Places: The House by the Sea that Inspired Christian Dior, Normandy, France
Tuesday 22nd March, 2016
by Louise Keane
Christian Dior’s childhood home, Les Rhumbs, is a magical place perched amid pines on a clifftop in Normandy above the fishing port of Granville. His memories of its pink and grey colour scheme and the fragrant gardens which he planted with his mother would inspire his ground-breaking designs and the scents of his eponymous fashion house.
Of the house and gardens, Dior said, “My life and style owed almost everything to Les Rhumbs”.
Although the house provided a haven for the family during the war years of 1914-1918, it could not protect them from the ravages of the Stock Market Crash of 1929. And so it was lost to the Dior family until it was opened as a museum dedicated to the elegant designer in 1997. Despite its loss, Christian Dior never forgot the magic of the pink house among the pines and he kept its spirit alive in his designs and his perfumes.
The house and gardens continue to provide inspiration for the brand to this day. Francois Demachy, Dior’s Perfumer-Designer, poetically describes the scent of the Granville perfume from the Private Collection: “It is a fresh, invigorating, aromatic fragrance, like the wind that blows through Granville, and the waves that break against the cliff upon which Christian Dior’s childhood home is built.”
Now wander through this magical and inspiring place yourself. . .
Louise Keane Interiors Editor, Edinburgh
Louise Keane grew up beside the sea in Dublin, inspiring a life-long love of the coast. She studied French and History of Art & Architecture in Trinity College in Dublin before moving to London to work first in publishing and then in Marketing & PR. After a move to Edinburgh, she decided to heed a creative urge which had been tugging at her sleeve for a number of years, and she retrained as an interior designer. While studying interior design, Louise discovered a love of pen and ink with watercolour illustration, which she now does alongside her interior design work. Louise runs her interior design company, Amalfi White Living, which offers her clients a fresh, elegant style, mixing vintage and modern pieces for a luxurious yet relaxed look. She dreams of renovating a white house by the sea.