Both shutters and curtains independently are two of the most common types of window coverings in the UK and for good reason too. To outright answer the question, you don’t need to have curtains in conjunction with shutters but they do work really well together.
First of all, shutters on their own provide many of the same benefits that curtains do, and not only that they are typically better at these benefits too. Shutters in Kent are much better at keeping the heat in, so as to keep your home warm and your heating bill down. Curtains are also much more likely to suffer from normal wear and tear than shutters are.
Shutters are much more durable than curtains as they are made to last; the materials that are typically used in the construction of shutters are far superior in withstanding normal use than curtains are. Anything that is directly in front of the window will be susceptible to damage from sunlight, you might have seen this if you have had curtains at some point that have become discoloured.
Shutters will also be sturdy so won’t damage as easily from use as curtains will, curtains have the potential to tear or even become frayed at the edges. You don’t need to worry about that with shutters.
Typically, with curtains as well, if you need to thoroughly clean them you need to go through the process of taking them down and in some circumstances, you might need to take them to a dry cleaner. With shutters, cleaning is much easier since most of the time you will just be quickly wiping the dust away with a cloth. If you do need to clean more vigorously then due to how durable they are they can easily withstand this cleaning.
Shutters will also provide greater control over privacy and how much light you let into the room. You can pick the size of the louvres and you can tilt them up or down at varying angles depending on what desired result you are looking for. With curtains, it’s typically just an open or closed choice that you have, while you could partially open the curtains that might not look the greatest.
So, with all of this, it is really easy to see why shutters have been incredibly popular in the UK for so long. Oftentimes though people opt to go for shutters with curtains together, this is typically for aesthetic purposes as they really work well together. This is a personal choice depending on what vision the person has for the space.
Though you might have the potential to increase heat retention with shutters and curtains together, the difference between shutters on their own compared to shutters and curtains will be negligible.
With curtains and shutters together, you will get one absolute benefit though and that is in regards to blackout. If you really want to minimise the amount of light that can enter the room then having both curtains and shutters will allow you to do that. However, the best way to really achieve that would be with shutters that have integrated blinds and also have curtains, but that’s up to you how far you want to go with that.
Do you need curtains with shutters? No, but they can work really well together, so it really comes down to personal preference.