Add European Charm To Your Home
When we think of a European home, a number of things come to mind; crawling trellises, cool white-washed walls, rambling garden paths and rustic French kitchens. And of course, the practical but irresistibly charming wooden window shutter. In the warmer climes of mainland Europe, in particular the Mediterranean, these typically European shutters have a practical function as well as an aesthetic one allowing the windows to be opened and create a cool breeze, without compensating privacy. In Britain, though, shutters can be used to bring a little feel of Europe into your home.
If you live in a flat in a city, dont worry! There are so many interesting and creative ways that shutters can be used away from windows. One popular use that is frequently available in higher-end home wares stores is tall wooden shutters hinged together to make a portable room-divider. Room dividers (sometimes called shoji screens) are a great way to create the illusion of greater space in a living room or bedroom. Particularly if you have children, a room divider can be used to designate play-space. Or, if you live in a flat-share, to create privacy for changing within a communal room. By using shutters, a rustic, out-doors, European appeal is instantly added to the room.
For a more subtle look, shutters can make great wardrobe doors. If positioned horizontally, the shutters will also double up as hanging space while you decide on an outfit (no more throwing clothes all over the bed!) If you have a smaller bedroom, perhaps paint the wardrobe white, cream or a light pastel tone, as the natural wood colouring of the shutters might be overpowering in a smaller space. Again, a number of cupboards and wardrobes in this style are available in furniture shops all over the U.K. and by searching flea-markets and second-hand furniture shops it is easy to find some more unusual pieces (usually for a cheaper price).
Another essentially European look is to hang pots, pans and utensils in the kitchen. If you are feeling particularly adventurous, one idea for a very novel take on this is to use part of a wooden ladder. Simply use shelving braces, which are attached to the wall and place the ladder on top. Either keep the natural wooden colour of the ladder or paint to match you kitchen. Using hooks (these can be bought in any home-wares shop in a number of styles) hang your pans from the rungs of the ladder. You will have to look twice to notice this novelty, but it will add a great European, rustic look.
One of the best things about adding European charm to your home is that it doesnt have to cost the earth. You can recycle and reuse everyday objects and create a great, unique look.