The beauty of French style shutters is that they look wonderful on any age of property – you only need to visit France to see this. Indeed there they are used on everything from a small terraced village house to a grand manoir or château. They can be white or painted to the colour of whichever region of France the house is situated, for example pastel blue in Brittany and in South West France they are often beige. Here in the UK we like white, but do consider other colours as they look amazing and fit right in with many different décors.
S:CRAFT has up to 26 different colour options or you can give them a paint swatch or reference number, allowing them to match the exact shade that you want. They are perfect for giving maximum privacy and light control, while also giving that special kerb appeal.
The History of French Style Shutters
It is believed that shutters were first in use in ancient Greece long before glass was ever invented. They provided ventilation and light control and were made from marble with fixed louvres. It was not long before the concept of shutters spread throughout the Mediterranean and the construction underwent certain changes.
Wood started to replace marble as a more suitable material for production, and designers developed movable louvre shutters so that the amount of air and light entering into a room could be controlled. The same principles apply today.
However history would have us believe a somewhat more bizarre reason as to how French shutters were invented. It is said that during the 17th century, King Louis XIV moved his court from the Louvre in Paris to Versailles. He loved to watch beautiful women as they bathed in the gardens many ponds, however this sight also caused a distraction to his guards. He supposedly introduced solid garden walls with louvred shutters in convenient places, which only he could open. This way his voyeurism could be satisfied, while the guards could see nothing – truth or fiction who knows! The term “Peeping Tom” also came from the use of shutters, for when Lady Godiva road naked through the streets of Coventry, Tom was able to watch her without being seen.
French Style Shutters – Shabby or Chic?
It would be hard to imagine a traditional French house without shutters and it does not matter whether they are brand new or old and faded. In fact many new shutters are given that shabby chic look or painted in colourful shades to compliment any décor. It really doesn’t matter, as both shabby and chic look gorgeous. Here are a few reasons why they are perfect for your windows and doors:
- They give total flexibility for the control of light and privacy
- They minimise the direct heat coming in through the windows, keeping the room cool and helping to prevent furniture fading
- During hot summer nights, the windows can be left open and the shutters closed, keeping out bugs and providing security
Café Style French Shutters
If you have a property that passersby can look into, then this type of shutter is ideal. They are half the height of regular shutters, leaving the top part of the window clear. This makes it possible to close the louvres, giving your room total privacy, while light still floods in through the top part. S:CRAFT has a wonderful selection which are available in a great range of colours and they look superb in any age of property. So whether you choose shabby, chic or shabby chic, your French style shutters will look amazing.