When you’re painting the exterior of your home, there are three main components to the look. The major component is the walls themselves. Then there is the trim and the shutters. The trim is the thin material that frames the walls and the windows. The shutters are around the windows. Shutters come in two different varieties. There are functional shutters and decorative shutters. Functional shutters are generally reserved for areas that have frequent strong storms. They are wooden doors that open and close over the windows of a home. Typically, they can be latched shut to keep them from blowing open. Decorative shutters are wooden and look like the slatted functional shutters but they’re affixed to the walls beside the windows.
When you are deciding to paint your shutters, you should consider the differences between functional and decorative shutters. They’ll both be open most of the time, but they can affect how you paint them.
You want your shutters to complement the look of your walls. There are two ways to do this. You can choose shutters that contrast the walls, or you can choose shutters that complement the walls. For example, white walls with black shutters would be an example of contrast. The shutters will stand out against the walls. Alternately, gray walls with light blue shutters would be an example of complementing shutters. The shutters accent the walls, but they don’t provide any stark difference. Does it matter if the shutters are functional or decorative?
In many cases, areas with functional shutters emphasize contrast more. For several different reasons, storm-prone areas with functional shutters tend to utilize high contrast shutters. These shutters are also more likely to be bright colors. Decorative shutters are less likely to be bold, bright colors.
What You Should Do
None of that means that you should not choose bold, bright colors for decorative shutters or muted colors for functional shutters. These are just general rules of thumb. You are obviously free to do whatever feels best for your home.
However, there are some considerations. Since decorative shutters will always be affixed to the walls beside the window, they’re more a part of the wall than they are part of the window. That might influence the colors you choose. Functional shutters can be closed over the windows, so it might be wise to paint them the same color as the window frames.
Shutters can be essential accents to any home paint job; choosing the right colors is very important.