Where one ‘Front Door’ closes…

The front door of LA Maison Blanche has always been something I loved about our house in France. It’s huge, medieval even, needs a good, two-handed shove to get it open. It is literally and figuratively thousands of miles away from our London front door.

The key is enormous befitting a large country house and just seeing it hanging on our London key rack is a constant reminder of our other home.
And it was where we all stood on arrival for the first time as a family and took this photo! The photo I’ve used for my blog heading despite the fact that both boys are now considerably


But once we had painted our house front, the shutters and even the side wall onto the street, the doors remain the last shabby chic aspect of the house – and truth be told they were just shabby. The front door and our little kitchen door were both quite rotten and let the wind rattle through the house.

And so Peter took them all off, used a vat of wood filler and miles of sandpaper to patch them both up.

I looked into the rather inevitable khaki shades of farrow and ball front door cliche that litter London streets. I looked at pale blue, the choice of most English people in France for shutters and doors. And then I looked around our area and noted that most houses are actually painted in shades of cream and brown. And as the door had originally been painted brown I decided to try and stay with a version of that.


And as ever, I wasn’t entirely sure if I shouldn’t have gone with something ‘prettier’ but that afternoon our 75 year old neighbour, Madame Camblat popped round to say hello. When we showed her the door she said ‘ah tres bien, c’est un coleur de campagne’ (it’s a colour of the countryside) and I was glad I’d gone for brown after all.