Window treatments are an important part of any room. They can be used to make a space feel more modern or traditional, depending on your preference. There are many types of window treatments available today, but there are two that seem to be the most popular among homeowners: curtains and plantation shutters.

Curtains offer an affordable option for people who want to cover their windows with something decorative. Plantation shutters provide the same aesthetic benefits as curtains, plus they also help insulate your home against cold drafts in the wintertime and hot air in the summertime.

We’ll review the pros and cons of each below so you can decide which one is best for you.

Pros of Plantation Shutters

  • They don’t go out of style. Interior shutters have been around for a long time, and they’ll continue to stick around.
  • They complement a wide variety of home styles. Whether your home is traditional, contemporary or somewhere in between, there’s a shutter style that will fit your decor. While white or wood-colored stains are the most traditional, you’ll also have the option to make your shutters stand out with statement colors like gray, bold red or deep blue.
  • They can be used throughout your home for a cohesive look. Wood plantation shutters are great for large windows, because they’re light. Solid polymer plantation shutters work well in rooms with a lot of heat or moisture, like bathrooms or kitchens, or on south-facing windows.
  • They’re highly customizable. With custom shutters, you’ll be able to choose the louver size, color, frame style and more. Go with ultra-wide louvers for a contemporary look. Or narrower ones if you like a classic style.
  • They can be installed on just about any window, including sidelights, arched windows and even patio doors. If you choose custom plantation shutters, you’ll get a great fit throughout your home, even on custom or unique windows.
  • They’re very energy efficient. Your windows are your home’s main source of energy loss, but plantation shutters can help you keep heating and cooling where it belongs. They help you save energy through the way they’re installed on windows, their design and their materials.
  • They provide a high level of light control. A tilt bar controls the louvers, allowing you to let in as little or as much light as you want. Because shutters fit tightly against the window, you can also achieve a blackout effect for bedrooms or home
  • They’ll last a lifetime, if you buy the right ones. Quality plantation shutters, such as custom ones manufactured in the United States, are durable and will often last for a lifetime.
  • They may increase your home’s value. Custom-made shutters are especially attractive to potential buyers.
  • They’re easy to clean. Periodically dusting and wiping down your plantation shutters with a soft, damp rag will keep them looking beautiful for years to come.
  • They don’t need much maintenance. Premium shutters will have features that will keep staples from pulling out and maintain proper tension, so you won’t need to do much maintenance other than keeping them clean.

Cons of Plantation Shutters

  • They can be expensive. Custom plantation shutters are a premium window treatment designed to last a lifetime, and the price reflects that.
  • They can yellow over time. If you buy the wrong plantation shutters, sunlight can cause their finish to crack or yellow. You can avoid this issue by choosing a company that includes a warranty for the finish.
  • They can sag. Ready-made plantation shutters manufactured overseas tend to lose their shape as time goes by. This is caused by hollow louvers. A quality shutter manufacturer will warranty against this problem.
  • They may need to be tightened. This problem is more typical with cheaper shutters. Quality ones will never need to be tightened or adjusted.

Pros of Curtains

  • They’re inexpensive. Curtains are much less expensive than plantation shutters.
  • They’re easy to install. You can typically install curtain rods and curtains on your own.

Cons of Curtains

  • They go out of style quickly. Trends come and go each year, so it’s easy for curtains to start looking dated.
  • They can be difficult to move. This is especially true for large or floor-to-ceiling windows.
  • They can interfere with furniture. Long curtains can be an issue if you have furniture nearby and using shorter curtains can look awkward on certain windows.
  • They don’t look good on certain windows and doors. Curtains aren’t a good match for arched windows, sidelights, French doors or sliding glass doors.
  • They don’t offer as much light control. It’s more difficult to control how much light you let in. If you’re looking for a blackout effect, you still might have light leaking through the top or the sides of the curtains.
  • They aren’t energy efficient. Curtains offer very low energy efficiency because of their design, material and the way they fit around windows.
  • They’re hard to clean. Curtains get dusty quickly and can harbor allergens. While some styles may be washable, others might require specialty or dry cleaning.
  • They can yellow or fade over time. Unless your curtain fabric includes UV protection, sunlight can discolor them.

Can’t Decide on the Right Window Treatment? We Can Help!

Now that you know more about the differences between plantation shutters and curtains, you’ll be able to better consider your options for window treatments. If custom plantation shutters are what you’re after, we can help with that too! Give us a call at 888-249-5655 to schedule your free, in-home consultation with one of our designers. With your vision and our expertise, we’ll be able to make your dream of a beautiful home a reality.