The Shutters

Who doesn't want to darken his children's days!

Especially the bit before 7 am, when my alarm is set. Ah, you say, first world problems! I have to get out of bed at 4 in the morning to- but let me stop you right there. I live near my work for this exact reason (as well as the lack of commuting stress, and other benefits). Me smart, you stupid. Get over it.
As I was saying, I was getting tired of babies uno et due waking me up at 6 in the morning. This was occuring so often the old metabolism had taken to waking me up even on the rare occasions where the kids didn't. And every time it was the same old song. "Papa, sun is there, go downstairs".
The coming summer promised to cut even more into my precious, precious sleep. I hate you sun, as only a closet redhead with serious sleep deprivation can hate you.

The problem

Our kid's bedroom is between ours and our south facing-and room sized, yes, you may hate me now- balcony. The balcony doors therefore catch a lot of light. Since they need to be used as a door (not so much to catch sun as to de-block the rain gutters) and, more importantly, have an arch at the top, it's not just unaestethic, but downright difficult to add roller blinds.

The solution

Our bedroom, whose windows open on the street, have interior shutters on them. They're part of the style of the house and an obvious way to solve the light problem in the kid's room.


I first measured the opening, as well as the hinges used on the shutters in the bedroom. I wanted to get as similar a style as possible.
Then it was off to the hardware store. I soon figured out the Brico in downtown Brussels stocked the hinges I needed.
Next up, on a day off, a visit to the big hardware store outside of town. Since it's next to Ikea we were hoping to rent a van to transport all the heavy stuff we needed in one go. However it was not to be. The wood I needed, planks of 35cm by 285cm, just wasn't there.
Coincidentally I had another free day coming up, and so I went over to my local wood shop. Well, the neighbouring woodshop really, as after nearly a century of family strife, the shop that had once split off the original had closed their shop across the street. Sadly, the original has less of a chose.
In fact the only wood they could offer me was 18mm plywood. At the steep price of 80 euros for an uncut panel, no less. Cutting, and some other wood, took the whole to 120 euros. After forking this out, and helping to cut the wood, I was faced with the task of carrying the bunch home.
Needs must, though, and 2 backbreaking trips later the wood was safely at home.

The cutting

The same day, aided by my mother in law babysitting, I got started on sketching out the arch.
I then put the planks on sawhorses and cut away. I spent a lot more effort on sanding the rough, splintering sides than on the cuts. This was going to be mounted in the kid's room after all!


The construction brought one fatal flaw to light: I'd cut the doors 14cm too short.
Obvious in hindsight, but there I was. I had to remount the doors to raise them, too, as I'd only noticed the issue after completing them
In the end I had enough wood left over to improvise 'skirts' at the bottom of the doors. Kid 1 was overjoyed in helping me install them, too.


The kids sleeping improved from day 1, even before I added the skirts. The day gets really bright now before they wake, no more getting up at 5.30 am because it's light out!

to be done

Nothing, they're finished and beautiful! Since I got (super expensive) quality wood they'll also age nicely.