Bazaar Dream

A colour­ful world of flea mar­ket finds and hand­made ob­jects makes this place a joy­ful dis­cov­ery.

Country House Magazine - - June -

A colour­ful guest house and shop in Nor­mandy.

Lau­rence and Daniel moved to Nor­mandy for work in 1995 and lived in Le Havre for 14 years. They be­gan to dream of the coun­try, with the idea of hav­ing their own guest rooms. ‘Our wish was one day to open a joy­ful place, out of time, a kind of po­etic paren­the­sis where peo­ple would en­joy gath­er­ing to­gether. A big house where it would be good to live... a kind of ideal’ ex­plains Lau­rence. So when the fam­ily grew, they be­gan search­ing in the hope of ac­quir­ing a fam­ily home rich in its orig­i­nal fea­tures. ‘We al­ready went to flea mar­kets a lot, trea­sur­ing our finds, imag­in­ing bring­ing them to light one day’ says Lau­rence. When they did not find what they were look­ing for, they de­cided to build a new home and take the op­por­tu­nity to in­te­grate the fruits of their finds: ce­ment tiles for the kitchen, finials, ca­st­iron rail­ings, es­pag­no­lettes, wood­work, fire­places…with the aim of recre­at­ing the very soul of an old house. It took 15

years be­fore they could open the guest house and, af­ter much work, most of which was done by them, ‘Un Par­fum de Vi­o­lette’ was born. Their guest house now has two guest rooms (named “Cousin Ge­orge” and “Mimi de Paris”) with a third room be­ing added as we write - which will be lo­cated in a mag­nif­i­cent Gypsy car­a­van! The in­te­rior dec­o­ra­tion is mainly com­posed of ob­jects and ma­te­ri­als found in bro­cante and an­tique mar­kets and fur­ni­ture made by Daniel. As soon as you en­ter the house, and even the gar­den, you can see what a colour­ful and joy­ful place this is. Busy and eclec­tic with an artis­tic vibe, it is buzzing with ac­tiv­ity and is al­ways be­ing dressed and un­dressed like a theatre stage. ‘We are par­tic­u­larly touched by the bo­hemian uni­verses of trail­ers, In­dian in­spi­ra­tions, the guinguette spirit, the re­li­gious, the cab­i­nets of cu­riosi­ties, as many dis­par­i­ties of tastes and in­spi­ra­tions that we try to as­so­ciate ac­cord­ing to our dis­cov­er­ies.’ These sin­gu­lar ob­jects co­habit with the cou­ple’s own cre­ations. Lau­rence brings to life vin­tage heads of doe by cre­at­ing

char­ac­ters in their own right: Ge­orge, Leopold, Jeanne, seem straight out of a tale and tell us their story ...Some of the dec­o­ra­tive ob­jects of the rooms are for sale and you may be tempted to leave with a tealight, a box hat, a nice mir­ror, an old suit­case ...There is also a shop in the house where you can find a vin­tage gar­ment, a retro ob­ject or a gourmet del­i­cacy. Guests can en­joy the ‘ta­ble d'hotes’ - and there is a res­tau­rant sched­uled for the end of the year… Lau­rence and Daniel never stand still. This place, like a charm­ing bazaar, is full of life and com­ings and go­ings, but mostly it is filled with the en­joy­ment of giv­ing joy to oth­ers. ‘This new pro­fes­sion is ab­so­lutely ful­fill­ing’, says Lau­rence, ‘it's about en­coun­ters and shar­ing, a kind of im­mo­bile jour­ney through­out the world, a model of cul­tural ex­change and open­ness to the other’. For guests, it is also a jour­ney into the realm of dreams and imag­i­na­tion.


The en­trance re­veals a colour­ful world of eclec­tic finds from flea mar­kets and other fan­cies.

The bistrot style re­flects the taste for re­cy­cling and up­cy­cling ma­te­ri­als and found ob­jects such as the un­match­ing chan­de­liers and the floor tiles.

The Mimi de Paris room is dec­o­rated like a Parisian bo­hemian loft with green painted Parisian shut­ters and two Mont­golfier chan­de­liers.

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