwoods can on some occasions be used for indoor shutters and they can provide some particularly bright and beautiful textures, although they are also more damage-prone.
Medium-density fibreboard (MDF) used to be the primary material for low-price window shutters because the compacted concoction of hardwoods and softwoods was exceptionally durable for the price it costs.
Outside of wooden shutters, polyvinyl shutters do exist, as do metal ones, although both are primarily used for outdoor shutters.