If you’re anything like me, then you probably consume quite a bit of design and decoration content online, either through social media, blogs or other websites. And, like me, in your time you may have come across the odd article or two about exterior shutters and their supposed “right and wrongs” (perhaps with a heated ensuing comment thread!).
Yes, apparently some people have strong opinions about some wood attached to the side of a house!
The bulk of the negativity is aimed at decorative shutters, especially those which don’t “fit” the window size so can’t even pretend to have some sort of function.
The secondary annoyance centers around their general appearance. The belief that they diminish, rather than enhance, the look of most houses nowadays because they tend to come across as fussy, old-fashioned, forced and erroneous.
I get it, and totally understand the arguments, but I’ve never been one for rules or trends.
When my parents painted their exterior brick a few months back, they needed to remove all of their original white louvered shutters – yes, the ones below which don’t “fit” the window size.
At that stage we discussed the possibility of leaving them off entirely, though they were both adamant that they wanted them back. And, I must say, I liked the idea too.
As you can see, a large portion of their house is visible from the street, and although the new white brick was fresh and crisp, there was a LOT of it! Plus, my parents have always loved the charm of country style homes, so the somewhat sleek and modern look of having no shutters, whilst appealing to many people, simply wasn’t for them.
We toyed with the idea of re-using the original louvered shutters (which are currently popular again!) but decided something with a bit more substance and character would work better. Plus no-one was interested in stripping the paint off all the louvers – LOL! It would have been a massive job. Of course we still have the original shutters and will repurpose them for future projects.
After settling on a simple ‘Z’ design, my Dad built all of the shutters from cypress pickets. It’s a pretty straight-forward DIY (just cut, glue and screw – similar to the batten style shutters I built last year for the flip house). Each shutter cost $60 and there are ten in total.
They are merely bolted directly to the brick. To retain and enhance the natural warmth of the timber we simply finished them with clear exterior oil.
Here’s a before and during (“during” because the house is still a work in progress) with and without shutters…
And here’s before the brick was painted with the original shutters still in place…
For a while we were tossing up the idea of charcoal or duck-egg shutters, though I’m so glad we went with natural timber!
Like I said at the start of this post, they may not be for everyone though I absolutely love them!
If you noticed that my photos are all relatively tight-framed, this is why…
My Dad pulled down the old retaining wall a few weeks ago so this whole area is a big mess. Aside from building a new wall and having the driveway made, we still also need to finish the garage area and stairs which will all be clad in stone, and there will be a timber pergola going up on the balcony. It’s slowly getting there.
Catch up on all of the other suite extension posts HERE.