Saturday, 8 March 2014

Renovation Project - Is there a spider mafia?????

Renovation Project - Is there a spider mafia?????

We have changed our minds again about the front the bedroom, we have spent so long trying to decide what sort of window coverings to have on this room, we had originally settled on making wooden shutters for either the inside or outside of the windows, but we are not happy with these, we have also priced up ready made folding shutters and it turns out these are very expensive, so we have given up on that idea and are going to have curtains, the only problem is that curtains would not look right with the wooden window heads, so John is going to plaster them in.

We had really liked the idea of retaining the original wooden window heads but as we have said many times, the house will tell you what is right and in this situation having plastered window heads would be better.

John uses some plaster board and the plaster finish and to be honest they do look much better once he has finished.
covering old wooden lintels in a french housecovering old wooden lintels in a french house
covering old wooden lintels in a french housecovering old wooden lintels in a french house
As John is on plastering duty he also finishes off the wardrobe that he built in the front bedroom, this just required some plaster on the corner and some bead putting around the top edges, this is such a simple trick but finishes off his work perfectly. It really is the finishing touches that make all of the difference. The wardrobe looks like it has always been here.

finishing off dry lining plaster in france

finishing off dry lining plaster in france finishing off dry lining plaster in france

finishing off dry lining plaster in france

We also have to accept the fact that we will not be having shutters on the living room windows (or at least for the time being) we will continue to look out for some whilst we are here.

We already have roller shutters on the living room windows but these are broken and no longer open, so we decide to remove them today. It’s as though someone has turned on the light, the difference this makes to the living room is unbelievable, we no longer live in a dark dingy hovel, we have a living room!

Removing French window shuttersRemoving French window shutters
Removing French window shuttersRemoving French window shutters

Removing French window shutters

We realise we have had a number of house guests that are not happy about the new changes, the amount of spiders that try to escape is amazing, but we had to get a photograph of this one, I have never seen a spider so big that hasn’t been in a glass tank or on the TV!

spiders found in France

It’s a bit worrying that they have lived with us all this time, but as I’m a big believer in what I don’t know can’t hurt me, I don’t think about it for long. But it does make it harder to remove the shutters and put them in the car as I am now making sure we don’t hurt any of the spiders and make sure that they are not left on the road with the risk of being run over (you never know they may have family left in the house that might exact revenge if we hurt them, is there a spider mafia?????)

We now just have to work out what is going on these windows as we are now living in a fishbowl (yes a light and airy fishbowl, but still a fishbowl).

We do not want to have curtains hanging as the wooden window heads in the living room look amazing, but we do need something on them.


  1. What about a skinny metal curtain pole- very very French and you will still see your lovely wooden bits?
    You can put wooden shutters back on outside . Do you have M. Bricolage? ours sells shutter kits at about same price as buying equivalent wood to make from scratch and less work for your busy husband!

    Worked for us in kitchen/diner
    We have lots of dilemmas like this and I have changed my mind so many times!
    I agree the house does dictate

  2. Hi Jenny,

    Those roller shutters are the best (especially if they are electric) - and you'll need them in the summer, exterior shutters work really well in keeping the heat out. Also, they can affect your house insurance as they are a burglar deterrent. I've never understood why other places don't use exterior shutters.



  3. The house is looking terrific. When in doubt, go traditional with lace curtains set inside the window frame. Very affordable easy to launder and easy to change later when you have more money in the budget.

  4. Be careful about not replacing shutters with more shutters, it might be a condition of your insurance policy that you have shutters on the windows, particularly downstairs on the road side. Discuss this with the insurance company rather than just looking through the policy. Since most houses in France have shutters it might just be something that is taken for granted and not detailed specifically. Bon courage....

  5. Check your insurance!!! If you don't have shutters you need to make sure that your (French) house insurance is still valid.

    I throw spiders outside, (but sometimes I hoover them up).

  6. thanks everybody for so many helpful comments, we have bought very thin curtain poles that will sit inside the windows and will get some nets for privacy.
    We have checked with the insurance and luckily ours does not insist on shutters, but some definitely do!!! so always worth checking.
    in relation to roller shutters our village has said that these can no longer be added to the outside of windows! if you have them fine, but you cannot put new ones up and external wood ones will require planning permission.
    thank you all so much :)

  7. Yes we have to get permission to replace our lethal lead painted disinregrating shutters,-crazy
    Shutters v necessary for us as south west facing and 40 degrees plus for months of the year.
    Jury (Trevor) still out re double glazing, I am reluctant! Will report after first winter living there this year!!

    Place is looking great John & Jenny, good on you