Tuesday, February 12, 2013

True Colors

Houses in Brittany - part 4 - colours

I've had a difficult day at work today; most of the time I love my job as a teacher... But today just wasn't fun...

So I made myself some hot herbal tea, I put my favourite old sweater on, I'm listening to some music and to the cats' snoring (it's very relaxing... at least for me!) and I'm ready for some eye-candy.  From the very sweet comments you left me, I guess you're also ready for some more French eye-candy.

Journée difficile aujourd'hui. J'aime mon métier... Mais il y a des jours sans, comme pour tout le monde. Alors, de retour à la maison, j'ai préparé une tisane chaude, j'ai enfilé mon vieux gilet douillet, j'ai mis une musique douce et j'ai écouté les chats ronfler, oui, moi, ça me détend! Je suis prête pour admirer avec vous de belles maisons bretonnes.

I know most people associate Brittany with blue windows and shutters.  The previous owner of my cottage thought so. And I must say, those blue shutters did wink at me the first day I visited the house.

La plupart des gens associe la Bretagne avec les volets bleus. C'était le cas des précédents propriétaires de ma maison. Je dois avouer tout de même que ces volets m'avaient bien fait de l'oeil quand j'ai visité la maison la première fois.

There are many stone houses that have blue windows and shutters, though each owner chooses its favourite shade.

Beaucoup de maisons utilisent le bleu, chacun choisissant sa teinte. Un bleu franc, dit "bleu breton", par exemple a été décidé pour la maison ci-dessous.

It can be a "real" blue that is often called "Britton blue".

 Ce bleu peut presque être turquoise comme celui aperçu sur une maison de Moncontour.

Or nearly turquoise as in the next picture, which was taken by a friend in the medieval town of Moncontour... That's me, walking ahead of her... and not admiring at all that beautiful blue door.

So I grew up thinking Brittany and blue shutters were like salt and pepper, oil and vinegar, Romeo and Juliet...

But I later learnt that blue became really popular when sea-bathing became popular and people from town (and mainly Paris) associated blue with the sea.

J'ai grandi en associant le bleu à la Bretagne, mais j'ai appris que c'était une association surtout développée avec l'apparition du tourisme, parce que le bleu, ça fait "mer", évidemment, pour moi la première. En fait, auparavant, les volets avaient des teintes variées, sûrement pour aider à distinguer les maisons. Ainsi, moi j'habiterais la maison aux volets bleus en face de la maison à la porte verte... Avec ces indications, je vous attends demain pour le thé!!!

But traditionally, owners would choose different colours, maybe also to make it easier to find their house. When there was no number on houses, you would say: "I live in the first house with red windows, right after the church", for example.

A few towns have encouraged owners to repaint in other colours than just blue.

Un certain nombre de villes et de villages ont encouragé leurs habitants à restaurer cette diversité et l'on trouve un peu de toutes les couleurs.

So you can find green.

Either dark or very light.

I've noticed that more and more people choose red.

And of course, I always find that white shutters look gorgeous on a stone wall.

Every now and then, you can find a house with an unusual colour. I remember seeing one with black shutters on Brehat, but apparently I didn't take a picture (I had no idea what a blog was back then). I tried to find a picture of it on the Internet, but failed. But I found this one!

So if you were the proud owner of a stone house, what colour would you choose to associate the stone with?

Bon alors, si vous deviez choisir une couleur pour les volets de votre maison en pierre, que choisiriez-vous?

If you missed the other parts of this series, you can find them here: part 1, part 2, part 3.

Si vous avez manqué quelques épisodes sur les maisons bretonnes, retrouvez les ici: épisode1, épisode 2, épisode 3.

Thanks for tagging along and for your sweet comments, they are really appreciated.

See you soon,

I'm linking with:
Make It Pretty Monday at The Dedicated House
Making The World Cuter Monday at Making The World Cuter 
A Return To Loveliness at A Delightsome Life
Open House Party at No Minimalist Here
Everything But The Kitchen Sink at A Little Knick Knack


  1. Yes!! This is really true color. And your house is so wonderful. Thank you for shearing such a impressive post.

  2. Hi Magali!!

    I would pick the pink (I wonder why LOL). Even a nice
    yellow would look good.

    I'm sorry you had a hard day. Teachers are not really
    appreciated for all their hard work. Isn't it funny
    how we have a go-to piece of clothing for comfort or a
    book. I have a few.

    Have a great week!!!!


  3. absolutely gorgeous! i would choose any one of those blues for windows and shutters.
    thanks for the tour.

  4. I like the pink shutters! I keep wondering if these shutters actually close if there is a storm or if they are just decorative. I love the really tall hollyhocks growing up in those boxes by the cottage.

    Have you ever seen the movie Mr. Holland's Opus? He was a teacher who made a difference.

  5. Eh bien, moi, que veux-tu, je reste très "cliché breton" et j'aime les volets bleus... à la rigueur blanc... mais rose, ah, non alors, ça fait trop Hartard !!

  6. Magali, thank you for visiting my site and your lovely comments. I love your photos of the stone houses and all the wonderful shutter colors. It made me smile. But, my favorite color now is Aqua. You are so blessed to be living there!


  7. I too am a teacher and some days just get to you. I absolutely love my job though.

    And, I absolutely love the houses with blue shutters. My little beach cottage is white with blue trim.

    The one with the pink shutters is a hoot!

  8. All of them are so beautiful!!! I would probably lean towards either blue or white since those are my favorite colors! Thank you for sharing and thank you for the visit and sweet comment at The Dedicated House. It means the world! Would love it if you would share this lovely post at my Make it Pretty Monday party that is going on now. http://thededicatedhouse.blogspot.com/2013/02/make-it-pretty-monday-week-36.html Hope to see you at the bash! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  9. Your little white house has the same colors as my little white house by the sea. It looks like you have a lot more room then us though.

  10. Oh goodness, all of them are so pretty! I would probably go with either a Jadeite green or an aqua blue, or somewhere in between. But it's hard to say! All the houses are gorgeous. Sigh! Also, I have been wanting to visit Prince Edward island, too, for the same reason! Anne of Green Gables is one of my favorites. :-) ~Angela~

  11. All the homes you shared are so beautiful. How wonderful it would be to live among such beauty. I live near a house with a purple front door. I would never have thought of that color for a front door but it is so cheery and chic. I think if I had a stone house of my own I would choose purple :)

  12. So interesting that blue was/is so popular for windows and shutters. I personally love the blue, but can see if every house has it then maybe another colour would work well too. I love the stones many of the homes are built with.

  13. My favorite color is green, so I'm betting that would be my color of choice.

  14. I love the pale green-blue, like they do in the cotswolds. On your house I think a soft, light color...


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