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Shutter Styles – what’s the difference?

Shutters come in many different variations which makes them a fantastic customised window dressing choice for any home, window, and room décor.

It was previously the case that only a small selection of design options were available in shutters, however over time more variations have been perfected to allow shutters to suit a wider range of preferences. One of the key design details is inevitably style, and which of the multiple options is the best option for each window and home. Here’s a handy guide to help you understand the differences between each of the shutter styles available.

Full Height

Full Height shutters do just as they say on the box… extending the full height of the window top to bottom for a full coverage for the space.

There are three varieties of full height shutter available for shutters; full height with a divider rail, full height with a hidden break and full height without a divider rail.



Without a divider rail


With a divider rail


With a hidden break

Full height shutters with a divider rail have a solid rail built horizontally across the panel used for either structural support in the panel or as an aesthetic feature. Often located to mimic any divide in the window behind, the slat sections either side of the divider rail can be controlled independently from one another.

Full height with a hidden break is visually all one slat section in the panel extending the full height of the window in one section but they are actually split into sections which allows for the slats to be moved in two parts if preferred.

If looking for a single slat section throughout the whole panel then full height without a divider rail is the choice for you.

What Are The Benefits?

As full height shutters extend the entire length of the window, this style offers a complete level of light and privacy coverage when panels and slats are closed so you can achieve complete privacy and light blockage in the room.

What Should I Consider When Choosing This Style?

Full height is the most popular style of shutter so you can’t really go wrong when choosing this for your shutters. The only consideration that you may need to make in full height shutters is whether you would want to operate the shutter panels independently in two sections, in this instance you would be looking for Tier on Tier shutters.

Café Style


Café style shutters extend only part way up the window. The exact height really depends on each clients preference, but usually the best option is to have the shutter extend to either the break in the window or half way up the window height if there is no break present then. Divider rails and hidden breaks can still be featured in café style shutters but this is a less common choice as the panel is already relatively small.

What Are The Benefits?

Café style shutters are a great choice for windows where privacy in the room needs to be enhanced but a high level of light is still preferable.

This is also the style of shutter that is most used when a client doesn’t want to remove their previous window dressing so choose shutters as a pairing option. As shutters are costed by square meter, choosing café style means that the shutters will be cheaper than opting for another fuller height option.

What Should I Consider When Choosing This Style?

If there is any likelihood that you would want a full height coverage of the window in the future, we usually recommend factoring this in from the offset. Café style shutters come with a three sided frame and it is not as simple as it appears adding an additional tier as the framing will need to be changed as well as ordering the additional panels so it is better, and cheaper to choose full height or tier on tier from the offset.

Tier On Tier

tier-on-tier-shutters-loncon-shuttersTier on tier shutters have two levels stacked on top of one another allowing for an extra dimension of use as the shutters can be operated like stable doors with top and bottom panels opening independently.

What Are The Benefits?

Our customers who choose the tier on tier style of shutters like this style for the ‘best of both worlds’ that it provides. When all panels are closed the shutters have full coverage of the window blocking out light from the room and obstructing any view into the room. When top sections are open, the bottom panels become a café style shutter which allows for privacy in the room whilst still letting light shine through the top of the panel where required.

What Should I Consider When Choosing This Style?

As tier on tier shutter have two panels stacked on top of one another, a double rail is featured where the top rail of the bottom panel and the bottom rail of the top panel meets. For large windows and large panels this double rail still looks good aesthetically however on smaller windows these solid wood sections can look a little unusual especially for slatted shutters.

Solid Shutters


Solid shutters are always teamed with a second style of shutter as ‘solid shutters’ indicate the absence of slats in panels and instead a solid block of wood in place. So, for example you would always have solid as the prefix to another style of shutter, for example, solid café style, solid full height shutters. A traditional option and the first style of shutter that really gained any popularity, solid shutters have panels that are solid sections of wood and so do not have slats within them as most modern interior shutters do. These solid wood sections will feature either a ring pull or a knob to open up and operate the panels.

What Are The Benefits?

Being a solid covering on the windows, there is no light coming through the slats as would be the case with louvred shutters so a more solid blockage for the window is available. Clients tend to favour solid wooden shutters if they are aiming for a more traditional covering on the window however we have seen some interesting usage

What Should I Consider When Choosing This Style?

Solid shutters attract a beautiful finish being made entirely from our luxury wood materials, either ultra or Pearlwood. However, if you are still looking to get varying levels of light and privacy control of the shutters then you may consider louvred shutters as an alternative to solid shutters as there are more varying levels of control through this.


To find out more about each of our shutters styles you can visit our Shutter Styles page or alternatively submit a Contact Us form to speak to one of our team members about what style is best for you.