Bay window shutters give you the opportunity to control the light flow in your home and at the same time they can be chosen in a way to enhance the interior design and add to the visual aesthetics of the decor. Dressing up bay windows can be a difficult task and a real challenge as you have many options to choose from – bay windows blinds, curtains, different combinations, fabrics, patterns and designs. Shutters add to the curb appeal of the house when installed outside, but many homeowners prefer to install them inside and take advantage of their look in the interior design.
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Bay window shutters – how to choose the material?
Bay window shutters come in different styles but whatever type you choose, you will have a long lasting window treatment and a stylish element of the interior design. The fact that bay windows have more windowpanes is generally an advantage, as this provides an abundance of natural light but on the other hand bay windows let more heat out. Installing shutters is a good idea to control heat loss and improve the thermal insulation and minimize energy loss. The same applies for summer periods when you need to keep the cool air inside and block out direct sunlight. Bay window shutters can be manufactured from different materials – wood, faux wood, PVC, Aluminum, wood composite. Traditionally, they were manufactured from wood and were used as exterior window treatment to help cool down the home in warmer climates.
Solid wood shutters for bay windows add the charm of natural materials to the home decor and can be manufactured from a variety of wood species – basswood, maple, poplar, oak, cherry, maple, mahogany, teak, etc. Wood can be painted and stained in any color to blend with the existing interior or stand out as an accent. Wood shutters have a long lifespan and will serve you for decades. They are solid, durable and come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are lighter than the ones made of faux wood. However, there are a few drawbacks which you need to keep in mind. They are not a good option for areas with high levels of humidity and direct sunlight for a long time is not beneficial to wood. Wood swells and absorbs water and then contracts as it expels water which will lead to problems with opening and closing and if the shutters are painted, the paint will chip and peal over time.
Faux wood shutters for bay windows are manufactured from composite materials and are designed to look like wood mimicking natural wood grain and appearance. Faux wood is offered in a variety of colors and every homeowner can find just the right shade for his home. Due to the fact that faux wood is made from synthetic materials, this a good choice for areas with high levels of humidity – kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, as they are impervious. In addition, faux wood comes at an affordable price tag compared to solid wood. The main drawback of composite shutters is that they cannot give you the authentic rich look of real wood. They are heavier compared to those made of natural wood, which is a serious consideration if you have to choose shutters for a large bay window.
Aluminum shutters for bay windows are one of the most popular choices of customers as they are a cost-effective window treatment and add a modern vibe to the home interior. They add to the visual aesthetics and come in numerous color choices – from black to white and anything in between to metallic finishes – which means that you can find the right color for any decor and interior color scheme. Aluminum be used in both traditional and modern spaces and are a great option when you want to cover your windows on a budget. High end aluminum shutters and blinds are durable, resistant to moisture, they do not rust, warp, peel or dent. On the downside is the fact that they can be noisy and cannot offer the soft look which curtains or fabrics can. Further to that, aluminum blinds and shutters can collect dust and require regular cleaning.
Vinyl shutters for bay windows are perfect for bathrooms, kitchens, wet rooms and any area with high levels of moisture. They are very durable and will not peel, crack, chip or fade. They are easy to maintain and are an affordable option compared with other alternatives. However, they are manufactured in a relatively limited number of styles and colors and cannot be painted or stained like solid wood shutters. Another disadvantage is that they are not environmentally friendly as vinyl is a man-made product.
Bay window shutters – how to choose the type?
Now that we had a look at the most popular materials used for the manufacturing of shutters for bay windows let’s look at the different types. Choosing the type of bay window shutters will depend on the size of your bay windows, the material and the particular function. This means that you need to know in advance whether you shutters to add style to your decor, to improve the privacy of the room or control the light flow. Shutters are available in full height, café style, tier on tier, solid panels and special shapes.
Full height bay window shutters cover the whole window and function as two separate panels installed on each side of the windows. You can open one or the other panel and control the light flow and if you need more privacy, close the panels. They are a good choice for living areas like living rooms, bedrooms, family rooms, etc and provide the highest levels of privacy and light control, compared to the alternative types, and add style and elegance to the room.
Cafe style shutters for bay windows are installed on the bottom half of the windowpane while the upper part remains exposed. These are a good choice for tall bay windows or for rooms at ground floors or basements. Café style shutters provide a good flow of natural light and protect the privacy at the same time and are often combined with curtains or blinds.
Tier on tier shutters for bay windows are versatile and a very good option as they are installed as separate upper and lower panels which can be open separately which gives you a better privacy and light control.
Solid panel shutters for bay windows are the best choice for bedrooms or homes near busy roads. Those are solid panels that cover the whole window and in addition to acting as a blackout, they offer very good noise insulation.
Special shaped shutters for bay windows are usually custom made to fit the exact shape of the window. This is the way to go if you have awkward angles, arched bay windows or any other challenging lines and curves.
What to consider before buying?
Before you buy or order shutters for bay windows you need to consider carefully the advantages and disadvantages of the different types. What do you expect from the shutters in terms of functionality – do you need better privacy, noise insulation or light control? In terms of design and appearance, you need to choose an option that will complement your home interior and color scheme. As far as materials are concerned, the different types – wood, vinyl, faux wood and aluminum – should meet your requirements for quality, environmental friendliness, fire resistance, moisture resistance, cracking, termites and pest resistance, color fading, warping, maintenance, etc. For example, if you need shutters that are durable and would last for a long time you can choose vinyl, composite or aluminum. When you want environmentally friendly shutters with character and individuality, wood would be a good choice.
Bay windows are a great architectural feature which can add depth and visual appeal to your home. The right window treatment will make them a spectacular element of the interior and will show your personal taste and individuality. Enjoy the gallery below and find the best bay window shutters for your home!