Considerations when choosing between blinds and shutters

Lisa Cooper

BY Lisa Cooper

Published: 13 May 2020 Updated: 21 May 2024

Shutters versus blinds - which is right for me?

It can be daunting making the decision to completely change the type of window coverings in your home, so it makes sense to be fully informed before making that decision. Read on as we discuss the key considerations and the pros and cons of both.

The Window Frame

Your first consideration needs to account for the window itself, because this may dictate if you need to choose one type of product over the other. If the windows are unusually shaped windows, such as arched or angled – made to measure shutters are probably the better option  here, as they can be crafted to precisely fit the shape. However, if your windows are regular rectangular shaped, and then you could take advantage of that and opt for blinds instead. Our specialist teams install shutters and blinds to all sorts of windows and are true experts.

White coloured vinyl shutters fitted to an arch shaped in a bathroom that is decorated in white with one wall decorated in a range of aquatic colours

Open or closed?

One additional consideration is whether or not the window is opened frequently, especially if it’s a transom window. It’s not only about access to the window to open it, although there is also that, but if you like to have a window open to air your room then you’ll also need to consider they type of blind you have, as a Roman blind may blow around in the wind, so you’d need to consider a blind that can be fitted into the recess and  will be part of the window as it open, such as a Duette® blind or if you’d actually prefer to keep the entire window area clear to allow for opening and closing, in which case window shutters will be the better choice.

Ts Duette Thermal Detail Paleprimrose 1

Special considerations

Ask yourself if there is anything additional you need to take into account, whether it’s the room itself, its function, its placement in relation to other rooms or the outside world, as these things can all be a factor in your decision-making, and they may not be things you would automatically consider.

Location

For example, if the room is south facing you’ll get a lot of daylight – which is great in a kitchen but less than ideal in a study where the glare will bounce off any screens all day long, so you’ll need something that can counteract it – shutters are ideal here, as you can angle the louvres exactly as you need them, while most blinds are an “all or nothing” proposition, with the exception of wooden window blinds. These rooms can also get stiflingly hot in summer, as can conservatories due to both their glass construction and their placement so it’s worth considering a specialist product to combat this, such as a pleated blind with a Solartex coating. If the room is prone to moisture, like a kitchen or bathroom, then a window dressing like faux wood shutters made from wipe clean vinyl are a more practical choice than any kind of fabric.

Ts Wood Venetians Burnt Umber 1280Px

Bedrooms

Is the room you're choosing for a bedroom? For bedrooms it's worth assessing if light control and blackout needs to be a consideration. If the occupants are light sleepers then they will probably benefit from the additional light-dimming properties certain product can bring, such as Dim Out Duette® blinds or solid shutters. You can of course choose a blackout lining for Roman blinds but it's not a complete blackout solution as light can still seep in along the edges of the blind. Perhaps the bedroom has a beautiful view that you'd like to enjoy from the comfort of your bed, in which case electric blinds would be an ideal choice, controlled by remote, app or voice command.

4893 Thomassanderson Shutterroom All Solid1

Outside factors

If your home is close to a road or pavement you may need something that works on multiple levels and needs to combat a variety of different challenges, such as providing privacy, reducing noise and having kerbside appeal. This is an area that wooden shutters excel at, although different types of shutters have different levels of success on those key points, ie plantation shutters will be more effective than cafe style shutters. Don't discount blinds totally on this though - wood blinds work just as well as any louvre shutter for privacy and Pleated blinds can be installed cafe style to cover just the area of window you require, while Duette® blinds offer some colourways in a duotone fabric that's white on the reverse for a more uniform look from the outside.

Ts 2022 Shutters Golden Fall Lounge Landscape01

Pets

If you have pets this may be a consideration too, but the choice may depend more on the pet than you may think. Maybe you have a dog that barks when it sees people pass the window but is fine in the evening when the curtains are drawn? Café style shutters are the ideal solution here, as they give you light flow from the top half of the window but block the dog’s view of passers-by so they stop barking – it’s surprisingly effective! Similarly, if you have a cat, think about their inclination to pounce on dangling blind cords. There are blinds with hidden cords making them inherently safe for both children and animals, but if your cat also enjoys scrambling upwards you may have to live with the puncture marks, or let them play with the enticing dangling cord on venetian blinds for entertainment.

Living room with olive green walls, beige sofa and two large windows dressed in white shutters, louvres open.

Personal preference

At the end of the day, your own personal preference may be the final consideration in the battle between interior shutters v blinds for your window treatment. If you love the look of wood, whether it’s stained or painted, then shutters or wooden blinds will be your preferred option, but if you like the softer look of fabric then you’re going to opt for fabric blinds. Within those boundaries you can then decide do you want to keep a uniform look and have identical furnishings throughout, or have a more mix and match approach that focuses on individual rooms. While there are aspects to consider, you have to be happy with your surroundings so personal preference should always be the main decider.

wooden blind fitted to a tall window in a living room

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