Friday, February 26

Bed Inspiration - plotting a bed hack!

When I wrote recently about my dislike for our current bed frame I was kind of resigned to just putting up with it until we had the budget to replace it. I would absolutely love a contemporary four poster bed one day, but as that day is nowhere in sight, and I'm incredibly impatient, I decided I needed to do something cheapish in the interim to change it.

And who knows, if my plan works, I may not want to replace it at all! Now that really would be a result.

So what on earth am I planning I hear you ask? Well, here's what it looks like at the moment...

Yep, that cream metal frame stands out like a sore thumb against the dark sooty walls, and I hate it.

I'm not going to paint it which was my original plan, I've decided to make some loose slipcovers from linen, lined with thick wadding in to cover it, giving it a modern, relaxed, deconstructed look. I'll do covers for both the head and foot of the frame, and along the sides I plan to Velcro panels to the frame, which will hide the inside of the covers and the metal legs of the bed, along with all the stuff we have stored underneath.

I know it's not good Feng Shiu to have anything under your bed, but you try telling the taxman that we threw away the last seven years of accounts because it was bad Feng Shui to keep it all. Exactly.

The fabric won't be attached to the wadding, it'll be a slip over a slip, so changing the colour if/when I get bored will be easy. In theory. And if I have the money to buy 6 metres of fabric. 

Here's my inspiration. Do click through to the article to see this absolutely stunning apartment in Lyon, France. It's what dreams are made of. And the wall mouldings have reignited my desire to add some moulding to the wall behind our bed and the wardrobe doors on the opposite wall, so that's back on the list! Sorry Ed.

Felix Forest for Vogue Living
But back to the job at hand. My sewing skills are basic, and although I've always wanted to learn upholstery, I am most definitely not skilled in that area, so I'll be keeping this design as simple as possible.

Hopefully it will have the desired effect of completely hiding what's underneath and looking like a soft upholstered bed like the one above, but not quite as padded.

Wish me luck and check back next week for the reveal! I've got a busy weekend ahead of me...

Tuesday, February 23

Box Frame & Float Mount Tutorial (a.k.a Frame Pimping)

When the lovely Stella Vine sent me an original 'Rainbow' painting I knew I wanted to frame it to show off the torn edges of the paper. I also know that specialist framing is expensive and I've recently been spending way too much money, so rather than having it sit around in an envelope until I could afford to send it to my framer, I decided to pimp a frame to turn it into a box frame, and float mount it myself.

DIY Box Frame And Float Mount - French For Pineapple Bog

A float mount allows you to see the entire piece of paper that your artwork is on, as it's mounted on top, as opposed to a traditional mount that hides around 5mm of the paper all round because your art is hinged to the back of the board, with an aperture or opening covering the edges.

By using double sided sticky pads on the back corners of the artwork, it will be held away from the mount board, and appear to float.

I'm also adding 'fillets' or 'spacers' into the frame rebate, to hold the glass away from the mount board and artwork, thereby turning it into a box frame.

The rebate is the lip inside the frame moulding where the glass sits - the glass and backing board of a frame will always be slightly bigger than the actual front opening of the frame. Depending on the frame moulding, it's usually just a few millimetres to a couple of centimetres.

Essentially I'm making a small frame within the frame, and the result is a high end frame on a teeny budget.

DIY Box Frame And Float Mount - French For Pineapple Bog

What you'll need:

Don't be put off by this long list - you probably have at least 3/4 of it already!

Balsa wood strip that is the right width to fit the rebate on your chosen frame. It's important to check that it won't stick out past the rebate.
Cutting Guide (optional)
Wood Primer
White Eggshell Paint (or any colour to match to your chosen mount or frame colour)
Liquid Nails or Wood Glue (optional)
Frame with a rebate to fit your fillets or spacers*
Mount board
Cutting Mat
Scalpel or Stanley Knife
Double sided sticky pads or tape
Your chosen artwork
Frame backing tape (optional)

* Please note that the frame should be larger than the piece you're framing - how much larger is up to you, but I chose a frame that's 1.5cms larger on each side than my painting as the painting is quite small. If I was framing a larger piece I'd go for more space around it.

Start by marking and cutting your balsa wood to size. You'll need four pieces - the top and bottom pieces should be the full width of the internal frame size, and the two side pieces should be the height of the internal frame size minus the width of the top and bottom pieces of balsa wood.

DIY Box Frame And Float Mount - French For Pineapple Bog

Once they're cut to size, give them a coat of primer, and one or two coats of your eggshell. You can paint all sides or leave one of the wider flat sides/back unpainted as you won't see it.

When the paint is completely dry (no tackiness at all), you can either just place them into the rebate or glue them in place. You may find that glue is totally unnecessary as the top and bottom pieces will be held in place by the side pieces.

Cut your mount board to size. You can use the backing board of your frame as a template and just cut around it.

DIY Box Frame And Float Mount - French For Pineapple Bog

Stick one double sided foam pad on each back corner of your artwork. Make sure you don't stick them too close to the edge - you don't want to see them from the front. Mine were quite thin so I doubled them up for a more exaggerated float, but make sure that it won't actually touch the glass.

Stick your artwork onto the mount making sure it's centered!

Put your mounted artwork into the frame. It should sit on top of the fillets/spacers and not touch the glass. Before you close up frame check for stray hairs and dust.

Add your backing board (make sure it's the right way up if it already has a hook on it), close the frame, and tape it up. Taping is optional, but it does make for a more professional and secure finish, and if you're working with a larger frame it will prevent bowing, so I highly recommend using it.

DIY Box Frame And Float Mount - French For Pineapple Bog

DIY Box Frame And Float Mount - French For Pineapple Bog

Before you embark on this DIY, it's worth noting that your frame probably won't have been made to allow for the fillets, so make sure it will work. The metal tabs on my frame were just long enough to bend over the very ends once I had added the fillets, mounted artwork and backing board. So save yourself a lot of frustration by checking first.

DIY Box Frame And Float Mount - French For Pineapple Bog

So would you give it a try and save some serious money? I had nearly all the 'ingredients' already, so the only thing I needed to buy was the balsa wood from my local craft shop, which cost me a grand total of 65 pence!


Friday, February 19

Fab Five - Four Poster Beds

When I posted a decorating update recently, I wrote about how I had stalled with our bedroom re-vamp, mostly because I don't like our current bed frame. I had wanted to replace it eventually with an upholstered bed, but my husband is really not a fan, so I've shifted my affections to four poster beds instead. He rather likes them, and I've always harboured fantasies of being a Princess, so you know, it would be a win-win situation. Not that we actually have the budget for a new bed right now, but it doesn't stop me from thinking about it. A lot.

Of course I've found several that fit the bill. I think a four poster bed should be very simple, though it could be argued that not all my choices are particularly simple, but they sure are lovely. And even my own rules were made to be broken.

Any one of these would be amazing in our bedroom with it's off-black walls, crumpled linen bedding and brass details.

I don't know how I'd go getting numbers one and two past my husband because technically they are upholstered, and number five flies in the face of my own 'must have solid headboard for leaning back on' rule (see above), but it's just so divine that I had to include it.

Fab Five Four Poster Beds - French For Pineapple Blog

1. Nailhead Linen Four Poster Bed - Anthropologie
2. Grainger Velvet & Bronzed Steel Four Poster Bed - LuxDeco
3. Classic Four Poster Bed - Get Laid Beds
4. Canton Four Poster Bed - Lombok
5. Italian Campaign Canopy Bed - Anthropologie

I might have to change Fab Five to Spectacular Seven because I always find it SUPER hard to narrow my choices down to just five (if you read my recent Fab Five OTT Wallpapers post you may have noticed!)

And if I had to choose a favourite? Number two. It's super contemporary and that velvet upholstery is to die for, especially with the bronzed powder coating of the frame. Pure luxury.

How about you? Do you like a modern four poster, or are they still too princessy for your liking?


Tuesday, February 16

Bench Seating

Until recently our dining table barely got used for the right reason. In fact, the dining room was nothing but a thoroughfare to the living room.

Occasionally I would decide that I needed my computer downstairs to work (I have a desktop not a laptop - a conscious decision that I made, and one I've pretty much regretted ever since), and then the dining room would start to resemble my studio - an unruly mess, which drove me mad, so I'd take the computer back upstairs again.

At other times it would remain clear for approximately two minutes before it got covered in piles of paperwork, post, clean washing waiting to be put away, random bits and pieces belonging to each member of the family and so on. It became the 'in limbo' table. A table for stuff going places, but rarely a table for eating at.

We have a kitchen table too. It's small but perfectly formed and great for two people to sit at eating breakfast, but a little bit squashed for four. Yet we'd been squeezing around it more often than using the much larger dining table. Total madness!

Over the last few months, I've been making a slow but concerted and determined effort to rid the house of excess clutter. First I'm working on visible clutter which I've nearly achieved with the exception of the studio, and once I've done the studio I want to start working on the dreaded hidden clutter, of which there is LOADS. You know, the stuff shoved into every cupboard including the kitchen cupboards. One of my kitchen cupboards is actually dangerous, and should have a warning on it stating that there is danger of falling organic gluten-free flour. My aim is to at least HALVE the contents of each and every cupboard and wardrobe in the house. Believe me, it's going to be a long and ongoing project. And then there's the cellar.

Anyway, having achieved part of of my de-clutter plan at least downstairs, has meant the dining table is clear pretty much all the time. It still gets a little out of hand sometimes, because you know, I'm human, but it's easier to deal with, and things have a place to go. This makes me deliriously and tragically happy.

As I said in my Dining Room Reveal post on Friday, I moved the bench seats in there to replace the vintage school chairs that I was no longer loving around the table, and here's what it looks like now...

French For Pineapple Blog - Dining Room Bench Seat

I didn't realise that actual magic would happen when I made that move, but it did...

Having the bench seats at the table meant that suddenly the room felt more casual and welcoming - the table beckons to be sat at. And sit we do!

Before I would never have sat at that table alone, but now, I sit there several times a day. We eat all our meals there, and I even sit there to read a magazine with a cup of tea. This never happened before, and it's all due to the magic of the bench seats.

The trick is to go for backless benches, (unless said bench seat will be against a wall, then by all means there are plenty of gorgeous bench seats around with backs too, but I can't promise they'll be magic) which not only removes the physical 'barrier', also making it so much easier for small kids to climb up onto, but psychologically there's a shift. Maybe that's why communal tables at cafes are often flagged by bench seats, I don't know, but I'm sure there's some research somewhere that would prove that bench seats are more enticing to sit on. My research definitely tells me to keep it this way.

I'm not in the market for another one as we already have two, but there are some lovely benches out there if you decide to go that way, and here ten that would work perfectly. Don't forget to add a sheepskin (or five) to them to make them extra cosy and inviting. Real skins also have natural grip so they don't easily slip off. Perfect!

Bench Seats - French For Pineapple Blog

1. Sinnerlig by Ilse Crawford - Ikea
2. Skogsta Bench - Ikea (a great cheap basic - begging to be painted)
3. Kejsarkrona Oak Bench - Ikea
4. Hand Braided Rattan Bench - Out There Interiors
5. Aquila Bench in Acacia - Swoon Editions
6. Ten Ply Tapered Bench - Unto This Last
7. Parker in Solid Oak - Habitat
8. Vintage Teak and Black Metal - Pamono (be quick - this one's a total bargain!)
9. Box Frame Bench - West Elm
10. Tuscan Bench - Heals

Don't forget to sign up over there on the right so you don't miss a post!

I'm now offering a range of interior design services. Get in touch if you need my help, be it choosing paint colours, help choosing art, a whole new room (or house) scheme, and everything in between. I don't bite. Promise.


Friday, February 12

Dining Room Reveal

Following on from Wednesday's living room reveal, I'm finally happy to show you the adjoining dining room today. Hallelujah!

Dining Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

When I last threatened to show you this room, I realised that there were a few things that I really wasn't happy with, so I posted a bit of a tease instead, focusing on the sideboard, which you can see here if you missed it.

There were two main things I wanted to change before photographing it again for this post - one was that I still hadn't re-painted the floor (now ticked off the list), and I wasn't loving the vintage school chairs we had in here, which with the new wall colour, suddenly seemed very orange (in a bad way!) - a bit of a sticking point as my husband still loves them.

Dining Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

I think I'll love them again too, but in a different room, like in my fantasy kitchen / side return extension, that WILL happen one day! I'd have them at a big table in front of the crittall windows and doors that will run across the back of the house. Oh, sorry, I got a bit carried away in fantasy-land there. Back to reality...

So, I swapped the vintage school chairs with bench seats and Eames chairs that we already had (having a knock on effect on the kitchen, which I'll tell you about soon!), and relegated the school chairs to the studio for now (along with all the other displaced furniture that doesn't currently have a home - is it any wonder I can barely squeeze in that door?!).

Dining Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

Dining Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

As you can see, the walls are the same colour as the living room, which unites the two rooms and they now have a lovely flow. The dining room was an über bright aqua during the navy living room phase, so it was all quite dramatic and umm, loud. I love the serene feeling of these rooms now!

Here's a shot of the living room from the dining room, so you can get an idea of the layout - the rooms are almost knocked completely through...

Dining Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

Since painting the floors, which has freshened up the room SO much, I've not put the rug back down, and wasn't planning to, but looking back at photos of the rug in here makes me think I might.

I also had a bit of a wobble and decided that the dining table had to go. It hasn't, but I'd still like to replace it one day as I'm not a huge fan of the stainless steel industrial style of it if I'm completely honest, but I like it much better with the bench seats, so it's not on my 'must do immediately' list anymore (panic averted, and husband breathes a huge sigh of relief).

Dining Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

Dining Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

Dining Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

Dining Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

Dining Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

Dining Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog
I have other plans for the wall where the Juju hat is currently hung so that will probably change, and I want to paint the huge bookcase the same colour as the shelving in the living room. I might add moulding to the cupboards to tie it in more, and perhaps add the same brass handles too. I have a huge can of that paint left over and it's just begging to be used, so it would be rude not to. Besides, I haven't painted anything for at least four days.

I'd also like to add these Holy Wafer handles from Superfront to the sideboard cupboard doors. See? It never ends, but I'm in a happy place with these rooms for now at least, but I would like to up the glam factor a tad.

Alright, I'll stop emptying the contents of my brain onto the screen for now, and I'll see you back here next week!

Don't forget to let me know what you think of the new colour, and sign up over there on the right so that you don't miss a post. Go on, you know you want to...

If you like what you see and want some for yourself, I'm now offering a range of interior design services. Get in touch if you need my help, be it choosing paint colours, help choosing art, a whole new room (or house) scheme, and everything in between. I don't bite. Promise.


Wednesday, February 10

Living Room - The Big Reveal!

Living Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

This post has been a loooooong time coming, but I'm SO excited to finally share my new look living room with you today! Whoop!

A LOT has changed in here. You can see my post about the plans and moodboard for this room here, and here it is in it’s previous navy blue period, in my 'DIY It Stool' post (a.k.a my most popular post, like, ever).

As promised way back when, here's a look at the alcove on the right side where the wall mounted television is. This was without a doubt the worst part of the room...

Living Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog
Pretty awful, huh? Those white cubes and all those DVD's and toys on display do my head in! And that grotty, yellowed floor, ewwww.

I decided that buying shelving and/or cupboards for the alcoves was false economy given that what I really wanted, was something bespoke, and eventually that's what we went for. I was beyond excited when it actually started to happen...

Living Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

Living Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

So there are now bespoke cupboards and shelves in the alcoves, making the most of those awkward spaces and the high ceilings which has had a huge impact on the feel of the room, and they look like they've always been there.

Other changes include a new vintage coffee table and a seagrass rug, the floors have been given two coats of fresh white floor paint, and I've 'upgraded' my fiddle leaf fig plant for a tree, and hung a monochrome gallery wall above the sofa.

Oh, and I've finally gotten rid of the awful filthy disgusting bent and tangled ancient silver venetians!

The walls have gone from darkest navy blue, to a pale, understated, yet anything but boring, fleshy pink. And I must say, I know a lot of you REALLY loved that blue, and so did I, but the room just feels so much calmer and warmer now, and I am absolutely in love with the new colour. It changes in different lights from a tue pink, to palest flesh, to almost beige (yes, that’s right, beige, and I STILL LOVE IT!).

To demonstrate, the light changed dramatically whilst I was photographing the room - from dark grey and cloudy to bright sunshine and everything in between, so you'll see in all the images below how different it looks in different lights. I wish I could say I did that on purpose, but, ummm, I didn't.

Phew, that's quite a lot of change for one room! But you don't want to listen to me rabbiting on about it, you want pictures.

So here you go...

Living Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

Living Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

The wall colour is Pink Ground (Farrow and Ball), and I decided to go with Setting Plaster for the alcove built-ins, which is a touch more brown than pink, and the two colours together work beautifully.

I adore the lights that I finally purchased for the tops of the shelves, and I think they stop the built-ins from looking too traditional, along with the brass handles, giving it a modern edge.

Living Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

Living Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

And yes, in case you're wondering, I designed these shelves primarily for display rather than books (we already have a big built in bookshelf in the dining room), so each side has only two shelves (as well as the cupboard top on the left side), to give a nice amount of space for displaying treasures and plants.

Living Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

Living Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

Living Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

Living Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

Living Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog
I love having these cupboards to hide Baxter's toys away at the end of the day, you'd never know that in the afternoons and evenings, and on the weekends, this room is his playground - the coffee table is a car park (and Jurassic park), and the sofa, his castle. It all goes into baskets in the cupboards once he goes to bed, et voilà, it's a grown-up space again....aaaaand relax. 

Of course I also love not seeing the cable box, DVD player and DVDs even more - that was a huge bugbear for years. It's such a treat to no longer despair about the television arrangement.

Another exciting change, which is actually more dramatic than I thought it would be, are the new blinds. The old ones that we inherited when we moved in were horrific, and I really don’t know why it’s taken me so long to bid them farewell. The metal silver venetians were caked with grime and dust - totally impossible to clean, and they were bent, warped and the control strings were really knotted and grotty. Urgh, just look!

Living Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

Living Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

Living Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

But they’re gone!

In their place are lovely simple black Vista roller blinds from Blinds2Go

I love the clean lines of the panels which are made with a high-tech fabric, cleverly allowing light in during the day, and allowing us to see out, yet from outside you can't see in and they look solid black. Cool, right? 

This switches at night (depending on how much light there is inside and outside), so they're nearly solid black from inside and slightly transparent from outside. This is not a problem for us as we have opaque lower window panes, and once our lights are out, you can't see in at all. 

I like to have the blinds half up during the day, but something more solid wouldn’t let much light in, so these are the perfect choice for us, and they really did complete the room.

Blinds2Go have a huge selection of products to choose from, including romans blinds and shutters. I'm pretty sure there's something for every window covering requirement, and the ordering system is easy and efficient (and they've just launched a shiny new website!), so do have a look if you're in the market.

The black blinds coupled with the other black accents throughout, ground the room, and stop the pink from looking too feminine.

Living Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

Living Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog
Living Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog
Now how about my beautiful new fiddle leaf fig tree? Isn't she just gorgeous? I still have fiddle leaf fig plant too, currently residing in the dining room, and once it's grown a bit taller and the trunk a bit thicker and stronger, I'll coax it into tree form, so eventually I'll have a multi-trunk AND a single trunk tree. This excites me more than it probably should! I think one will end up in my studio, once I get it sorted out (ie. once you can actually get into the room!).

Living Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

The new monochrome gallery wall is a success (well at least I think so!), as we've never got the art on this big wall right before, but now it's a real feature.

Living Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

Living Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

And that's about it, I think the pictures speak for themselves. If there's anything you want to know about, just shout. And be sure to come back on Friday, because I'm turning the camera around to show you the adjoining dining room.

Living Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

Living Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

Living Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

Living Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

Living Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

Disclaimer: Posted in collaboration with Blinds2Go who kindly provided me with the fab Vista Black Roller Blinds for this room.

If you like what you see, I'm now offering a range of interior design services. Get in touch if you need my help, be it choosing paint colours, a whole new room (or house) scheme, and everything in between.
© Bianca Hall. All rights reserved.