A lot of homes in the United States have faux exterior shutters that don't do anything except make the house look pretty, and many others use shutters only inside the house. Exterior shutters that actually open and close, as you find in those quintessential European village photos, aren't that common—unless you live in storm country. Whether you're facing hurricane threats every year or want to protect window glass against straight-line winds, or even if you just want to add some shade to your house, shutters are a fantastic addition. Bermuda shutters, also called Bahama shutters, open and close from the top, rather than the sides, and these may be exactly what you're looking for.
When the Landscaping Is Too Close to the Window
Bermuda shutters look like shutters when closed and like awnings when they're open. Most shutters that people are familiar with swing over from the sides of the window, but Bermuda shutters attach at the top of the window frame. You brace them open with rods that push the bottom edge out from the wall.
This top-attachment approach makes these shutters great for areas where there is landscaping very close to the sides of the window. When you have shrubs right on either side, it's difficult to swing side-attached shutters open and closed unless you trim the shrubs back for enough clearance. If you don't want to trim shrubs, you can use these Bermuda shutters as long as no shrubs are blocking the front of the window.
Do keep in mind that Bermuda shutters typically do not extend all the way up, meaning you may lose some view out of the window. However, speak to the sales rep at the window shutter company you work with because there may be ways to extend the rods or newer models that you can open all the way.
Shade, Airflow, and Rain Protection in One
The shutters have louvres that are fixed in a "down" position, meaning that rain that hits the louvres runs off, rather than into your home. The louvres also provide shade but let enough air in that you can leave your window open on a rainy day for fresh air while not letting rain get in. The louvres are also perfect for blocking harsh sunlight in hot weather. You can see why these are already so popular in tropical areas and are becoming popular in areas farther north.
Bermuda or Bahama shutters come with varying spaces between the louvres and in various widths. You can find something for all the windows on your house and make the place look fantastic while protecting the window glass against harsh weather. For more information, reach out to suppliers of storm shutters.