Normandy, so rich in products of all kinds, has constantly shown the most ingenious initiative in everything that concerns the decoration of life: luxurious decoration and decoration of simple intimacy, the most charming perhaps and the most picturesque. On its soil, vast workshops as well as modest craftsmen's stalls have always flourished, filling its houses with those thousand indispensable or superfluous accessories which give old houses such a personal character. And, for some years now, a new effort has been made to revive local craftsmanship, the happy results of which have been consecrated in recent regional exhibitions.
The traditional home of our beautiful and rich Normandy is the "clos". It is therefore a "Norman clos" that has been built in Paris, on the Cours la Reine; a Norman clos with its rough stone foundations, its exposed timber walls, its large roofs that form a protective bonnet and its high chimneys. The only thing missing is the customary belt of apple trees, which the chestnut and elm trees of the Cours la Reine are trying to replace.
The interior, to which large terraces give access, comprises a vast central room, flanked by two smaller rooms and a small lounge. A large kitchen occupies the back, equipped with its authentic accessories, where the succulent variety of regional dishes praised by visitors will be prepared before their very eyes.
The plans for the "Clos Normand" are the work of two architects from Rouen: Victorien Lelong and Pierre Chirol. The entire pavilion, from base to roof, was built by Norman contractors using Norman materials: agglomerates, white bricks, artificial stone, small tiles and flat bricks, constructive and decorative carpentry, tiles and ceramic exterior coverings.
The furniture, likewise, comes entirely from the Normandy workshops. Cabinet makers and decorative artists competed with each other to design and produce models, from the Cotentin to the Pays de Caux. And here too, in a layout very close to the current reality, are grouped the productions of the manufacturers and the works of the artists or craftsmen of the region: fabrics and wall hangings, printed canvases and cretonnes, ironworks and lamp-posts, stained glass windows, small pieces of furniture, shelves and credenzas, art objects, ceramics from Rouen, clocks from Saint-Nicolas-d'Aliermont, ivories from Dieppe, glassmaking, mirrors, etc....
In this reconstructed corner of the little country, the Normans find themselves at home, and our compatriots, as well as foreigners, get to know them better.
©La Science et la Vie - 1925