Some of us dream of owning a beautiful Provençal country house with rustic shutters and a great big garden filled with lavender and rosemary.
While this remains a dream for most of us, you can create your own Provençal touches with rustic shutters and a little creative improvisation. Before you start, dust off the shutters, hose them down and put them out in the sun to dry completely.
In the garden
Use an old weathered shutter as is to store garden utensils and to hang pot plants. Select a corner under your stoep or find a pretty, sheltered corner of the garden in which to lean the shutter.
Buy small terracotta pots, then fill them with potting soil and plants such as violas. Take some galvanised wire and twist it around the pot, twisting an extra bit at the end to form a hook. Hook the pots on the louvres. Use S-hooks to hang gardening tools and pegs to peg seed packets onto the louvres.
Create a romantic room divider that's perfect for your home by choosing the appropriate number of shutters and sizes depending on the space you are using.
A shutter screen like this one is ideal for concealing the entrance to an en-suite bathroom or placing around the bath in an open-plan bedroom. You can either use the shutters as you found them or give them a coat of paint.
Use two sinkless hinges for each shutter that you want to join. Screw the hinges in and join them. Stand the joined shutters upright and adorn them with pretty old nighties hanging from a simple coat hanger, a vintage handbag or an antique scarf. A bunch of dried lavender, or even a pretty mirror hung from a picture hook would work beautifully.
We found a small, cream-coloured shutter and suspended it on an old coat rack in the kitchen. (Nails hammered into the wall would work just as well.)
Arrange some tomatoes or pretty vegetables on top and use S-hooks to hang kitchen utensils on the louvres. It's simple, fun and a little quirky. It also holds dishcloths perfectly and you can paint the shutter in whatever colour takes your fancy to complement or contrast with your kitchen décor.