I like to layer up window treatments. Mostly, I like something practical and something pretty - like a plantation shutter coupled with some decorative side panels. If I had to say what my favorite look was, that would be it, but it is really my hardest sell with clients. Surprisingly, I find that a lot of people do not love the look of shutters; some people find that they are too linear, some think that they will need a lot of maintenance, and some think that they'll block the view. But, in actuality, shutters are the easiest and most efficient window treatment on the market. They can easily stand alone (especially if you want to show off the detail of your window frame), or they can be layered up. And, depending on the size of the louver, shutters can be appropriate for both traditional and more contemporary applications.
Hunter Douglas and an array of other vendors (such as our local friends at Back Bay Shutter Co. and Barrows Window Shoppe) offer shutters with louver sizes ranging from 1.75 to 4.5 inches. Since the size of the louver determines how much light comes in and how much of a view you see between the slats, it's up to the homeowner to control the mood of the environment. Remember, with shutters, you see what they see, so if you want to walk around the house in your underwear, then you better be tilting those louvers toward the clouds! Aside from controlled privacy, other benefits of the shutter include UV protection, insulation, and sound absorption (Hunter Douglas also offers a soil/dust resistant finish).