If you’re looking for window treatments that are both elegant and versatile, plantation shutters may be the perfect choice. Shutters can be customized to match your home’s color scheme and style, as well as provide protection from UV rays and noise pollution. Plantation shutters are also energy efficient, which will help lower your monthly utility bills.

On the other hand, if you want a more traditional look, shades could work better for you. Shades can be customized in hundreds of colors, patterns and textures. And they give off a warm, welcoming glow in certain lighting conditions. With so many choices available today it’s hard to decide on just one window treatment!

Over the years, Louver Shop has assisted many homeowners with choosing and customizing window treatments. With your vision and our expertise, we’re sure to find a solution together. We’ll start with a free, in-home consultation where you can see samples up close, from the comfort of your living room. Then your local design consultant will be with you every step of the way, from your free quote to professional installation.

In the meantime, let’s review plantation shutters vs. shades so you can learn more about the unique features of these window treatments.

What Are Plantation Shutters?

Plantation shutters are considered hard window treatments, since they’re made from either wood or faux wood. They’re often white but are also available in a variety of stains. Plantation shutters have wide louvers that are controlled by a tilt bar, allowing you to customize the amount of light in your rooms. Unlike other window treatments, shutters are permanently installed to the window frame.

What’s the Difference Between Blinds and Plantation Shutters?

The terms plantation blinds and plantation shutters are often used interchangeably when talking about window coverings. But window blinds and plantation shutters have several key differences. Let’s review them so you can find the right style for your home.

Budget and Personal Preferences

Both are a beautiful window treatment. But what works best for your home depends on your personal preference, interior design, existing décor and budget. Our custom-made plantation shutters are a premium product designed to last a lifetime, while blinds can fit a wider range of budgets. Horizontal blinds are also available in a few different materials, including wood, faux wood and aluminum.

Louver Width

Both have vertical slats. But plantation shutters have much wider and thicker louvers than horizontal blinds. These widths range from 2 1/2″ to 4 1/2″ and can be customized based on the style you choose.

Pull Cord vs. Tilt Bar

Blinds are most often controlled by a pull cord, while plantation shutters have a tilt bar that allows you to let in varying levels of natural light. This makes window shutters a safer choice for homes with small children or pets, since they don’t have any dangling or long cords that can be a safety hazard.

Window Size and Shape

Plantation shutters are best for a wide variety of window sizes and shapes, from large windows to specialty shapes. Real wood shutters are best for the biggest windows, since they’re lightweight.

Light Control and Room Darkening

Plantation shutters provide the most light control. Unlike blinds, they can provide a full room darkening effect. They’re able to provide superior light blockage and your desired level of natural light since they’re installed within the window frame.

While horizontal blinds provide some relief from the heat, window shutters offer the best energy efficiency. This is true whether you choose a real wood or faux wood style. They help keep you more comfortable by blocking energy loss at the window, where your home loses the most air. This may even help reduce your energy bill!

What Are Shades?

Shades are soft window treatments made from fabric, vinyl or woven wood. Our designer shades from Hunter Douglas come in many different colors and styles, including sheer shades, honeycomb shades, Roman shades and roller and solar shades. Some shades are on a continuous roll while others fold into neat pleats when raised.

Roller shades have the widest selection of fabric to choose from, including sheer fabric allowing more light coming through but less privacy. Roman shades bring a more elegant look, while honeycomb and roller and solar shades provide the most energy efficiency.

Which Window Treatments Are Right for My Home?

This answer depends on a couple of factors, including your budget and home décor style. Here are a few points to consider that will help you narrow down the selection process.

Most Customizable

Winner: Tie

With Louver Shop, your plantation shutters will look just like you imagine them. You’ll have your choice of wood or faux wood, plus louver size, color and more.

Just like our premium shutters, our Hunter Douglas shades are made just for your home. When you work with Louver Shop you’ll have access to all the latest fabrics, colors and patterns you need to elevate your home. You can see samples of our innovative shades from the comfort of your couch during your free, in-home consultation.

Smart Home Automation

Winner: Shades

Whether your shades are on big windows, hard-to-reach windows or you just don’t like the look of dangling cords, PowerView® makes it even easier to move your shades. You’ll be able to move your window treatments with a tap of your smartphone or with a voice command via Amazon Alexa, Siri® on your Apple device or Google Assistant.


Winner: Plantation Shutters

You’re limited with how much you can adjust your shades. With plantation shutters, you’ll be able to customize how much natural light comes through, from fully open to full blackout.

Energy Efficiency

Winner: Plantation Shutters

Plantation shutters are one of the most energy-efficient window treatments. Our LouverWood® shutters are made from an exclusive polymer that insulates up to three times better than wood. This material blocks heat, keeps you more comfortable and may even help lower your energy bills.

A close second for energy efficiency is honeycomb shades. These shades have geometric chambers that trap air at the windows. The result is less heat transfer, better comfort and potentially lower heating and cooling bills.

Most Modern


You might not think of plantation shutters as a modern window treatment, since they’ve been around for so long. Available in contemporary neutrals like white, gray and brown, plantation shutters complement a wide variety of home styles.

Designer Roller Shades or Designer Screen Shades are a great choice for minimalist homes. The Designer Roller is available in more than 400 fabrics, so you’re sure to find an option that complements your décor. Designer Screen is perfect for rooms with strong sunlight, as these shades block at least 75% of damaging UV rays when closed.

Light Filtering

Winner: Shades

Want to transform harsh sunlight into a warm, welcoming glow? Look no further than sheer shades. You can customize the opacity of the fabric then enjoy the full adjustability of blinds, which float between the shades. Sheer shades are available in horizontal and vertical styles so you can create a cohesive look across your home.

Blackout Capabilities

Winner: Tie

Plantation shutters are prized for their blackout capabilities. Ours are able to deliver superior light control because they’re custom made for your windows and installed within the frame.

Some Hunter Douglas shades are available with a built-in, room-darkening panel. That way, you can enjoy light filtering or blackout capability when you want it.

UV Protection

Winner: Shades

With Designer Screen Shades, you’ll be able to enjoy your surroundings while protecting your furniture, floorings and belongings from damaging sunlight. When down, these solar roller shades keep out 75% of UV light.

Start Designing Your Custom Window Treatments Today

Customizing window treatments for your home shouldn’t feel stressful. It should be an enjoyable and even fun experience. You’ll have a lot of styles and fabrics to review, but you’ll have expert assistance from your local Louver Shop design consultant. We’ll be there to help, from your free, no-pressure quote to professional installation. Ready to begin? Give us a call at 888-249-5655 to schedule your consultation now.