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Whether you want to em­brace Mad Men chic, or just hint at a retro in­flu­ence, here’s how to get it right for to­day’s in­te­ri­ors…

Tone it down. The orig­i­nal emer­gence of what we now term ‘retro’ de­sign was based on bold, bright colour and pat­tern, but con­tem­po­rary ver­sions are al­to­gether softer, and eas­ier to com­bine with ex­ist­ing fur­nish­ings, so look for de­signs that hint rather than shout. Al­ter­na­tively, if you es­pe­cially love a bright, busy pat­tern, just use it on one wall.

Mix and match. Some of the best mod­ern col­lec­tions bring to­gether a broad va­ri­ety of pat­terns that work ef­fort­lessly be­cause they’re united by a cu­rated pal­ette: pale grey and warm yel­low; deep blue and tan­ger­ine; pale aqua and sharp green are all win­ning com­bi­na­tions – as shown here – and the var­ied de­signs keep the over­all scheme in­ter­est­ing.

Choose retro lines. Mid-cen­tury fur­ni­ture, whether orig­i­nal or re­pro­duc­tion, is slick, sim­ple and stylish, and even one or two pieces – from a clas­sic side­board to low easy chairs, com­bined with retro-style light­ing and ac­ces­sories – will eas­ily bring the look to life.

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