Interior Window Shutter Blinds

When homeowners begin to research window coverings, there is sometimes a confusion regarding what they need.  As an interior shutter company, we often have people asking about interior plantation blinds or window shutter blinds.  While those are all terms related to window coverings, neither is accurate and could lead to confusion when discussing options.

Actually, the term “shutter blinds” is more outdated than incorrect. Exterior shutters were the primary window covering in early America. They served as the first line of defense from natural elements and intruders. The first interior shutters were simply modified versions of exterior panels that were crafted to swing into the home on structures without glass windows. Interior window coverings surged in popularity in the nineteenth century as homes evolved. During this period, window shutters temporarily may have received a more utilitarian stigma, while the Venetian blind emerged as a more fashionable option. It is during this duration that the term interior shutter blind may have been introduced. It wasn’t until the twentieth century when a differentiation of window shutters and blinds was necessary. In America, we now make a distinction between interior shutters and blinds, but in Britain window shutters are often categorized in the broad spectrum of blinds.

Shutter blinds installed on interior windows

Many variations of window blinds have become trendy over the years, including metal mini blinds, micro blinds, Venetian blind, vertical blinds, roller blinds, even leather blinds. These styles of window blinds soon lose their appeal, date the home, and need to be replaced.

Interior shutters are far less volatile to home fashion fads. For decades, both wood traditional and plantation shutters have been some of the most desired window coverings in America.

Following is a chart to distinguish between wooden shutters and window blinds:

Window Blinds Horizon Shutters
Materials Fabric, wood, plastic or metal Kiln-dried hardwood
Construction Metal header with vertical cords or ribbons that connect and space horizontal slats Side stiles and rails contain horizontal movable louvers unified with a vertical tilt bar
Movability Slats rotate with strings or wand Tilt bar allows louvers to rest at any angle
 Fully Open Pull lift cord to fully raise slats
Can be difficult with large blinds and sometimes creates a large unattractive stack at window top
Entire panel can be opened to the side of the window
Wall space equal, or larger, than shutter panel width is required
Color options Typically limited to basic in-stock colors Custom-made product allows unlimited custom paint or stain options
Insulation Minimal insulation when blinds are closed Significant insulation provided when louvers closed
Durability Slats and cords likely to bend or break
Usually replaced within 4-7 years
Furniture-like quality
Usually last several decades
Cost Wide range depending on materials
Initial investment usually less than shutters
Often more expensive than blinds, but long-term value is consistently greater
Ventilation Allow ventilation, but slats swing in breeze Allow ventilation, and louvers stay fixed in position
Size Options Best for small windows; larger windows make it heavy to lift to open Any size window configuration possible
Light blocking Some light blocked, but thinner materials allows light through Nearly total light blocking available in closed-louver position
Safety Strangulation hazard with low-hanging lift cords No safety issues reported
Appearance Casual Casual or formal