Modern Vintage Style – Not an Oxymoron After All

Modern Vintage Style by Emily Chalmers
Modern Vintage Style by Emily Chalmers

A two-pronged post for you today. Part I is an open apology. Part II is a discovery.

First the apology. One of my favourite people in the whole world – let’s call her M1 – has been visiting over the weekend from Auckland. We go way back. WAY back. She brought her husband with her, too – this is good because I like him a lot and he gives great hugs – let’s call him M2. I love a good hug.

Anyhoo, M ‘n’ M are undertaking a fairly serious renovation of their home back in New Zealand. They bought M1’s maternal grandmother’s house – a beautiful old arts and crafts home in need of some love. M1 brought her ‘reno’ folder’ with her for some styling advice from yours truly. (I know – very flattering! I’m not sure I added much value.) As part of her extremely comprehensive folder, she has drafted a style guide in which she has documented her decorating ideas and theme for the home. She had termed her style ‘Modern Vintage‘ (or, maybe it was ‘Vintage Modern‘? I forget). The point is, I laughed at her. Not unkindly, but still – a laugh is a laugh. I reckoned that the term ‘Modern Vintage‘ was an oxymoron.

And, then I found an image of Emily Chalmers’ book ‘Modern Vintage Style’ (available here from Amazon) on the fabulous looking website for Serendipity. Clearly, I was wrong to laugh. Clearly, ‘Modern Vintage’ is a recognisable and accepted expression in interior design circles. M1, I apologise for laughing! Unreservedly. Will you forgive me?

Which brings me to part II – my discovery. Serendipity. A lovely looking boutique in Paris. One I think I shall be visiting. Here’s how they describe their philosophy…

Serendipity*, a magical spell.

To mix genres! To bring about happy coincidences! (One of the meanings of the word Serendipity.)

Founded in 2004, Serendipity pioneered the blending of vintage and modern design in children’s furnishings. True to its original concept, this amazing boutique features a selection of antique and designer furniture alongside contemporary creations, all in a 200m2 space. We offer an inspiring combination of unique pieces, limited edition objects and exclusive creations from around the world.

Dedicated primarily to children of all ages, Serendipity also aims to gradually win over parents who are seeking that special object, full of charm and eclecticism.

To meet the expectations of its customers around the world, Serendipity has finally launched its E-shop, where you’ll find a novel selection of items from this ‘one-of-kind’ boutique.

A chic, fun atmosphere. A natural, refined space. A unique place in Paris

* The term designates the gift for stumbling upon happy coincidences and is derived from a Persian fairy tale ‘The Three Princes of Serendip’, whose heroes were endowed with this amazing gift.

I think it sounds scrumptious. Here are some of their wares…

Serendipity Signal Table Lamp
Serendipity Signal Table Lamp
212 €
Indispensable desk lamp made by Jieldé since 1953, jointed and coming in pop colors, an icon of French industrial art. We cannot get tired of it….
Serendipity Book Rest Lamp
Serendipity Book Rest Lamp
59 €
The Book Rest Lamp is the perfect little home for your sleepy book. Made of frosted glass, it gives off a soft light that’s ideal for reading, but it also doubles as a book rest to ensure that you never lose your page.
Serendipity Knitted Nest Beanbag
Serendipity Knitted Nest Beanbag
595 €
Nest is an XXL cushion, handknitted by the skilled women of a fair trade production unit in Nepal. It has a beanbag feeling for soft nesting and can be used for casual relaxing.
Serendipity Mini Bon'home Blanky
Serendipity Mini Bon’home Blanky
30 €
Soft and lovely blanky to be tamed for decoration, having a nap or to share.
It’s made by the last French soft toy manufacturer. Finished by hand with European fabrics carefully selected. My sister will want one of these when she sees it!
Serendipity Ghost Smiley
Serendipity Pyjama Storage Cushion – Ghost Smiley
90 €
‘let life smile at you’
Made of soft rabbit hair with linen reverse, delicate and natural.
To tidy up pyjamas with fun, can also be used as a pillow with an inside cushion.
Made in France with love.
Serendipity Paper Teddy
Serendipity Paper Teddy Bear to Personalise
16 €
Made from a resistant material, this lovely Teddy Bear is a unique and memorable alternative to a card that’s great for all occasions. Use pens, felts and paints, stickers, glues and glitter to decorate him anyway you like. It can even be sent through the Post.

Serendipity have a fabulous website AND there’s an E-shop – so, even if you’re not going to Paris, you can still check out their offerings. You can access it here. They’ll even give you an English version (mighty helpful if your French is as bad as mine)

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Comments (13)

Right now I could go that knitted nest bean bag ! Modern vintage and shabby chic next it will be low fat lard! I love the terms that they come up with:-)

It’s pretty fab’, isn’t it, BCD? I have seen it somewhere before – I still love it!

The bookrest lamp is my have! What a great idea!

I love the concept, too. Just not sure how it would work with my iPad…

What a find, TSL – that’s a definite addition to your list for Paris! I love that bookrest lamp – such a cute idea. But I’m with your sister – those Blanky men are fantastic! And would fit nicely in a suitcase if one was travelling back from Paris, say, and wanted to bring a little something for a blog sister…! 😉

Blog sisters definitely need to be considered when travelling back from Paris…

(sigh) I know. Why can’t I think of them?

I was surprised at the “arts and craft” style homes in your corner of the world. I suppose I shouldn’t be as the style moved from the UK to the US big time and Australia has closer connections to the UK. They were beautiful – particularly around the Blue Mtn area….

P.S Cute stuff.

I grew up in an arts and crafts house in Auckland. The English have a looooong reach!

I am lusting after that sofa and those cushions!

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