I have a lot of interior design books. And I mean a lot. All of them are beautiful. I fall on them when they are new. Dip in and out, sometimes read from cover to cover, and always marvel over the images of stunning spaces. I try to imagine living in these inspiring homes and what it would be like to wake up every day in that city or that setting.
A small corner is made significant through combining an antique desk, a shiny black Tulip chair by Eero Saarinen and a Napoleon lll side table, dominated by an imposing photograph.
Photograper Nicolas Mathéus, stylist Laurence Dougier, architect Antonio Virga
Modern Retro by Caroline Clifton-Mogg is not just a book about retro furniture, design and decoration. It’s a book about working twentieth century design into modern, contemporary interiors. Anyone interested in those wonderful pieces called Retro – not quite old but not quite new – will love exploring all of the different interpretations of mixing 1950’s furniture with classical, rustic, industrial, eclectic and colourful interiors schemes.
The kitchen is as surprising as the rest of the apartment, with the large, ornate and decorative Syrian cabinet here used as a commodious storage cupboard. The chairs around the table are from Bertoia and Tolix, and the cushions are by Christian Lacroix for Designers Guild.
Photographer Jean-Marc Palisse, stylist Alix de Dives, designer Sacha Walckoff
The sleek lines, the simple shapes, are powerful arguments for including a retro piece in a contemporary room. Caroline Clifton-Mogg.
From explaining what exactly is ‘Retro’ the book moves on to exploring the different ‘interpretations’ with the use of case studies. Think lofty ceilings and architectural details as a launch pad for Classic Mode, rural farmhouses and bare brick for Rustic Reclamation, factory spaces and metal details for Structural Industrial, punchy hues for Colourful and just about anything else for Eclectic.
A stripped-back dining room in which the retro pieces – chairs – can shine. On a floor of stained oak is the simplest of tables: Pixels de Mer by Christian Nesler. The vintage chairs are a classic shape of the 1960s, and the tableau is completed by a still life by Kevin Best.
Jean-Marc Palisse, stylist Alix de Dives, architect Christophe Ducharme, designer Jean-Michel Wilmotte
There is a grace and fluidity and also a flexibility in twentieth-century furniture and furnishings, so it is perhaps no surprise that the different elements of the style all work so well together, as well as with pieces from other periods. Caroline Clifton-Mogg.
Armed with such a wealth of inspiration you can then move onto the details that count. The furnishings, lighting, textiles, surfaces and decoration, that all contribute to an interior that make up the whole.
Vintage shapes from the 1950s – the patinated chest of drawers and the upholstered chair – are linked by a soft turquoise colour on chair, glass and picture frames.
François du Chatenet, stylist Pascale de la Cochetière, architects and designers Anouchka and Laurent Colin
And finally living spaces, eating and dining spaces, bedrooms and bathrooms are all explored room by room in detail.