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Shutters to shut or not to shut

Shutters…to shut or not to shut

by Christine.

Most French houses, especially in the countryside have shutters for every window. Our house is no exception and at the moment we are trying to get all ours repainted, which is always a mammoth task. Also, our shutters are way past their sell by date and really need replacing. But that is a costly exercise and so keeps being put on the back burner. When we were discussing this task yet again, I got to reflecting about their usage.

Personally, I hate having the shutters closed. I like light in the rooms, especially our bedroom. Our house is a traditional country abode, which was built to cope with very cold winters. So the windows are small and the combination of few and small windows plus thick walls makes most of our rooms quite dark. In winter, we do close the shutters at night to try and keep the house warm, but I can`t wait to get them open during the day time. In summer my husband and I are always at odds. He adheres to the “shutting the shutters keeps the house cool “theory when it is hot, whilst I hate being in the (admittedly cooler, but much darker) rooms, and so go around opening them, and the windows, at every opportunity!

I am also always highly amused by our B&B and gite visitors reactions to the shutters. We have no curtains at any of our windows but as we live in the middle of the countryside there is no-one to see into the rooms. It is also very dark at night…no light pollution here, only the stars and the moon! Our French guests always shut the shutters tight and in the gite they have been known to drape spare blankets etc over the bedroom windows, just in case there is a stray chink of light which might penetrate. We have Velux windows in the roof of the main bedroom in the gite and they are very difficult to completely curtain off. Visitors do complain sometimes that they have had moonlight creeping into the room at times. Zut alors! I would love that, but hey, I`m not French!

So, are you a shutter shutter, or not? Do you, like me, hate being in the dark or are you someone who can`t sleep if there is a chink of light in your room? If ever we have to move back to the UK I am sure I will hate having street lights outside my bedroom window and will probably resort to curtains again. But here I just love my windows uncovered night and day. Light rules OK?

Les Hirondelles -

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