Exterior shutters are critical to the overall aesthetic impression that your home creates. Though there are many things to consider here, choosing a shutter color doesn’t have to be hard. With a little reading and a little homework, you’ll be well-equipped to make this important decision. In this article, we’ll tell you everything you should consider when choosing a shutter color.
Choosing A Look: Traditional Or Bold?
Given the existing style of your home and your vision for it, you’ll want to decide which is more appropriate: a traditional look, or a bold look. Knowledge of your home’s history plus good judgment in designing your home’s future will help you out here. If you need advice, consider working with an architect or home exterior specialist.
Whether you need an expert opinion or not, keep this in mind: black or white shutters work with any color scheme. Choosing black or white shutters will give your home a traditional look, while picking color shutters that fit into your house’s color scheme will produce a bold look. There’s no right answer here. It depends on the home and your individual tastes.
Consider Your House’s Existing Color Scheme
If you aren’t re-siding or re-roofing your house, then you should pick a shutter color that fits into your house’s existing color scheme. This might seem obvious, but it’s fairly important to narrow your choices down to colors that harmonize with your siding, roofing, and window trim colors. Making a mistake here could leave you wincing whenever you pull into the driveway or see the neighbors drive by.
Within an existing color scheme, there are limitless possibilities for shutter color. Generally speaking, dark-colored shutters make a home look smaller, while light-colored shutters make it look larger. This also applies specifically to windows. Shutters that are the same color as your window trim will make your windows look larger. If your windows are small and you’d like them to look larger, this is a great solution—though obviously, it limits your choice of shutter color, unless you’re also considering repainting your window trim.
Consider Your Neighborhood
We’ve all driven past that one house that doesn’t quite fit into the neighborhood. Fitting in not only helps maintain good relations with your neighbors, it can also increase the value of your home. A house with a garish color scheme in a subdued-looking neighborhood simply won’t bring as high a price on the market. Worse, the people who live near the house may resent its appearance. The key here is to balance unique expression with the tastes dictated by the general look of the neighborhood. After all, respecting those around you is part of being a good neighbor.
Also take note: some homeowners’ associations have stringent regulations on exterior color schemes for neighborhood homes. You’ll want to look into that if it applies to you.
Complement or Contrast?
Once you’ve considered your house’s existing color scheme and the general look of your neighborhood, you can decide whether you want your shutters to complement or contrast your home’s colors.
If your home has light-colored siding, dark shutters that fit into the color scheme will provide a welcome contrast. Likewise, if your siding is dark, light-colored shutters in the same color scheme will provide contrast. If you prefer a complementary look, consider shutters that are a few shades lighter or darker within the same basic hue of your siding.
Whether you choose to contrast or complement your existing color scheme, you should carefully consider your window trim color. The interaction of this color with your shutter color will determine whether your shutters contrast or complement your overall color scheme. And as we mentioned earlier, shutters that are the same color as your window trim can give your windows an attractively larger appearance.
Real-World Color Matching
As with painting a room, you can’t predict exactly how your new shutters will look before they’re installed. However, you can take several steps to get a decent idea how various colors will look on your home.
If you search online, you may find a suggestion that you take a picture of your home, get an 8×10 print, and cut out the existing shutters in the photo. When you place this photo over a piece of test color material, the color will show through in the holes, helping you imagine your new shutters. While this method gives you a good rough estimate of color interaction, it has some inherent flaws. For example, taking your photo when your home is in direct sunlight or taking it on a gloomy day could create some inaccuracy in your printed photo. To make this technique foolproof, you’ll want to photograph your home on a partly sunny day. When you compare this photo to your shutter color sample, make sure you’re in a similar lighting situation.
If it’s difficult to photograph your home under partial sunlight, consider taking multiple photos at different times of day and in sunshine and shade. Then compare your color test piece to every photograph of your home.
Really, though, the most foolproof way to test a shutter color is to place a piece of sample shutter material next to a window on your home. Many vendors offer shutter color samples for free. This way, you can hold up the actual material against your house, examining it in many different lighting settings—early morning, direct sunlight, gloomy light, and so on. Checking your real-world sample against your house in real-world light will give you the most accurate picture of the color interaction you’ll create.
I’ve Got My Color. Now What?
After you’ve chosen a color for your new shutters, it’s time to take some measurements. Don’t worry, it’s not hard! We’ll show you how. Click here to proceed.