It would be hard to imagine France without shutters to the windows. Painted and colourful or with a chic and shabby patina, they are to be found all over the country, from North to South.
They can be fitted to doors as well as to windows.
In France we like our shutters on the outside of the windows. They are there for added security when closing up the house, for temperature control when it gets very hot or very cold. If the shutters open out then the windows have to open into the rooms. This can sound strange and baffling, but when it gets hot, to have the windows open and the shutters pulled shut is a wonderful way to control temperature inside the house.
To my eye they are the most beautiful when their patina blends them into the surrounding walls and colours.
Part of the beauty of the old French shutters is the hardware. Generally a central handle that lifts or raises vertical rods ( cremone) to lock the shutter.
And to keep the shutters open, flat against the wall there are 'arrets', on our house we have these sweet little faces holding the shutters back.
In the South of France where the temperatures soar, the shutters, called 'persiennes' often have this added element that allows the lower part of the shutter to be opened vertically to let in some light.
Today, we love the colour and texture of shutters so much that they are brought inside and repurposed.
Tomorrow I shall be showing you the work of a talented lady who does just that and who works magic with her wonderful patina paint techniques.