Not all houses should have exterior shutters. But some should and definitely benefit aesthetically. Our aim with this post is to showcase houses that look better as a result of using exterior window shutters.
In my view, shutters should contrast with the main exterior color of the home. Most of the examples in this collection do exactly that and it works beautifully.
Dark on light contrast: Usually shutters are darker than the exterior. This is the most common approach.
Light on dark contrast: This is rare, but some houses have light shutters on a darker facade. This is exceptionally rare. We have on example below.
Blend shutters with exterior: This is a bit trickier to pull off, but when done well, it looks great. An example is dark gray shutters on gray exterior a tad ligher than the shutters. Or, black shutters on dark blue exterior.
When putting together this collection we strived to find a variety of architectural styles, house colors and shutter colors so that you get as many ideas as possible. At the end of the day, most houses with shutters are a colonial, cape cod or Georgian style. In other words, seldom do modern, mid-century, rustic, farmhouse and similar styles use shutters.
Here’s an example of a newer style suburban home with exterior shutters. I really think black or dark gray shutters would look much better than the red here. It’s not that I don’t like red shutters; it’s just that I don’t think red works the best with the light brown exterior.
Many colonial or Georgian style homes with red brick exteriors implement shutters. The black (or dark gray) works perfectly with the red brick. It’s a classic look.
Another new home built in a classical style with shutters. These exterior shutters are cut so that they properly conceal the lower arched windows. The contrast between shutter and exterior is good and it works well.
Luxurious property located in Le Fontainebleau, Blainville neighbourhood in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. I know I’ve said the shutters should contrast, but here’s an example where blending the reddish brown shutters in with the red brick exterior works wonderfully. The shutters match the garage door. I also like the flat engraved design in lieu of the usual louvered style.
Another red brick home with dark gray exterior shutters. In this case the windows have plenty of white trim so the color scheme for the exterior is red, dark gray and white. It works.
Historic (1693) New England Home with white clapboard exterior, grey shingle roof and black window shutters in Sandwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Talk about picturesque.
Fort Langley, British Columbia, Canada: Yellow two-story Colonial style home with black shutters and red door. This home is in my neck of the woods – about 30 minutes away. The black and yellow combo works great.
This house was built in 1750. It’s a bit of an odd house in that the green for the shutters is too light. It should be darker for greater contrast. Also notice the portion of the home’s exterior is wood shingle.
Stately soft yellow exterior home with green shutters, green front door and green garage door. The colors work okay, but I’m not a big fan of that light yellow.
Stunning red brick home with dark gray shutters on the windows. The shutters match the front door and garage doors, which is a nice effect.
Grand light gray home with black shutters. I love this light gray exterior (but then gray is a popular home color – both inside and out right now). The contrast is excellent. Of course this is a classic residential style that will always look great.
Black shutters on a bright yellow house. The black and yellow combination works great, but this yellow is too dark. I don’t mind bright yellow, but there’s something too plain about this home’s exterior… so much so that not even the shutters help it out.
Here’s an example of a new suburban house with burgundy shutters that match the burgundy front door. I wish the home was painted white… then the burgundy would look fabulous. In this case, black or dark gray would have been better. Perhaps even navy blue shutters.
What an absolutely gorgeous home in light gray with plenty of bright white trim then contrasted perfectly with black exterior shutters and a bright red door. Exception attention to detail was given this home.
Here’s an example of a beach house with shutters. These shutters are more functional than decorative… which is the case for most coastal homes. The shutters here are natural wood color; I think black or dark gray would be better. You really can’t get more a beach house than this.
Green shutters adorn this multi-colored, multi exterior home. Overall it works with the two shades of green, gray stone and red brick, but it’s venturing on too much.
Bright red shutters adorn this white home nestled among huge trees on a large property. The red shutters are okay, but not my favorite. I prefer darker colors such as dark gray, black or dark blue.
Beautiful wood shingle exterior home with blue shutters. See, blue shutters look amazing. I love them on this house with natural wood exterior and white trim.
Another red brick exterior home with louvered black shutters on the upper floor windows only.
Bright blue shutters on light blue exterior beach home. Sorry, but this is not doing it for me. I get the desire for an all out nautical style home, but it’s too much blue. White exterior with those shutters would be better. Notice the horizontal board style shutters – that’s not too common.
Here’s a classic example of a home where exterior shutters look terrific. I quite like the black shutters on medium dark gray.
Here’s a large beige exterior home with black shutters on the upper floor. There are many windows on this house and so the shutters really stick out. I love the look… picture the home without shutters; it simply wouldn’t look the same.
Bam! Now that house gets your attention. It’s in a suburb too. I like the Greek Revival style, but I’m not so sure I like it there. It needs to be on a large property. Nevertheless, the shutters look great. They are black on a totally bright white exterior.
Contemporary McMansion red brick exterior home with dark gray shutters. It works fine. I know McMansions get knocked a lot, but I don’t mind some of them. This is a nice enough house where the shutters work just fine.
Here’s another example where blending the exterior shutters works well instead of using them to create contrast. However, instead of color contrast, the shutters here create texture contrast so they do stick out. The home’s stone exterior is very textured whereas the shutters are smooth. It’s a smart concept which works great.
Here’s another example of nearly blending shutters and it works great. The dark gray on dark blue works really well. Imagine if the shutters were white or some other light color for contrast… it just wouldn’t work well.
Here’s the Boone Hall Plantation home, which was founded in 1681 in South Carolina. The white facade in the center is striking in relation to the flanking sides being red brick. It’s a great design. The windows in the red brick portion have black shutters.
Here’s an example where the shutters are lighter than the home exterior. Generally, shutters are darker. I think the color combination here works for the inverted contrast relationship.
Another red brick home with dark shutters. In this case the trim is soft yellow instead of the usual white.
Great example of blending exterior shutters with the home exterior. The shutters are a smidgen darker the exterior. I like this look a lot.
We end on black shutters on a mustard yellow home. It works nicely, but honestly, white exterior would look much better, right?