Wednesday, July 5

Shutter Love [Shutterly Fabulous]

I've always adored the look of shutters. They're incredibly practical and functional, but I'm particularly drawn to the way they look. They remind me of several of my favourite things - holidays in hot countries, chic Parisian apartments, and beautiful, grand old homes. And it can never be a bad thing to be reminded of those things, can it?

Shutterly Fabulous - French For Pineapple Blog - White Tier On Tier Plantation Shutters in glamourous bathroom with chandelier and wall moulding




I've always fancied shutters on our living room bay window, and I'm sure there were in fact shutters there at some point in time, but sadly they're long gone. Maybe it's my duty to reinstate them one day.

Shutterly Fabulous - French For Pineapple Blog - Black Plantation Shutters in glamorous living room with grey sofa and parquet floor


Shutterly Fabulous - French For Pineapple Blog - Full lenghth blue plantation shutters in bay window

I'd never thought about this until I started writing this post, but shutters would actually be the perfect fix in our kitchen too. We don't need a window covering for privacy particularly, but in the mornings, the sun blasts through that window, and as lovely as that is, it can actually be too hot when you're eating breakfast, and depending on what side of the kitchen table you're sitting on, it can also be unbearably and blindingly bright. Shutters would solve both those issues, and of course, look fantastic too. As well as helping to retain heat in the winter in one of the coldest rooms in our house. Hmmm...

Shutterly Fabulous - French For Pineapple Blog - Slatted Door Shutters in stunning black kitchen with marble splashback and worktops

Shutterly Fabulous - French For Pineapple Blog - Neutral Plantation Shutters in beautiful neutral kitchen with oak cabinets, parquet flooring and marble worktop


Aside from the romantic connotations of the appearance of shutters, from a practical point of view, they just win over all other window coverings.

Depending on your needs, Shutterly Fabulous shutters can offer complete darkness and privacy when required, with privacy fit or solid panel shutters, control over the amount and the angle of the light with plantation shutters, and the option for full privacy on the bottom, whilst letting the light in on the top with either tier or tier or cafe style shutters, so they really do offer practical solutions for all window covering issues.

Shutterly Fabulous - French For Pineapple Blog - cafe style blue shutters in bathroom with blue freestanding bath and blue and white rug

Shutterly Fabulous - French For Pineapple Blog - nautral wood shutter in bathroom with white subway tiles and black claw footed bath
Shutterly Fabulous - French For Pineapple Blog - green tier on tier plantation shutters in neutral living room


I love classic black or white shutters, although natural woods are timeless too. Then again, Shutterly Fabulous can colour match to virtually any colour under the sun which is pretty amazing. How beautiful are these solid ombré shutters?!

Shutterly Fabulous - French For Pineapple Blog - ombre pink solid door shutters in modern dining room setting with coral chairs and parquet floor

Shutterly Fabulous - French For Pineapple Blog - solid aqua shutters

Shutterly Fabulous - French For Pineapple Blog - full lenght blue shutters in traditional room with wall moulidng and parquet floor with modern sofa

Shutterly Fabulous - French For Pineapple Blog - full length aqua shutters in dining room


When I started writing this post, I was going to maintain that although I love shutters, that I prefer something softer in bedrooms, but this beautiful imagery has actually shifted my point of view on that, so yes, I concede that they look amazing in bedrooms too.

Shutterly Fabulous - French For Pineapple Blog - solid pink shutters in bedroom setting

Shutterly Fabulous - French For Pineapple Blog - pink shutters in childs bedroom with yellow bunting

Shutterly Fabulous - French For Pineapple Blog - yellow plantation shutters in childs bedroom




And who knew they could be used over doors like this? These are solid panel tracked door shutters. So striking.

Shutterly Fabulous - French For Pineapple Blog - sold door shutters on tracks in modern kitchen with marble worktops


Shutterly Fabulous - French For Pineapple Blog - natural wood window and door shutters in neutral sitting area with parquet floor
Clearly I've had several shutter related epiphanies writing this post, and I did not expect that to happen! I've completely fallen in love with them, and I've decided that I definitely need some Shutterly Fabulous shutters in my life. In my kitchen, for starters.

Are you in the classic monochrome camp? The natural wood camp? Or the colour camp? Let me know in the comments!

This post is in collaboration with Shutterly Fabulous.

All images supplied by Shutterly Fabulous.


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Monday, June 26

How To Achieve A Boutique Hotel Lobby Look

I don't know about you, but I would love to have my home look like a beautiful boutique hotel. I know it's not everyone's thing, some people like a more lived in homely look, and others, like me, have that lived in homely look, even though it's not actually what they want! Ha, I know, I'm never satisfied and I never stop thinking about the next changes I'll make to our home. It's exhausting, and on one hand, I wish I could just get everything 'finished' and stop. Be done, and be satisfied. But that's not who I am, that's not what I do, and it's very unlikely to happen any time soon!

Budget. Money. Lack of budget and money is what stops me achieving the look I really want in my home, but I chip away at it, and with each little change, I get a little bit closer to the look I actually want.

How To Achieve A Boutique Hotel Lobby Look - French For Pineapple Blog
A moodboard I put together to demonstrate the Boutique Hotel Look







In this moodboard I've included Lamps from Pooky and French Connection, a vintage coffee table, rug, and framed scarf, a sofa from Made.com, a hexagonal pouffe from Swoon Editions, and Tom Abbiss Smith artwork.

I've blogged before about getting a high-end glamorous look without breaking the bank, and many of these points cross-over, but today I'm gearing specifically towards a Boutique Hotel Lobby Inspired Look. Just rolls of the tongue doesn't it?

The walls:

Texture is important here and you could do a lot worse than going for some grasscloth (if you've got cash to splash), or some faux grasscloth or linen look textured wallpaper.

Look for actual texture rather than printed 'texture', and make sure you always order samples first. What can look great on screen can look terrible in the flesh and you do get what you pay for. And for some reason that I just can not figure out, some companies seem to think that glitter is a good thing on these papers. It's not.

Harlequin do some that look good, and I'm actually awaiting some samples to potentially use in my home, and you also may have seen the fab textured wallpaper that I used on the back of my living room shelves a while back from Graham & Brown, that is also a great option, but the colour options are very limited. Budget dependant, also look at Designers Guild, and if you've got really deep pockets (lucky you) look at Thibaut, Andrew Martin, Urbane Living and Phillip Jeffries.

The higher end brands have a much bigger and better colour range, so I do apologise in advance if you see an incredible colour but it's a gazillion pounds a metre or roll.

Let me know if you find any amazing options that don't cost the earth!

If you can't stretch to real or faux grasscloth, all is not lost. How about a bit of DIY wall moulding? No? Statement wallpaper? But not a feature wall - to make this look work you have to go all out. And of course if none of the above are an option, then go with a new lick of paint in a lovely, rich, saturated colour of choice. That doesn't have to mean super dark or super bright. In fact, please don't. There are plenty of saturated colour options for a huge impact without needing to live in a cave or a tacky nursery! I think my TV room is a great example of that, and there's a bit of DIY wall moulding in there too.

How To Achieve A Boutique Hotel Lobby Look - French For Pineapple Blog



The floor:

The dream is herringbone or chevron parquet. Obvs. There are loads of choices these days - real wood blocks, engineered wood, and incredibly convincing and virtually indestructible luxury vinyl tiles. Failing that, and even if you can have the perfect flooring already, you need to add a rug. More than one of your room is big. Think vintage Oriental, or Beni Ourain (real if budget allows), or an amazing pattern. Not a plain rug, which is basically just a piece of carpet.

How To Achieve A Boutique Hotel Lobby Look - French For Pineapple Blog
Image: Amtico Signature in Ink Wash

How To Achieve A Boutique Hotel Lobby Look - French For Pineapple Blog
Images: Moroc Tribal Beni Ourain Rugs







Add to the textured, layered look and think pattern and / or heavy texture like the incredible vintage Beni Ourain rugs from Moroc Tribal (firmly on my must own one day list). La Redoute have great rugs, as do Plantation Rug Company and Anthroplogie (tip: wait for the sale!). Places like Benuta and are also worth checking out.

Colour and Pattern:

Mix it up here. Although this is not my usual style, I do love this look (it's just not for me, in my home). So think mixed jewel tones in sumptuous fabrics like velvet and linens, and add lots of pattern. You can really just go for it with this look! Use a mixture of prints on upholstery, curtains, blinds, cushions and lampshades. If mixing patterns is terrifying to you, make sure to stick to a limited colour palette and there's less chance of it going horribly wrong.

It's not hard to make a lampshade with a kit and a piece of your favourite fabric, so they needn't cost a load.

Made.com and Swoon Editions both do some amazingly decently priced sofas and pouffes with a gorgeous selection of coloured, alongside other boutique hotel lobby worthy furniture.

How To Achieve A Boutique Hotel Lobby Look - French For Pineapple Blog
Image: Ham Yard Hotel / Firmdale Hotels



Vintage:

To get a really unique room, you need to mix up the new pieces with vintage. Trawl your favourite vintage shops and eBay, for some real gems, like a Pierre Vendel brass and glass coffee table, and side tables. Or a big sculptural vase or ceramic creature! Something that no one else has. It's my vintage pieces that I most often get asked about.

Lamps:

As you know, lighting is super important and you can't have too many lamps. I have the French Connection brass floor lamp on the moodboard, and it's beautiful. There are some super glam lamps around these days, and places like Pooky, Vaughn (if you have deep pockets), OKA, and surprisingly, some cheaper places online, have some stunning lamps and shades that really make a room. Shop around. I'm a firm believer in the bigger the better with lamps.

How To Achieve A Boutique Hotel Lobby Look - French For Pineapple Blog



If you have very little budget, eBay is your friend again. Look for some bases that you like the shape of, and spray paint them if you don't like the colour like I've done in the image above. Then you can spend on some lovely shades like these fab Ikat ones from Pooky, or make some yourself with a lampshade kit as mentioned above.

Art:

Be creative here, and don't buy generic art for the sake of it that is meaningless.

Search for an up and coming artist for something different, something that really speaks to you. Maybe frame a vintage scarf. There's a constant stream of beautiful vintage Hermes scarves on eBay (Vintage though, you hear?), so you can wait to find the right one that works with your colour scheme, and you won't see it all over Pinterest and Instagram.

Don't discount galleries as being too expensive as you might just be pleasantly surprised. And you never know where it might lead you. I wrote a post about how to buy grown up art a while back with some more tips.

I'm a big fan of Alan Fears paintings.

How To Achieve A Boutique Hotel Lobby Look - French For Pineapple Blog
Image: Alan Fears 'English Country Fudge'


Accessories:

Cushions, ornaments, scented candles are all a must, but keep the ornaments under control so your room isn't crowded and chaotic and doesn't start to resemble a junk shop (a tip I often need to remind myself about!)

How To Achieve A Boutique Hotel Lobby Look - French For Pineapple Blog


Greenery:

Don't forget some plants! The bigger the better. Fiddle leaf fig trees are still very desirable and beautifully sculptural plants, but Kentia Palms, ZZ plants and are also beautiful and easy to care for options. Huge ferns in urns also make stunning additions.

How To Achieve A Boutique Hotel Lobby Look - French For Pineapple Blog





Luxe Details:

Add a bit of interest and a feeling of luxury by adding a splash of glam. Brass details (an oversized brass framed mirror for example), a leather topped cabinet, and antiqued mirrored wall, a marble side table. These materials all ooze glamour, but if you source and use them cleverly they needn't cost the earth. Try West Elm, Rockett St George and Swoon Editions for starters.

A Knockout Piece:

If you have the space / time / money, keep your eyes peeled for a knockout piece for the room. It could be anything from a 70's moulded plastic hanging chair, to a brass palm tree lamp, a giant Jonathan Adler lucite hand, a sculptural 80's stone coffee table or a piece of vintage taxidermy. It's these wow pieces, alongside the combination of all the other elements that can make for a really incredible room. Yes, I know that an Ostrich Feather lamp is out of most peoples price range, but this really does demonstrate the impact of a knockout piece in a room rather beautifully don't you think? Also firmly on my must own one day list!

How To Achieve A Boutique Hotel Lobby Look - French For Pineapple Blog
Image: A Modern Grand Tour







So there you go. This is a look that you can achieve yourself if you set your mind to it, and it doesn't have to cost billions, though obviously it can also cost plenty if you have the cash to splash! This look is primarily about texture, layering and colour and clever use of materials.






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Wednesday, June 21

A Mattress Fit For A Boutique Hotel Style Bedroom
[Hilary Devey Collection]

When I was contacted a few months ago to see if I'd like to review a Hilary Devey, Duvalay mattress, it couldn't have come at a more perfect time. I was in the midst of my big bedroom makeover, and it was like the mattress gods knew it was time to let go of our trusty old one, and were sending me a not very subtle hint.

French For Pineapple - Hilary Devey Collection

Yet the offer was met with 50% excitement, and 50% trepidation. I know that's a tad dramatic, I mean it's only a mattress right? But even though I knew we really needed to replace our old one, I was actually kind of fond of it despite it's obvious lack of support (a bit like a comforting old friend that you love even though they can be a bit flaky. Oh. I might have just described myself there...).

And if I'm honest, I was a bit scared that we'd end up getting rid of it for one that was rubbish, uncomfortable or just not right for us. Plus there were decisions to be made. And when it comes to what I consider quite major decisions like a new mattress, I just turn into an indecisive fool. Ed likes a firmer mattress than I do, but give me a soft squishy cloud to sleep on any day, so a compromise needed to be reached.

French For Pineapple - Hilary Devey Collection

French For Pineapple - Hilary Devey Collection

French For Pineapple - Hilary Devey Collection


After much mind-changing on my part, we settled on the Diamond Luxe, which I felt was a bit of a compromise for me. I'd have gone for something softer if it was for me alone, but obviously we both need to be comfortable, and actually I'm pleased to report that it's perfect for both of us. And I know that as much as I say I want to sleep on a soft cloud, that my back is not with me.

French For Pineapple - Hilary Devey Collection


It was really odd for the first few nights - a week even. But odd in a 'this is very different to what I'm used to' way, and not in a 'this is terribly uncomfortable' way.

And then I just stopped thinking about it - I'd gotten used to it without realising, which is what you want in a new mattress I think. If something is just right, you don't really notice it. It has enough give, that I get that lovely sinking-in feeling when I first get into bed, but it's definitely got a lot of support right under that top layer. A semi-firm cloud you could say. It's become my good new friend, but this time, a supportive friend. And our backs really appreciate it.

French For Pineapple - Hilary Devey Collection

French For Pineapple - Hilary Devey Collection

It's heavy and requires turning once a week until you've completed the 'turning cycle', then you just flip it once a season - totally doable, unlike our old mattress, which was so heavy that we were physically unable to flip it. So that's a bonus too.

This is a proper, old-school mattress with a hand-stitched border, tufted on both sides, hand-crafted in West Yorkshire, and it's comfortable in a luxurious way, so it perfectly fits the criteria for my continuing quest to create my dream Boutique Hotel Style Bedroom.

French For Pineapple - Hilary Devey Collection

French For Pineapple - Hilary Devey Collection

However, don't be fooled by its traditional appearance, because beneath that tufted exterior lies some impressive technology. The 'Wooltec' ensures great temperature control, on top of comfort and durability, whilst the 'Midas Touch' springs beneath, give a unique combination of responsiveness, comfort and support to individual shapes and body weights.

So that's another piece of the Boutique Hotel Style Bedroom puzzle in place (told you I was working on it - a few more pieces yet to come), and our Diamond Luxe mattress has a very relieved, big thumbs-up from both Ed and I, and I'm exhausted by this week already, and can't wait to sink into it this evening.

This post is in collaboration with Hilary Devey Collection.

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