Many homes out there have raised panel shutters installed around their windows as a way to both protect and accent them. In areas where winds get pretty tough, rain falls almost consistently through the winters, snow falls, or any other type of potentially harmful weather, you will see shutters installed. For many homes this acts as a way to semi insulate the windows from the bad weather, although the main reason is to insure that the windows do not get damaged by flying rocks, tree limbs, or even hail!
Raised panel shutters also bring an elegant look and feel to the home during those times when the weather is actually quite calm. You can get these types of shutters for any sized window, and any shape as well. If you have rounded windows, for example, there are shutters that will fit perfectly over them, and when they opened they have a charming design that assures they look just as cool opened as they do closed.
You can get a variety of different types of shutters. You can get the type that are flat, painted the exact color of the home, and even customized to match the wood patterns so when open they are completely invisible from even a short distance away. These are more flat paneled than raised. You can get raised panel shutters as well that do this but give the home an intriguing look when opened. For some this is a type of beveled look. Others are designed to not blend in as much and in fact bring out the homes natural look more with accents and colors that complement the home much like the trim colors.
The idea when choosing shutters is not to overwhelm the windows with appeal, so much that they are the first and often only thing people see when they look at the home. You want to put shutters that are in their own right individually beautiful, but that complement the homes look to the point that your not distracted when looking at the entire home. Much like the front door, the shutters should be nice, but matching, accented, but welcoming and minor.