Wednesday, June 29


Lately I've been drawn more and more to monochromatic rooms, that stick to a very limited colour palette, and layer using that palette only. Colour Drenching as I like to call it. It's incredibly striking and draws me in every time.

The most famous example of Colour Drenching that I can think of is The Gallery at Sketch. Bathed in a sea of baby pink upon more baby pink, is it any wonder that Sketch is London's most Instagrammed restaurant? It doesn't get much more striking than this! I've been a few times, but feel another visit will be required soon to get my fix. I need to sit in a different part of the room so I can admire more of David Shrigley's art whilst happily sat in that pink sea.

The Gallery at Sketch London Colour Drenching - French For Pineapple Blog
Image: India Mahdavi / The Gallery at Sketch London

Colour Drenching kind of reminds me of the sets of The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover, albeit less dramatic, and less about the lighting, but where going from one room to another completely changes the atmosphere, and looking from one room to another is an exciting visual feast.

If you've not seen that film, you should do yourself a favour and track it down, but be warned, the subject matter is somewhat disturbing. Maybe read the blurb first, and definitely don't watch it with the kids!

I love the idea of having rooms that are not referred to as The Living Room, The Dining Room, The Kitchen and The Bedroom, but instead, the Pink Room, the Blue Room, the Green Room and so on, where the colour of each room completely envelops you.

It's not hard to achieve this look, but you do have to be committed. Start by matching your walls to your sofa or largest piece or pieces of furniture in the room. And by painting all the woodwork the same colour as the walls, you're well on your way.

Suddenly, my white trims seem SO dull and old fashioned. I have a terrible feeling this urge is going to result in a whole load of trim painting throughout the house in the coming months. Oh dear.

To really nail the look you need to be ruthless, fearless and completely unapologetic. Decide on your colour and stick to it. Use a colour that's saturated enough otherwise you run the risk of it being dull, which is the opposite of what you're trying to achieve! The more you stick to your colour, the more dramatic the effect. Use wood tones, black, white and metallic accents as they won't diminish the overall effect. And texture has never been more important if you're going to pull off this look. Layer, layer, layer.

Looking to Sketch again for an example, there's a marble herringbone floor, the upholstery is all rich velvet, and there are lots of brass accents. Metallics are neutrals, so use them freely.

Let's look at some more shining examples...

The interior designers of Hotel Providence in Paris have nailed Colour Drenching with the help of some of my favourite House of Hackney prints...

Hotel Providence Colour Drenching - French For Pineapple Blog
Images: Hotel Providence

Not quite adhering to the Colour Drenching rules, but still with a similar effect - I love this wall and upholstery colour...

Colour Drenching - French For Pineapple Blog
Image: Neptune

And last, but most definitely not least, some green and a spot of teal...

Colour Drenching - French For Pineapple Blog
Left: Panton designed Der Spiegel office lobby (Image source unkown) / Right: Duvan Interiors

What do you think? Would you be brave enough to Colour Drench? I'd love to hear your thoughts!


Monday, June 27

Summer Bedroom with Soak&Sleep

I love bed linen possibly more than I should. Or is normal. It makes me unfeasibly happy to look at lovely linen and to touch and sleep in good quality bedding makes me even happier.

Soak & Sleep French For Pineapple Blog

There's nothing quite like getting into a bed with fresh sheets. If I could be bothered, (or lived in a hotel like, you know, Coco Chanel) I would have fresh sheets every single day. Just as well that I can't be bothered, or afford to live in a hotel a-la Chanel, because it's not very environmentally friendly is it?

Let's talk about creating the ultimate summer bedroom. Do you change anything in your bedroom for the warmer months?

I don't change the cushions in the living room or anything else in the house seasonally, but there are a few little tweaks I make in the bedroom for the warmer weather...

I like to swap to my summer weight duvet, but usually keep the bedspread nearby for the nights when it's still a bit chilly. Let's face it, that can happen here in the UK even at the height of 'summer'. The extra faux-fur throw that lives on the end of the bed in the colder months, has now been put away until it's needed again.

Soak & Sleep French For Pineapple Blog

I also lighten up colour wise, and for summer you can't beat white linen. White goes with absolutely everything, and I like to mix it up a bit with pillowcases - white, black, grey, pink, taupe - it's all good, and it breaks up the white to stop it from being boring.

Soak & Sleep French For Pineapple Blog

Soak & Sleep French For Pineapple Blog

Pure linen is my absolute favourite (don't get me started about poly-cotton - I'm a total linen snob!). Nothing says laid back luxe to me more than crumpled linen bedding. I'm not someone that enjoys ironing, and I rarely do it - there is no 'ironing pile' in this house! So having beautiful linen bedding that actually looks better un-ironed is just perfect. The 100% Pure French Colour Border Linen bedding from Soak&Sleep is absolutely beautiful quality, and it's so reasonably priced, as is their entire product range. The french grey border is more interesting that plain white all over, and again goes with everything. This design also comes with a pretty blue border. I can really feel the difference in quality between this and some cheap high street linen I have - I love it and this will definitely be on the bed more than not!

Soak & Sleep French For Pineapple Blog

The duvet cover fastens with ties which I love. Not only do those bows look pretty, but you don't have to worry about lost buttons or unpopped poppers!

Soak & Sleep French For Pineapple Blog

Fresh flowers in a vase on my bedside table always makes me so happy, and popping in just one or two stems of your favourite summer bloom is all that's needed for a luxurious feel that costs very little. Or nothing at all if you have something growing in the garden. A few sprigs of Lavender popped in an empty candle jar looks lovely, so you really don't have to spend anything, but it makes such a difference. For a more tropical look, you can cut a Monstera frond or two from a plant. They last literally weeks, and even months if you remember to regularly change the water.

Soak & Sleep French For Pineapple Blog

Soak & Sleep French For Pineapple Blog

I also like to swap to a more summery citrus scent for the house in warmer months, and I've bought myself an early birthday present in the form of a new Diptyque candle in the Oyedo scent. I haven't had this one for years, and it's so fresh and delicious. Grapefruit and mandarin - sweet but sharp.

I love plants in every room, and the bedroom is no exception. Bring a touch of the tropics in with a lovely Kentia or Parlour palm or a Fiddle Leaf Fig. If your bedroom doesn't get much natural light, both Snake and ZZ plants do very well in low light, look striking, and are not at all demanding.

And once you've created your ultimate summer bedroom, don't forget to enjoy it! I absolutely love stealing a bit of time over the weekend to lie on my bed and read a magazine. Or the ultimate treat - having breakfast in bed presented to you so you can spend a bit of extra time lounging in beautiful bed linen. Total bliss!

Soak & Sleep French For Pineapple Blog

Soak & Sleep French For Pineapple Blog

This post is in collaboration with Soak&Sleep.


Wednesday, June 22

Fika at The Harcourt with Melody Rose

Last week I went to a beautiful event to celebrate the launch of the Melody Rose Mini Teapot collection at The Harcourt restaurant, in Marylebone (central London).

Skull With Crown Mini Teapot - French For Pineapple Blog

The lovely Melanie Roseveare founded Melody Rose in 2011, and her fine bone china tableware is produced right here in the UK, with a third generation pottery in Stoke-on-Trent.

I've long been a fan of Melody Rose - it's just my cup of tea (Ha! Okay, sorry), with The Models, Skull and Howling Wolf designs being my firm favourites. Once a goth, always a goth I guess. Her work is instantly recognisable and covetable, not to mention collectible. In fact a collection of her pieces would look great on the open shelves (that still don't exist yet) in my kitchen.

The Harcourt is a beautiful restaurant housed in a grade II listed building and I instantly fell head over heels with the architecture and interiors. I mean, will you just look at these rooms?! Those light fittings took my breath away...

The Harcourt and Melody Rose Ceramics - French For Pineapple Blog
Clockwise from top left: The Black Room (Image: The Harcourt), The Models & Trapeze Mini Teapots (Images: Melody Rose),
The White Room (Image: The Harcourt), Howling Wolf Plates & Skull Dinner Plates (Images: Melody Rose)

I'm desperate to get back there with a small group of friends so we can book The Black Room - I love the idea of chatting around the table, enjoying Fika and sipping tea and cocktails. Yes, that's right, tea AND cocktails, which is basically what we did in the White Room at Melanie's event! Then again, the Garden Room looks pretty amazing too (not shown, but have a nosey on their website), so perhaps lunch in the Garden Room soon, and then dinner in The Black Room in the winter. Yes, sounds like a plan...

The Models Mini Teapot Melody Rose Ceramics - French For Pineapple Blog

Fika, which is best described as Swedish Afternoon Tea, is served in and on the Melody Rose collection - a match made in heaven, with Melanie's slightly dark, dramatic, and sometimes romantic designs sitting beautifully in the gorgeous surroundings of The Harcourt. The beautiful china really does elevate the dining experience.

Fika isn't the only offering at The Harcourt, there's a full menu with a Nordic influence, an intriguing tea selection, and the cocktails are great. You know cocktails are my favourite, so I don't say that lightly.

The new Melody Rose Mini Teapot collection, which holds two cups, are replicas of the original six cup versions. They're super cute, and it's such a good idea offering a smaller size. I have a big silver antique Claridges teapot that I absolutely adore, but the fact that it's so big means it rarely gets used (it sure does look good though!). A teapot that fits just two cups is perfect for lone tea drinking, because let's face it, one cup is never enough, and two is juuuuust right.

Skull In Crown Teacup and Saucer Melody Rose - French For Pineapple Blog

You can check out the Melody Rose collection online, and of course you could always try before you buy, by having Fika at The Harcourt first. I highly recommend you do, and maybe you could invite me too?

Fika at The Harcourt and Melody Rose Ceramics- French For Pineapple Blog


Tuesday, June 14

Habitat A/W 2016

Last week when it actually felt a bit summery every now and then, and I was full of the joys of spring, I popped along to the Habitat A/W16 press show, for a nosey at what's going to be on offer come September. I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised at how many pieces really caught my eye.

Habitat A/W 2016 - French For Pineapple Blog
Image: Habitat

Loads of lovely ceramics, glassware and tableware at extremely reasonable prices, sat alongside some beautiful lighting, gorgeous textiles and furniture.

A heavy Jackson Pollock influence runs through some of the ceramic and textile designs which is good by me.

Here's my pick of the best in show...

Habitat A/W 2016 - French For Pineapple Blog
Image: Habitat

The aforementioned Odela Collection. The more I look at it, the more I like it. I think the Trophy Objet on the left is my favourite piece. These are not normally my colours (I especially don't do red, and I'm just coming 'round to orange), but for these, I'm making an exception, and I love all three pieces. A lot.

Habitat A/W 2016 - French For Pineapple Blog
Image: Habitat

The Misty chair and footstool is another standout, not only for the fabulous green hue, but the lovely retro shape. It will also be available in the houndstooth print pictured up top, and a lovely teal and grey.

There are so many great ceramics, it's hard to pick a favourite, so here's a selection to whet your appetite...

Habitat A/W 2016 - French For Pineapple Blog
Image: Habitat

I'm a sucker for a nice serving board - be it marble or wood, so a combination of both is an absolute winner for me and I love these additions to the Agra collection. In fact if they weren't so heavy (as you'd expect!), I'd have purchased one of the existing shapes on the spot. But you know, that's what online shopping is for...

Habitat A/W 2016 - French For Pineapple Blog
Image: Habitat

Last, but certainly not least, is the Isabel daybed, in sumptuous orange velvet (told you I was warming to orange), that I can picture in so many different spots in my house - my imagination has gone into overdrive. I just love her curves!

Habitat A/W 2016 - French For Pineapple Blog
Image: Habitat

Currently available in store are so many fabulous large baskets, ceramics and planters that I thought it was worth a mention. Some really great kitchen accessories too, not to mention the Avia and Harpa rattan furniture that I adore. The Flagship Kings Road store is definitely worth a visit, especially if you, like I hadn't, been for a while - I think you'll be very pleasantly surprised.


Wednesday, June 8

Fab Five - Trays

There's an old Chinese proverb that says 'You can never have too many cushions, lamps, chairs or trays'.

Fab Five Trays - French For Pineapple Blog

Okay, no there isn't, but there should be, because it's true.

Trays are a relatively new addition to this list for me. It's not until you own a few that you begin to wonder A, How you ever lived without them, and B, Why on earth you don't have more.

They are ridiculously handy, and aside from the obvious practical use of carting numerous cups / glasses of {insert your drink of choice here}, from one place to another, they are just great objects in their own right.

A large decorative tray as a centrepiece on a table is such a simple way to add a bit of interest with a print or texture. Or go for a plain lacquered version (West Elm always have a great selection of sizes, shapes and colours), and layer it with a vase of flowers and a scented candle.

Of course the bloggers favourite styling trick is to use them to corral a group of smaller items which makes said items feel less random, creating a cohesive look. The possibilities really are endless - remember, trays are most certainly not just for the kitchen.

Personally I like to use a small tray to hold a drink and a snack, whilst I sneak back up to my comfy bed on a Saturday afternoon to read a magazine.

There is such a vast selection available that there is simply no excuse for them to be boring or ugly. So if you have a boring or ugly tray lurking somewhere, you should get rid of it immediately, and go and buy one of these.

Here's a great selection to get you going. I've cheated a bit here and done a Fab Five Trays Under £50, and a Fab Five Trays Over £50. Because there are so just many great examples to choose from, and it's my blog and I can. You're welcome.

Fab Five Trays - French For Pineapple Blog

1. Gatsby Tray - OKA
2. Marble Melamine Tray- Mia Fleur
3. Gold Star Tray - Rockett St George
4. Iconic Collection Sandwich Tray - Cordello Home
5. Rattan Tray by Balineum - Liberty

Fab Five Trays - French For Pineapple Blog

1. Neon Green Acrylic Cocktail Tray by Alexandra Von Furstenburg - Selfridges
2. Square Form Tray - Tom Dixon
3. Tray With Handles by Piet Hein Eek - Heals
4. Tergonomico Tray by Fornasetti - Amara
5. Mirror Butler Tray - West Elm


Thursday, June 2


I have a bit of a different post for you today. More personal than usual, but I felt it was relevant to share here, especially as people can never believe how often I want to (and do!) redecorate. I've never really had an answer as to why I do it, other than that I love it, I get bored with rooms and colours easily, and so I do it, but the other week I had a bit of an epiphany.

I've realised that my upbringing has had a huge influence on my Obsessive Compulsive (re)Decorating habits, but the penny has only just dropped...

I can count eight moves between the ages of seven and seventeen (when I left home), so that's an average of a move every 15 months. It may have been more. I guess that's a lot.

My family moved from Auckland in New Zealand, to Sydney, Australia when I was seven (I am Antipodean in the true sense of the word). Not long after we uprooted our lives and found a place to live in Sydney, my father left, and moved back to New Zealand. Our lives then became a never ending merry-go-round of moving house, as my mother tried to support four kids on her own, make ends meet, and keep a roof over our heads. I know it wasn't easy.

Sometimes it would be just us living in a house, then as my older siblings left home, to make her life slightly easier, she would rent big houses and fill the rooms with boarders (as we called them in Australia, lodgers as they're known here in the UK) to help pay the rent. They were either friends, or people she knew from work, so they were never total strangers. The houses were usually party central, so life could be a little chaotic, and um, noisy. It was never boring, and there was usually someone around to help me with my homework. My life, and the houses we lived in were the polar opposite from any of my friends at school.

We would sometimes stay in one house for years, but would then have to move because the rent would go up, the landlord had other plans for the property, or we'd get kicked out because my mother had neglected to reveal that we also had a big Old English Sheepdog (that'll be a Dulux dog to you!), and two cats! I remember having to hide all traces of the animals for house inspections, and taking the dog out for a long walk until the coast was clear.

It was totally normal for us to be moving again. I never gave it a second thought. It was never sad or scary, it didn't make me feel insecure or that I had an unstable or underprivileged upbringing, because I knew my mother had it sorted (truth is she was probably scared witless a lot of the time, but she never let on).

And she NEVER let the fact that these places were rented get in the way of making them beautiful. Because the houses were usually pretty run down (and therefore more affordable), the landlords were nearly always willing to let her do whatever she wanted, so it wasn't uncommon for some paint to be slapped onto the walls, and many pictures and plants hung. I remember in one house there was a huge mural painted on a bedroom wall by a work friend. And then painted over again. She didn't have the money to do much more than that, but she would fill those houses with so much character. She's always loved a bohemian look, so there was usually an abundance of textiles hung and draped here there and everywhere, and her bedroom was always particularly amazing - layered with more textiles and tonnes of costume jewellery on display. And baskets. Baskets everywhere. She always made these houses look like beautiful homes, and people would be clambering to rent a room. I suppose it helped that the parties were legendary, but I like to think it was more about the way she made the places look. Hindsight is great, but as young teen, all I wanted was a 'normal' house like my friends, yet they would come to my house and be totally blown-away and never want to leave. The grass is always greener, right?

My compulsion to redecorate didn't really kick in until I'd finished my party years and settled down, which didn't happen until I met my husband Ed at 30. We met when were both working in the television world on a job in Thailand. I was living in Koh Samui for about three and a half months and I had totally decorated my little 'villa' with local textiles.

When I moved to London, the first thing I did (bearing in mind that I only knew one person in the entire country other than him, and she and Ed were both working) was paint the entire house. He must have thought I was completely bonkers, but he was quite pleased all the same.

It hasn't stopped since, and thankfully Ed knows that it's just me - that's what I do, and he doesn't blink an eye when he hears about my next plan. In fact, I think he'd be concerned if I wasn't planning to redecorate in some way, shape or form.

Looking back now, I realise that all that moving around and decorating as a child and teenager really shaped the way I look at my home, and is probably a big part of the reason that I get bored of rooms quite quickly (some would say VERY quickly). I thrive on change. And I absolutely love moving. I must be one of the few people that finds it super exciting rather than super stressful.

It's unlikely that we'll be moving from our current house any time soon, and we've now been here for nearly nine years. It's the longest I've ever lived anywhere in my entire life, and I do miss the excitement of moving. So how do I deal with the itchy feet and 'boredom' of living in the same place for so long with no plans to move?

Well, I room swap, and I redecorate. A lot. I can't help it, it's part of who I am, so why not make the most of it, and have fun?

My friend Tania joked a few weeks ago that it's like I hear the paintbrushes calling whenever I sit still. And just the other day another friend (half)joked that I had some kind of redecorating illness. I think they're both right, but it could certainly be a lot worse!

The thing is, and sorry for shouting, but IT IS NOT HARD TO PAINT A ROOM. It just isn't. The hardest / most tedious part is the prep, but the rest is easy. The difference that a new wall colour can make is ABSOLUTELY HUGE. So in sacrificing just ONE day, maybe two of your time, you can dramatically change a room. It's magical and exciting to have the power to do that with just a can of paint, a brush and a roller. For a small to medium sized room, you can completely alter the look and feel for between £25 and £40 (plus tools) depending on what brand of paint you choose. You just can't argue with that. So honestly, I don't get it when people are completely gob-smacked that I'm painting 'again'.

Swapping rooms around is a little more challenging I admit, but when needs change, and kids get older, or if like me you just get bored with the way things are, sometimes it means that a home can just work better, so don't rule that out either for the sake of a few days of mayhem.

So far in this house, my studio has been located in four different rooms. We've moved our bedroom twice, Baxter's room twice, Edie's room three times, and I'm currently plotting another studio move (which I'll be telling you all about in the next week or so).

It's funny that I've only just put two and two together, though who can say for sure, but I'm pretty certain that my upbringing has at least a bit do with my redecorating habit.

So here's a little look at a couple of rooms in their various guises. Mind you, I've not been blogging the whole time, so I don't necessarily have photos of each room looking it's best. I can see my choices have gotten bolder over the years (and my photography and photoshop skills have improved somewhat too!)

Oh and I've just realised that like a true interiors geek, that I remember the name of every paint colour used without referring back to paint cans. Ha!

Obsessive Compulsive Redecorating - French For Pineapple Blog

Bedroom - clockwise from top left

Chalky Downs 6 by Dulux
French Grey (original 113) by Little Greene and the floorboards painted black. Big mistake!
Green Blue by Farrow & Ball
Pale Lime by Little Greene (this is when I briefly moved our bedroom to another room)

And this is how it looks now, but maybe not for much longer, in Lamp Black by Little Greene, and the floorboards painted white. Yes it did take lots of coats to cover that black!

Obsessive Compulsive Redecorating - French For Pineapple Blog

Next up, the Living Room, which has actually only had two colour changes since we moved in...

Obsessive Compulsive Redecorating - French For Pineapple Blog

On the left is Chalky Downs 6 by Dulux, and on the right, the beautiful Hick's Blue by Little Greene. And below, the current look, with walls painted in Pink Ground by Farrow & Ball.

Obsessive Compulsive Redecorating - French For Pineapple Blog

The Dining Room in it's original Chalky Downs 6 by Dulux (and the new sideboard before the top was installed!)...

Obsessive Compulsive Redecorating - French For Pineapple Blog

And in it's Grecian Spa 4 (Dulux) phase...

Obsessive Compulsive Redecorating - French For Pineapple Blog

And now, in it's pretty in pink incarnation - Pink Ground by Farrow & Ball and a fresh coat of floor paint...

Obsessive Compulsive Redecorating - French For Pineapple Blog

I could go on, but I think you probably get the idea. It changes. A lot. And I love it.

Right then - psychoanalysis over. L E T ' S  P A I N T !

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