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