Those of you who follow me on Instagram have probably seen a few snaps of Villa Cavrois appear in my feed. A couple of weeks ago Dieter and I jumped in the car for a day trip to this magnificent Art Deco gem near Lille, France.
It was a sunny and beautiful day, and we were lucky enough to beat the crowds. The beautiful house is so big it is actually registered as a castle, but not like the ones we are used to in Europe. The modern day palace was built by French architect Robert Mallet-Stevens for the family of industrial Paul Cavrois in 1932, but was nearly completely gutted by the end of the last century. The place had been occupied by the German army during world war 2, afterwards it was looted and vandalized, there were trees growing indoors and part of the facade crumbled.
Luckily, the French government recognized this property was quite something. In 1990, the villa was registered as a monument, in 2001 it became government property and slowly but surely, renovations began to restore Villa Cavrois to its former glory. It took 13 years an unbelievable amount of research and 23 million euros but last year, Villa Cavrois opened its doors to the public. It now looks exactly the way it did in 1932.
It is amazing to walk into a time capsule like this, where the smallest details are taken into account. The light switches, the chrome accents, even the pattern of the marble, everything was chosen to match the original design in the most accurate way. A highly recommended day trip.