When it comes to interior decoration, a huge chunk of the attention goes to the living room, and with good reason. After all, the living room is the canvas that holds up your style and design sense to the rest of the world. It is also the room that you spend most of your time in, with your loved ones and your guests. If you want to make an impression on your guests, the living room is your best shot.
Window dressing form an integral part of living room decoration. They are not only an important artistic item; they are also responsible for setting the mood of the room. Moreover, the comfort of the room is largely regulated by the window dressing. So, when it comes to selecting the perfect dressing for your window, you should put a lot of thought into it.
Shutters Vs Curtains
Both shutters and curtains have stood the test of time. Their multi-faceted benefits have always helped them hold on to their position as the most popular window treatment solutions. At times, it becomes very difficult to choose between the two. So, before settling on a choice, let’s look at some of their distinguishing features.
When it comes to structuring, shutters and curtains differ to a large extent. Most of their differences arise from this structural distinction. Shutters are fitted much closer to the frame, while curtains hang loosely in front of the windows. This feature alone goes a long way in defining their functional benefits.
Shutters are made of heavy materials. Most of the shutters are made of hardwood or Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF). The heavy material of shutters gives them an edge over curtains when it comes to insulation and light control.
Curtains can be made from both light and heavy material, giving you the flexibility to choose between a light and a heavy covering for your windows.
When it comes to privacy, both shutters and curtains form an effective barrier. When closed, shutters give you total privacy. Even when they are open, the thick slats provide partial privacy to the interiors.
Curtains, on the other hand, need to be closed to get total privacy. In the day, sheer curtains give some privacy, while flooding the interiors with light.
Shutters are definitely better insulators when compared to curtains. Their close fit to the frame ensures that very little gap remains between the frame and the shutter, giving the window almost double protection. The heavy material of the wooden slats, when closed, keep in the warmth and keep out the cold. Even when the slats are open, the thick slats provide more coverage than an open curtain.
Curtains can provide a lot of insulation, especially if they are made of thick fabric. The close-knit design of blackout fabric, or heat repellent material, can also keep the room warm in the winter and cool in summer. But there will always be a chance that some heat loss will happen through the gap between the frame and the material.
Just like insulation, shutters provide better flexibility than curtains. The slats of shutters can be adjusted to control the direction in which the light falls in the room. The slats can also be lowered or raised to control the amount of light that gets in the room. This feature can be a big bonus on hot, stuffy days, when you just want to allow a little bit of light in the room.
With curtains, you do not have this flexibility. The curtains leave a vast area open, even when they are drawn closed partially. With curtains you do not get the flexibility to control the direction of the light, nor do you get an option to limit the entry of light. However, with curtains, especially sheers, you can get a better-lit living room than shutters.
With neighborhood noise becoming a real nuisance for people seeking some peace and quiet in their living room, noise dampening becomes an essential factor for consideration while selecting a window treatment solution. While the thick material of shutters provides a decent amount of noise dampening, thick curtains also can serve as a thick barrier against sound.
When it comes to durability, the balance is even. The thick materials of the shutter can withstand heat and sunlight, but in humid conditions, they warp. Curtains show more tenacity in the face of heat and light, although they are prone to wear and tear. Depending on what material you choose, and the amount of care goes into it, both shutters and curtains will last for a long time.
Shutters are more expensive than curtains. For this reason, shutters are a more permanent solution. If you select shutters for your living room, you will not be able to replace them as easily as curtains.
Curtains are cheaper and come in various price ranges. As you incorporate more features, the price will go up, but you will still manage to stay within a modest budget.
Aesthetics is perhaps the biggest difference between the two. While shutters come with that typical traditional look, curtains are more versatile. With curtains, the design possibilities are infinite. You can select from a wide range of colors, patterns, and designs, in curtains. These kinds of options are not available with shutters.
Which One is Best for Your Living Room?
There is no rule of thumb regarding what is the best choice for your living room. It will depend mostly on your priorities. If your house faces a busy street, then noise cancellation, privacy, and light control will take precedence over aesthetics. In that case, shutters will be a good option.
However, if you live in a quiet street, with the windows opening to glorious views, and design excellence is what you have in mind, then do go for curtains. In some special cases, you can pair shutters and curtains to get the best of both worlds. Both options are unique in their own way, and each can be customized to suit your artistic rendition.