The shutters (volets) at the house are an intrinsic part of the french farmhouse facade, most of the windows have them and they are more than just the look of french country style. These shutters are an important part of the house security and also provide the role of external curtains should you not want the deer or birds to look in. They can help to keep the house cool in summer and warm in winter. When we go on holiday the shutters are closed and when we return it's like waking the house up. We walk around the rooms opening the volets and letting the light flood in. It almost feels theatrical and I think that Elbow's anthem " Throw Those Curtains Wide"  should be blasting out as we wander around allowing the rooms to open their eyes.

One of my appointed jobs is to paint the said shutters, which on the face of it is not a difficult job. I have already planned to take them down and I have decided to create a workshop in one of the barns, so that I can sand, undercoat and final coat these symbols of french architecture. However the main big issue is .....what colour should they be!  At the moment they are green and we think that it suits the house well. It seems to me that there are regional colours that one can adhere to. In Toulouse the traditional colour is blue and one can often see pictures of the french lavender coloured shutters of Provence.

I am now "Match Pot Queen" I have scoured the colour charts of numerous paint companies and have decorated doors and shutters with splashings of green paint ( for we have decided that green it will be ). On my last trip to Farrow and Ball to collect some match pots, the assistant as usual asked for my post code -  to  update my record - I saw her smile, I know I did, she was wondering what on earth I was doing with all the match pots! Visitors to the house have been asked to vote for their favourite shade and I have compared sunny areas to shady areas, I have definitely put the research in for this. Green it will be, but I will have to let you know which particular shade.


Top: Shutters on the south elevation. Bottom left: Shutter on the barn. Bottom right: The summer kitchen window and door.