Plantation shutters or curtains? Yes to both! People install plantation shutters in their home for a variety of reasons but the most common are:
- Shutters increase the value of your home
- They can be easily adjusted to let in more or less light
- Plantation shutters are energy efficient as they help insulate windows and doors
- They are a classic look that never goes out of style
- Shutters offer privacy from the outside while allowing you to let light in.
All of the above sound great, but what if you want to change up the design of your room or bring in some color, or completely block out the light? This is where curtains come into play. By implementing a few design tips, you will not have to choose between the two and can enjoy the look and privacy planation shutters have to offer, as well as the design flexibility that comes with curtains.
Here are some ways that you can make curtains work with plantation shutters in your home.
Up Your Design Game with Hanging Panel Curtains
In order to access your shutters and let the light in when you want, use hanging panel curtains versus roman shades or roller shades. You will get the beautiful look that curtains (in a well-chosen fabric) can bring into a room, and you can simply push your curtains to the side when you want to open your shutters. Another bonus to using hanging panels is that they can be easily switched out if you change up your room design and want to bring in different colors and patterns.
As seen in the photo above, the curtains do not distract from the white plantation shutters, but rather they help to frame and emphasize the windows. Additionally, the dark iron of the curtain rods tie into the fireplace as well as the design additions of the frame and the candlesticks on the mantel. Without curtains, this space might feel stark as the ceiling is high. The hanging curtains enhance the windows.
Mount Upward And Outward
In order for curtains to work best with your plantation shutters, you will want to use a curtain rod that is long enough to allow for pushing the curtains all the way to the side to open the shutters. In addition, design best practices say to mount your curtain rod well above the window frame. Mounting a rod closer to the ceiling will actually make your windows appear taller than they really are, adding visual height to your room.
Many interior designers go by the rule of thumb of mounting the curtain rod at a minimum six inches to the side and at least six inches above the window frame. Some people mount the rod just below the ceiling, drawing the eye up as high as possible in the room.
LA designer, Emily Henderson created the illustration above to show you the comparison of hanging curtains just at the window, “The Bad”, versus hanging them higher and wider, which she labels “The Good”. She even states that they should be hung at least 10 inches above the window, but we understand that in some spaces this may not be possible given the space between the window molding and the ceiling height. Basically, go as high and wide as possible.
Add Tiebacks For A Formal Look
If you would like a more tailored look, rather than letting your hanging panels hang straight down, install tiebacks or holdbacks on each side of the windows. Tiebacks are made of rope, fabric or another material and wraps around the curtain to gather it together. Holdbacks are mounted to the sides of the window frames and hold the curtains to the side. These are often hooks but can be any item you desire such as old door knobs. Tiebacks or holdbacks are often used when the windows are framing an item such as a bay window, bed, or window seat as displayed in the photos below:
By using tiebacks, it allows the curtains and plantation shutters to frame the bay window, window seat or bed and lets them become the focal point of the room.