Thursday, December 24

Happy Christmas

Wherever you are in the world, I hope you have, or have had a peaceful and lovely Christmas. Thanks for reading French For Pineapple, I will be here blogging much more frequently about my home, interior loves, DIY escapades and more in 2016 and I really hope you'll join me. Sign up on the right so that you don't miss a post. See you on the other side!



Pineapple Tree Decoration - French For Pineapple Blog


Wednesday, December 23

Fab Five - Desk Lamps

The next room that needs attention on my vast house DIY list is my studio, which has become increasingly more like a dumping ground than a useable space.

It houses furniture in limbo, clothes and various other things that are waiting to be sold on eBay or Gumtree, not to mention huge amounts of packaging, samples and stock that I've accumulated over the years. And then there's the piles and piles of filing. Oh dear. At the moment, you can barely get in the door which is obviously not ideal.

Once the excess is cleared out, or at least sorted out so it feels less chaotic, I really want to take it from being purely practical (but not at all pretty to look at), to practical AND pretty. So that it becomes a room I want to spend time in, rather than a room I avoid. That shouldn't be too hard now should it?

How am I going to achieve this? Well, a massive skip keeps springing to mind, but short of something so drastic, I think baby steps are the way to go. Slowly clearing and sorting will be a good start, then buying a few new things to up the pretty factor. That's the bit I'm really interested in, but the reality is that a few full days of hard work are in order before I get to do that.

The first thing on my list is a new desk lamp. It will be a reward for finally sorting out the chaos. Over the last couple of months, I've spent hours and hours online searching for the perfect wall lights to go on the alcove shelving we've had built in the living room, and on my travels I've also stumbled upon several great looking desk lamps. And I had to include the Ikea Ranarp, because it's fast becoming a classic, and I love it.

As the studio is on my mind, I hope you'll forgive me if the next couple of Fab Fives are home office / studio themed. That said, I think that each one of these desk lamps is beautiful enough to work elsewhere in the home too.

Fab Five Desk Lamps - French For Pineapple Blog

1. Belid Cato LED in Polished Brass  - Lighting Workshop
2. Lektor in Black and Brass - Holloways of Ludlow
3. DAR Ranger in Satin Chrome - Love Lights
4. Ranarp in Off-White- Ikea
5. Paul Neuhaus Tino 1 Light in Brass - Scotlight Direct


Sunday, December 20

India Jane (the best Christmas decorations in town and more)

I'm going to let you in on a little secret: The best tree decorations lie inside the virtual and bricks and mortar doors of India Jane stores. Yes, I do realise that Christmas is this Friday and perhaps I'm giving you this information a tad late, but it's actually never too late to buy more - either for this year's tree, or for the years to come.

I see tree decorations as family heirlooms to be collected slowly over the years, that I hope my children will treasure and keep to pass on to their own kids one day. At least that's my excuse for adding a few more to the collection every year. I bought the elephant and tiger decorations in the middle of the second image below, but I'm kicking myself for not buying one of these brilliant tiger heads (and a monkey and a black dog and a parrot).

A few weeks ago I spent a lovely afternoon at India Jane in their beautiful Kings Road store in Chelsea, here in London. I had to exercise some serious purse control because the more I looked around, the more things I wanted to buy. And no, this is not a sponsored post.

Tiger Head Christmas Tree Decorations
Image: Bianca Hall

Parrot, Elephant, Tiger and Pineapple Christmas Tree Decorations
Image: India Jane

Dog and Monkey Christmas Tree Decorations
Image: Bianca Hall

Pug and Poodle Christmas Tree Decorations
Image: Bianca Hall

There's a LOT to love about India Jane, so I felt it my duty to spread the word. Honestly, what a treasure trove. And there's another store just a few doors down, with a distinctly different feel - apparently this is something that they do with all their stores so each one is quite different. They sell everything from beautiful candles that are made and shipped to them on amazing metal racks, to trays galore, paperweights, tableware, a room dedicated to lamps, a dresser full of sparkly tea light holders, and I even stumbled upon some Scalamandre Zebra serviettes. And did I mention cushions? It's one of those shops that is such a visual feast, my eyes did not stop darting about to discover more goodies the entire time I was there.

Dresser and Chairs in Shop Interior
Image: Bianca Hall

Glamorous table setting
Image: Bianca Hall

Aside from the huge range of accessories, they also sell proper, grown-up 'forever' furniture. You know, timeless, classic pieces that are built to last.

Lately I've been a little obsessed with bringing some natural wood into the house, and I love the idea of pairing a round traditional table with mid-century Eames Eiffel chairs. Sadly my husband isn't so keen on getting rid of our existing dining table, so this plan exists only in my head. For now...

Round Dining Table
La Boussole Dining Table / Image: India Jane
Black Round Dining Table
Park Avenue Dining Table / Image: India Jane
Wolsey Gate Leg Round Table
Wolsey Gate Leg Table / Image: India Jane

And I'd quite like this mirrored sideboard with some contemporary artwork hung above it too. Le sigh.
Mirrored Sideboard
Campbell Sideboard / Image: India Jane
And this. Just Imagine this showstopper in a super contemporary kitchen or library. In. My. Dreams.

Library style wooden bookshelves with ladder
Plantation Double Bibliotheque / Image: India Jane
In case you can't tell, I'm really quite taken with India Janes offerings, they have such a refreshing range with a colonial slant that's so easy to mix with other styles. I think I'll be visiting again quite soon.


Monday, December 7

Fab Five - Dinner Plates

Dinner plates are on my mind right now as suddenly ALL ours are majorly chipped and we're down to just four, which isn't that sociable for someone who quite likes to host the odd dinner party and have friends for lunch - we really need eight at least.

I find long-term purchases like this quite tricky as I think it's fair to say that plates are something most people only buy a handful of times in their lives, so you know, you need to get it right. Ours were a wedding gift, so they're nearly thirteen years old, and I have no idea where the plates in my life came from before that - probably hand me downs from flat-mates parents I imagine.

But like it or not, tableware says a lot about you. If that statement is true, currently I'm someone who doesn't give a damn about presentation which I'm not particularly happy about, so it needs to change. I might ask for plates from my father in law for Christmas this year instead of the usual Diptyque candle. Don't get me wrong, I adore my Diptyque candles and being kept in constant supply by him (Birthday and Christmas), but you know, needs must.

ANYWAY, I digress. Have you guessed yet that plates are the subject of today's Fab Five?

Here they are...

Palm, Chinoiserie, Earthenware, Marble and Glazed Dinner Plates. French For Pineapple Blog

You know I love a bit of a tropical palm print, and this is a classic.

I'm always drawn to Chinoiserie prints, and I love the way the black gives it a gothic edge.

You can't go wrong with simple white, and the chunky earthenware with distressed glaze stops it from being dull.

How stunning is this marble design?! Ugh, I die.

Not normally my thing, but I kept returning to look at this beautiful offering from Denby, with the speckled glaze and ochre inner trim, these are timeless.

Friday, December 4

The Science of Comfort

My 'office chair' used to be a Panton. Yes, I know, style over function, which became obvious very quickly. So I swapped it for an Eames DSR Eiffel chair (which we already had as we use them at the kitchen table), which is marginally better, but certainly not brilliant. Sure it looks great, but is it comfortable to sit on for hours on end at the computer? Er, no. Alas, it's what I am sitting on as I type these very words. Neither my back or behind appreciate it.

Last week I was invited to check out the Ekornes Stressless range of sofas, recliners and office chairs, and having made a beeline for the office chairs for obvious reasons, swiftly followed by the ├╝ber comfortable recliners, it's fair to say I have now become a little obsessed.

Okay, a lot. And to be totally honest, much more than I thought I would be.

Not only have I been day-dreaming about which style and leather colour I would choose for my chair in the studio, but I've also been day-dreaming about which recliner in which colour I'd have in the living room. I've narrowed it down to blue, white or black for the studio, in the Metro or London design (London being new for 2016), and the Metro or City recliner and footstool in Clementine or Black for the living room. There would be lots of arguing about who gets to sit in it, so I think there would have to be some kind of timetable or reward system in place.
Black Metro Recliner with footstool and Orange City Recliner with Footstool - French For Pineapple Blog
Metro Recliner and Footstool in Black and City Recliner and Footstool in Clementine
Images: Ekornes

Sitting in a Stressless office chair was a revelation. A 'Oh, so THIS is what a comfortable chair feels like' moment. There is obviously no comparison between my 'office chair' and a Stressless office chair, and these aren't just any old office chairs, they're reclining office chairs. Fancy a little snooze at your desk to re-charge those creative juices? Not a problem.

The technology in these chairs is seriously impressive, and all the Stressless chairs have a read or sleep position for the headrest when in the recline position.

Most of the recliners are available in three sizes (a bit Goldilocks and The Three Bears really), with a size and style to suit pretty much everyone. I'm a medium by the way, just like Mummy Bear.
Blue London Recliner and Footstool, Cream City Recliner and Footstool, Blue Metro Recliner and Footstool - French For PIneapple Blog
Stressless Recliners - London, City and Metro Designs // Image: Bianca Hall

An obsession with the science of comfort and movement, coupled with innovative technology, makes Ekornes Stressless a force to be reckoned with when it comes to seating. They've been around since 1934, so I think they know a thing or two about what works and what doesn't, and I imagine they're rather horrified at my current office chair situation.

Ekornes Metro, London and City Office Chairs - French For PIneapple Blog
Stressless Office Chairs - Metro, London and City Designs // Image: Bianca Hall

The fact that the Stressless range embodies Scandi Mid-Century charm is no coincidence - the Norwegian company launched the first Stressless brand and first chair in 1971, with many of the new designs taking inspiration from the original, which can't be a bad thing.

Since I can't have one in real life, at least not yet, I thought I'd share a fantasy, dream studio moodboard with you. My studio is the most neglected room in the house (well, perhaps apart from the main bathroom), and it's next on the list for a much needed overhaul. Sadly it probably won't look quite as glam as this moodboard, but it's good to have goals, you know?

Dream Studio Moodboard - French For Pineapple Blog

Clockwise from top left:

Dix Blue Estate Emulsion - Farrow & Ball
'Metro' Office Chair in Black - Ekornes Stressless
Alex Drawer Unit - Ikea
Date Palm - Indoor Plants
Sonnet Desk - Safavieh
PS Cabinet - Ikea
Black Venice Pom Pom Basket - Edit 58
Vintage Beni Ouarain Rug - Moroc Tribal
Ranarp Lamp - Ikea

Remember that High, Low, Old and New is a great mantra for putting a room together, as demonstrated above. I love this moodboard, if I do say so myself.

But back to Ekornes, and let's not forget the Stressless sofas, which are every bit as comfortable as the chairs. The E300 is my favourite with it's soft curves and simple lines, and again available in a vast range of colours. I quite fancy the white (sometimes I even surprise myself). And yes, the sofas recline too.
Ekornes White E300 Sofa - French For Pineapple Blog
E300 Sofa // Image: Ekornes

Next year will see the launch of a Stressless recliner and sofa with integrated footstools due to popular demand, and I expect that with the launch of the sleek, contemporary London and Paris designs, that you'll be seeing a lot more of Ekornes Stressless in the interior magazines and on your screens.

Ekornes Stressless Leather Colours - French For Pineapple Blog
A Selection of Stressless Leather Colours // Image: Bianca Hall

Oh, and if you're one of the lucky few that happen to have a home cinema, look no further. There's only one problem - you might not get up again.

Check out the Ekornes website for more information and to find your closest retailer, and see how comfortable the Stressless range is for yourself.

Posted in collaboration with Ekornes. Words and opinions by me, as always.


Thursday, December 3

The Dining Room (Sideboard)...

As you may know, over the last few months I've been giving my living and dining rooms a brand new look. I was busy photographing the rooms last weekend for this post, which was supposed to be the big Living and Dining Room Reveal. However, when I looked back at them, I realised that although I'm really very happy with the rooms, that I wasn't actually ready to show them off just yet, as there are too many things that still need to be done (like painting the floors for one. Urgh.), and I'm not happy to show the world, well, okay, maybe not the world, but you know what I mean, until everything is looking a bit more finished.

I think it's going to be at least another few weeks before I post the proper reveal, but I took loads of shots of the sideboard in the dining room, which is really long, and I've always struggled with styling it. I finally got it to a point where I'm happy with it, so there's no way I'm not going to show you these photos!

The sideboard is made up of five wall mounted Ikea kitchen cabinets, with a bespoke sprayed to match piece of MDF for the top. Fantastic to house everything from the kids games, to craft supplies, and who know what else. I'd love to replace the top with with marble one day, though even if I had the budget, I'd be worried the weight of it would pull the cabinets off the wall.

So here you go, a detailed look at the dining room sideboard. Of course you can see peeks of the rest of the room and the beautiful Pink Ground walls, which I am completely besotted with. As soon as I can, I will show you the whole dining room and the living room, which has changed SO much from it's navy blue days...

Dining Room - French For Pineapple Blog

Dining Room - French For Pineapple Blog
Dining Room - French For Pineapple Blog

Dining Room - French For Pineapple Blog

Dining Room - French For Pineapple Blog

Dining Room - French For Pineapple Blog
Dining Room - French For Pineapple Blog

Dining Room - French For Pineapple Blog

Dining Room - French For Pineapple Blog

Dining Room - French For Pineapple Blog

© Bianca Hall. All rights reserved.