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No, we’re not suddenly advocating mobile-home holidays (although we do rather like the idea of a gaily painted, horse-drawn Romany gypsy affair) – we’d just like to draw your attention to a rather lovely new book from the inspiring interiors magpie Emily Chalmers, owner/curator of stylish London design boutique, Caravan, in Shoreditch.

If you’re a fan of Emily’s unique eye for quirky gewgaws and retro-style knick-knackery, her indispensible guide to getting the look is a must-buy. With gorgeous images, sourcing advice and lots of tips on ensuring the end result is modern medley, not fusty mish-mash, you’re fully armed and ready to let your wallet loose at that fleamarket/vintage furniture show/smart charity shop you’ve been cruising for the past four months.

If you’re not ready to go the whole hog, check into a vintage-style boutique hotel to get a feel for what works where and which pieces could work in your own spaces: steal your style from one of these Smith stays…

Ace Hotel Palm Springs, PALM SPRINGS (pictured left)
– for retro Mexican rugs and local artisan pieces paired with low-slung Percival Lafer leather chairs (and the vintage caravan parked the pool!)

– for combining quirky vintage pieces and bold colour with antiques in a smart Georgian townhouse

– for an immaculate collection of mid-century modern Danish design

– for the comfy-cosy modern country-house look: battered leather sofas, needlework cushions and polished boot lasts

For ideas on getting the blend of colours and textures right, take your pick of the SOHO HOUSE hotel group (Berlin, Miami, Dean Street, etc): Ilse Crawford’s original outfitting for Soho House New York is the definitive lesson in mixing retro, repro and avante-garde to great effect. Another good Great British style guru for floral fabrics is Kit Kemp, responsible for some of London’s (and now New York’s) most colourful outposts, including the Covent Garden Hotel, Soho Hotel and Crosby Street Hotel.

Modern Vintage Style: source bookIf, like the rest of us, you love the look but lack the time or resources to truffle-hunt for original pieces, you could do worse than swing by Emily’s shop: her rotating stock includes vintage tea sets, travel-storied luggage, fringed floral-print lampsades and Fifties-style ceramics. Our top picks include the colourful retro lighting by Jieldé, and Deborah Bowness’ hand-painted graphic wallpapers.

You can pick up copies of Emily’s new book, Modern Vintage Style, in the shop, or order online.

Caravan, 3 Redchurch Street, London E2 7DJ (020 7033 3532)

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