Shutters: Design ideas, inspiration & pictures

Window shutters

Window shutters can be simply described as solid or louvered panels that cover a window. Shutters have been traditionally installed with a view of protecting the window from harsh rains as well as sunlight. Overtime, shutters evolved as building elements that were not only protective but also aesthetic in nature. Shutters were now being fabricated keeping in mind the latest trends in design, local craftsmanship, as well as the architecture style of the main building. Traditionally, shutters were made from wood; however, today we can come across a variety of building materials such metal, plastic, as well as reinforced glass used for fabricating shutters. 

What is the difference between shutters and blinds?


Typically, blinds can be described as an arrangement of slats that can be lowered or raised in order to control the light entering the room as well as to ensure privacy. Blinds can be horizontal as well as vertical depending on the form of the main window. Blinds can be fabricated from aluminium, vinyl, as well as wood. Typically, aluminium and vinyl provide a cheaper and durable option whereas wooden blinds are relatively expensive but score full marks on the aesthetic and durability fronts.


Shutters typically act as a protective covering over windows and similar to blinds can be controlled either manually or electrically. Depending upon your preference, you can install slats in the shutters which can be further made operable in order to provide you with higher flexibility of use. Although shutters are comparatively more expensive than blinds, they can provide you with extremely high levels of protection and security. Owing to their form and fixing mechanisms, shutters can be manufactured in a host of designs, texture, and colour options.

Are window shutters common in Malaysia?

Shutters were a very common building element in vernacular Malaysian architecture. Often fabricated from wood, shutters were used not only to cut off the harsh sunlight but also to complement the overall aesthetics of the house. Modern day Malaysian houses have shutters manufactured from not only wood but also metal and reinforced glass. Most of the shutters are fabricated by window manufacturers or by carpenters that are widely spread across the country.

What are the different types of window shutters?

Depending on their design and fixing mechanisms, shutters can be classified into 4 categories. These are panelled, louvered, board and battened, and Bahamas shutters.

Panelled shutters

These are the most common type of shutters and resemble a simple flush door or kitchen cabinet doors that are hinged on the sides. These can be single or double panelled depending upon the size of the window. They provide excellent protection and privacy but do not allow ventilation or a visual connection with the surroundings when in closed position.

Louvered shutters

These are shutters with fixed or operable louvers held within the main frame. Not only do they allow excellent ventilation, they also look extremely elegant on most of the building facades.

Board and Batten shutters

These are shutters where multiple vertical boards are held together by a diagonal board for a simple yet charming solution. These can be single or double panelled and are generally fixed on the sides by means of a pin hinge.

Bahamas shutters

These are louvered shutters but unlike the normal ones fixed on the sides, these are fixed on the top to create a sort of canopy for the main window when in the open position. They are perfect to allow in light and ventilation as well as protect the windows during storms that are typical in tropical regions. As a result of this feature, they are also sometimes known as hurricane shutters.

Shutter hardware

In almost all cases shutters are fixed on pin hinges from the sides or in few cases from the top. Tower bolts are the most commonly used products for locking and security purposes. You can further opt for holdbacks or tiebacks in order to keep the shutter in open position. Such holdbacks are available in a host of design options and work wonderfully to add on to the aesthetics of the entire window setting.

How do I correctly measure my window for installing a shutter?

Begin with choosing the type of shutter that you would like to install, this would depend upon the nature of the space and your requirements. Shutters can be installed on the inside or on the outside. For inside shutters, begin with measuring from the sill to the top of the jamb for the height and measure from jamb to jamb for the width. It is recommended that you take about three horizontal measurements at different heights in order to derive the exact opening size.

For shutters that are fixed on the outside, the window casing (molding) determines the overall measurements. Taking such measurements can get difficult if the casing is more ornamental than usual. It is very important that these dimensions are accurate since inaccurate measurements can lead to errors that cannot be repaired later.

Should I hire a professional for fixing the shutter?

Although you can refer to the guidelines above as well as to the numerous online videos available on the internet, our recommendation would be to opt for professional help from a carpenter. This way you will not only save time but also eliminate the risks of incorrect measurements and installation.