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Are Plantation Shutters Out of Style (in 2023)? Pros, Cons and Alternatives

A collage of different types of shutter plantation window.

No, plantation shutters are not out of style as far as I’m concerned.

However, I’m of the view not all architectural styles should have plantation styles.


They’ve been around for hundreds of years. They were used on 18th-century plantation mansions which were built in derivative forms of classical architectural styles. Hence, the name.

Just because they’re old doesn’t mean they’re always in style, right?

That’s true. Just because a style or effect or design was used hundreds of years ago doesn’t mean it’s worth using today. Take, for instance, the way kitchens were separated and relegated to some remote part of the house one hundred years ago (and beyond). Nobody wants that these days. Most kitchens are large and serve as a focus in the home.

That said, my main reason for suggesting that plantation shutters are NOT out of style is that they serve an effective function in addition to looking good.

Few window treatments offer the flexibility in light control like plantation shutters. While you might think the aesthetic is out of date, you can’t argue with how functional they are.

Plantation Shutters Trend Chart

When looking at the trend chart, it appears “plantation shutters” as a search term online is trending slightly downward, but that was a few years ago after reaching its most popular era. It’s flat-lined for now which means while it’s not trending upward, it’s sufficiently popular so as to not be “out of style”.

What are the Pros and Cons of Plantation Shutters?

White plantation shutters on kitchen window


  • These popular options are so well liked partially because homeowners are able to easily customize their look and have shutters that will perfectly fit their windows.
  • This is especially true when you work with a company that will come to your home and custom-measure your windows for you.
  • Plantation shutters look amazing but will also benefit your home in a few ways. Since they are great at keeping out the light from the sun, they will keep your home cooler during the summer and lower your electric bill. This will also protect your flooring, art, and upholstery from being faded by the sun.
  • They are also incredibly durable and built to last. With no strings that will tangle or fray and no fabrics to worry about fading, these are sturdy pieces of art that will improve the appearance of your home and last for a very long time as long as you care for them.
  • Because these shutters are generally left behind when a homeowner sells the house and moves, they can actually be factored into the price of the home. This means that they will actually increase the value of your property.


  • There aren’t a ton of different colors, materials, or textures to choose from; for that reason, many people opt for other window treatment options.
  • Since plantation shutters are usually custom-built, this means that they will come with a much higher price tag than other alternatives.
  • To ensure that your shutters always look their best, you will have to make sure to clean them on a regular basis.
  • Depending on the weather and your usage, you may find that you need to adjust your shutters from time to time. While this is not difficult, some homeowners find it frustrating.
  • Unlike shades that can be opened completely and hidden from view, plantation shutters will always be in the window. In addition, if your windows tilt in, then their function can be inhibited by these shutters.

Plantation Shutter Alternatives

1. Wood Blinds

Horizontal wood blinds

We have faux wood blinds and like them a lot. They look good, are easy to clean and provide good light control. They can be fully pulled up for maximum light or adjusted for partial light. They’re also easy to clean.

Wood blinds offer homeowners a lot of flexibility regarding how light or dark they want their rooms to be at any given time. They are very easy to adjust and to raise or lower according to your needs and fairly easy for the homeowner to install by himself or herself. This means that you can save money by not having to have a professional come to the home to complete the installation for you.

Are wood blinds better than plantation shutters?

For large windows, horizontal wood blinds are better than plantation shutters.

However, not necessarily so for small windows if you prefer the look of plantation shutters.

Another benefit of wood blinds is they fit in more architectural styles.

For example, plantation shutters don’t look good in a modern home design, but the right Roman blinds could look good.

Again, it’s not a matter of whether plantation shutters are out of style or not. It’s whether they fit the architectural style of the home and whether you like how they function and look.


  • They add interesting architectural style to the room where you have them installed.
  • Wood blinds will look built in as if they are supposed to be part of the home’s structure and less as if they are a window treatment that was haphazardly chosen.
  • They are able to be raised and lowered to the exact height that you want to adjust how much light you want and the view that you want. This offers a lot of flexibility for the homeowner.
  • Due the real wood grain, they are visually interesting and beautiful.


  • Because they are a lot heavier than other window treatment options, you have to make sure that your windows can handle the weight. Additionally, very wide blinds can be unwieldy to operate due to their weight.
  • Since the slats are thicker, when the blinds are opened all of the way, it will create an unsightly stack of blinds located near the top of the window, which can block sun and the view.
  • While not common, the wood can sometimes be affected by moisture in the home, which will lead to warping. It’s generally best not to have these blinds in the bathroom or by the kitchen sink for this reason.

2. Honeycomb or Cellular Shades

White, cellular shades with a single cell.Home Depot

These shades will do a lot for your home. They can help you control the light and privacy from the window and even insulate your window. Available in a variety of colors and sizes, it’s still best to work with an expert who can custom-make your blinds so you will be sure that they fit your space, especially if your window is an odd size.


  • Most cellular shades are amazing at increasing the privacy in your home, the only exceptions being ones made from sheer fabric.
  • Due to their shape, these blinds will actually help insulate your home because they are able to trap air. Their long channels work to stop the air at the window, keeping you much warmer in the winter.
  • These shades do a great job at blocking out the natural light from outdoors. Available in a number of different shade-blocking abilities, you can choose from filtered light to completely dark rooms.
  • You can choose from blinds that open from the top or from the bottom, allowing you to catch the sun in the best way possible.
  • They will mostly disappear at the top of the window so there is no unsightly stack.


  • Some less expensive options resemble thin paper, which will not add to the value or appearance of your home.
  • You are unable to tilt these blinds to adjust the light coming in and where you want it to land.

3. Roller Shades

Vinyl roller shades with decorative details and colors.Home Depot

Roller shades are a great way to get more privacy in your home and be able to block the sun without making a huge investment in your window treatments. They’re also fairly easy to operate and will get out of the way quickly due to the way they will snap and roll up into themselves.


  • These window treatments are not only easy to install but they are fast. This allows homeowners who are in a rush to get window treatments up to complete the work quickly. Then, if they desire, they can go back and install curtains with the roller shades to make a more complete look.
  • Since they’re easy to clean with just a little water and soap, these shades can be used in any room without worrying about how dirty they will get.
  • The most budget-friendly alternative to plantation shades that exists, the price makes it possible to install these shades in every window in the home.
  • Available in a few colors and a number of materials, you can even opt for room-darkening shutters if you need to be able to block the light.


  • There isn’t any way to control the disbursement or the direction of the light, only how much you allow into the home.
  • As they age, they can be tricky to operate easily and it can be frustrating when they simply won’t open the way that they should.

4. Roman Shades

Roman shades in a navy blue, cordless fabric.Home Depot

This is a fabric shade that is easily raised or lowered using a pull cord. With so many different styles, textures, and fabrics to choose from, you can easily find ones that will work with your décor.


  • There’s a style for every home. From flat Roman shades that work perfectly in contemporary homes to looped styles that are much more traditional, this is a great option no matter how you like to decorate.
  • Roman shades are timeless. They have been around for a very long time and are still incredibly popular, making them a great choice if you want to buy window treatments that will last.
  • Because they are made from fabric, they will soften the window. Unlike wood blinds and other hard options, Roman blinds can appear very feminine or masculine, depending on the style and the fabric.


  • The fabric from the Roman shade can stack up towards the top of the window, which is unsightly and can decrease the amount of light that is let in when they are opened.
  • The loops and strings that are a part of Roman blinds can become a hazard for small children and pets. There are some child-safe options available for purchase so you have to just be careful when buying your window treatments.
  • You are not able to tilt them open or closed to adjust the light and where it lands. Roman blinds are either opened or closed, which makes it difficult if you want to control the light in your home.

5. Vertical Shades

White, vertical blind with an elegant finish.Home Depot

Generally only used on very large windows or patio doors, these shades still allow homeowners to control the amount of light that enters their homes and to enjoy a lot of privacy. They come in many colors and fabrics and, while they are large and will be a main focus of the room, can look great depending on the style you choose.


  • They’re very affordable and one of the best ways to quickly and easily cover a large window.
  • Vertical blinds are very versatile and can be opened all of the way or the vanes can be tilted in a direction that allows sun to come in while still retaining some of the privacy you desire.
  • The vanes that hang down and cover the window can be selected in a number of different options. This means that you will be able to choose the ones that best fit with the rest of your décor. Common choices include hard vinyl, fabric, or wood.


  • Because of the way they open, they will often stack up on the side and block some of the view out of your window or door.
  • They’re very noisy to open and to close and when the wind blows them, they can create loud banging noises.
  • Less-expensive options tend to crack and break easily.

6. Curtains

Window curtain with heavy-weight linen fabric and blue printed patterns.Home Depot

Often paired with another window treatment such as blinds, curtains are a fun and easy way to instantly update the décor in your home, express your personality, or change up the space without making a huge monetary commitment.


  • Any style fabric, color, or pattern can be used, making them truly a perfect fit for your home.
  • Heavier fabric will create a more formal appearance, while lighter and breezier ones will blow in the air.
  • They’re easy to open and close from side to side on the curtain rod.


  • Even light-blocking fabrics don’t do a great job of darkening the room.
  • They tend to get dirty and dusty and need to be washed.
  • You can’t control where the light lands in your home: curtains are either open or closed.

What about cost?

Plantation shutters are expensive, but so too are wood blinds, but wood blinds (and especially faux wood blinds) do not come close to the cost of custom plantation shutters.

If cost is a concern, wood blinds may be the way to go.

But if you have a healthy budget, your home style is on for which plantation shutters work, I do not think that plantation shutters are out of style.