The story of the former family home of textile industrialist Paul Cavrois, which is due to re-open on June 13, is long and intriguing, and its restoration has been a labour of love which involved considerable investment.
Located in the Nord town of Croix, about 7km from Lille, the villa was designed by Modernist architect Robert Mallet-Stevens and finished in 1932. The exteriors boasted materials de luxe du jour: marble, exotic wood and polished aluminium, while the furnishings were equally fancy.
Following the passing of Cavrois’s wife in 1986, the villa was sold and its furniture dispersed. This grand home was later abandoned and subsequently vandalised. Happily, a huge public effort resulted in the state buying the villa in 2001, and since 2008 the Centre des Monuments Nationaux has been restoring this iconic building to its former glory, focusing on floors, wall coverings, paintwork and furniture. During summer 2015, it will be a choice attraction for anyone who’s visiting Lille or Roubaix.