Many houses these days have some type of exterior window shutters installed, whether they are just decorative or actually functional. People like the way they look on houses, so they are usually an added selling point as well. Depending on your taste, there are a number of different styles of shutters you can consider for your home.
Colonial shutters are one type of exterior window shutter that is both functional and decorative. They can help with storm protection if they are hurricane rated. Usually these shutters come in panels with four sections of louvers that can be opened or closed to different degrees depending on the amount of light and privacy you would like. You can use two tiers of these shutters on taller windows or just one tier on the bottom for a cafe shutter style.
Another type of exterior window shutter you might want to consider are Bahama shutters. These are also functional, but unlike many shutters, they are hinged across the top instead of on the side, so they open away from the house. A shutter that covers an entire bank of windows can also be used as an awning to provide shade. Most Bahama shutters open to a 45 degree angle, although they can be opened just a small amount if that is what you prefer. They are usually made from aluminum and can also provide storm protection when closed.
For those who would like more solid shutters for their windows, board and batten shutters make a good option. These exterior window shutters can have either a separated board or joined board design. They come in many materials, from cedar to vinyl to composite materials, depending on your price range and preferences. They are available in various sizes and work well with curved windows as well as rectangular windows.
Louvered shutters are another common option for exterior shutters. Many homes use vinyl louvered shutters if they just want a decorative look since these are inexpensive and come in a wide variety of colors. Functional shutters are also available in wood and fiberglass and will help control the amount of light that gets into your home as well as ensuring your privacy.