Interior Decorating Window Half Shutters

Michelle Radcliff
European style window half shutters

Interior decorating: window half shutters are more commonly known as cafe shutters. These type of shutters cover the lower half of the window, allowing plenty of light to enter through the top. They can be used as interior or exterior shutters. These shutters are commonly seen in European architecture.

Interior Decorating: Window Half Shutters

You may be wondering why someone would want to only cover half the window. Cafe shutters are a great choice for a kitchen window. They also work perfectly when installed in a dining room wall cut out that connects the kitchen to the dining room. A window half shutter looks great when paired with a different window treatment for the top half such as a valence, drapes or curtains. Half shutters are more cost effective than full length shutters. A double hung shutter allows you to alternate between opening the top or the bottom half of the window and provides complete privacy.

Measuring For Window Half Shutters

Accurate measurements are necessary to properly install cafe style shutters. Use a steel tape measure and the help of a partner. How you measure depends on whether your shutters will have an inside mount or an outside mount.

Inside Mount

For an inside mount, make sure there is at least 1½ in. clearance from the glass to the edge of the wall. If the window depth is any less, you will need an outside mount.

Measure the inside opening from edge to edge in three different places, top to bottom for the width and side to side for the height. You need to provide the narrowest width. For the height measurements, divide the shortest measurement by two if you want the shutter to cover exactly half of the bottom. The height measurement you are providing is the shutter height, not the window height. The factory will deduct 1/4 in. from your measurements to ensure the shutters will fit.

Outside Mount

Outside mounts use the square frame which is installed on the wall outside of the window opening. It can be attached to the trim or molding around the window or you can remove the trim and attach it to the wall. If the square frame is attaching to dry wall, use dry wall bolts.You will be providing the total measurement, including the frame, when measuring for an outside mount. Measure the width of the window opening and then add two extra inches, one inch on each side. Half shutters do not have a frame across the top. The height measurement will be the height of the shutters.

Styles of Half Shutters

Interior half shutters can be made out of wood, vinyl or a relatively new material called Thermalite. You can also choose from traditional or plantation style shutters

Wood Shutters

Premium hardwood shutters can be painted or stained and come in many custom colors. Most wood shutters are made from basswood. Wood shutters are very attractive, however they can warp or crack over time.

Vinyl Shutters

Vinyl shutters come in many custom colors. They are very durable and easy to clean and maintain. Unlike wood shutters, vinyl shutters won't warp or crack and work well in areas with high humidity. Vinyl is recommended for bathrooms, households with children and any place with extreme environments.

Thermalite Shutters

Thermalite is a solid material that is almost indistinguishable from wood. It is fireproof and highly resistant to water. Thermalite insulates up to three times better than wood and is an energy efficient, environmentally friendly product.

Traditional Style Shutters

Traditional shutters have 3/4 inch thick panels that open and close using a 1 1/4 inch moveable louver.

Plantation Style Shutters

Plantation style shutters have 1 1/8 inch thick panels with three inch wide moveable louvers. Plantation shutters are wider than traditional shutters.

Where to Buy

Interior decorating: window half shutters can be found at local home improvement stores. There are also many online sources to buy window half shutters from. The first two in the list offer the Thermalite shutters, which appear to be the best choice for interior shutters and well worth the money, as they also claim to have the longest warranty in the industry.

Interior Decorating Window Half Shutters