Wednesday, November 30

Family TV Room - The Reveal!

At very long last, I'm super excited to show you the finished Family TV Room! Hooray!!

I feel like I've been working on this room for a very long time. Indeed it was back in July that I moved the bulk of what was my studio into it's new smaller home, my new studio, to make way for this room repurpose. As with so many things I take on, it was a bigger job than anticipated, but that's pretty much what makes me tick - I love a challenge.

I painted the room the most delicious shade of teal blue called Sea Urchin 2 by Dulux. I thought about a few different colour options (controversially including a really deep chocolate brown!), but I had blue in my head pretty early on in the process.

So often we're told that blue is a cold colour, but if you add a touch of yellow or some grey, it warms right up. As always when looking for the perfect colour, I came up against the usual issues that you can never really foresee until you have testers on the wall in the room in question, and see it in different lights - too purple, too dark, too bright, too cold. Then I stumbled upon Sea Urchin 2 and I knew it was 'the one'. I also love the name, because as you'll see in the photographs, I've given the room the colour wash treatment - painting everything, including the ceiling, woodwork and radiators the same colour, and it feels like you're in a cosy underwater cave now, it's a really warm and inviting space - the opposite of what it had been four or five months ago, when I could hardly bear to go in there. Basically I see it as a Mermaids lair. Yes, I'm aware that's kind of odd!

Let's look at these slightly terrifying before shots again (and these were on a 'good' day). SO. MUCH. STUFF...

Family TV Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog - The room how it used to look when used as a studio. It was overcrowded and uninviting.

Family TV Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog - The room how it looked when used as a studio - it was overcrowded and uninviting

And the moodboard I shared here back in September, but probably put together back in July or August...

Family TV Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog - Moodboard

And this is what it looks like now...

Family TV Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog - Teal blue room with brown sofa and velvet House of Hackney cushions, shaggy blue rug, and decorative wall moulding.

Family TV Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog
Family TV Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog - Teal blue room with brown sofa and velvet House of Hackney cushions, shaggy blue rug, and decorative wall moulding.

Family TV Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

Family TV Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog
What do you think? Quite a big change, huh?

I splashed out and bought a new sofa for this room, I wanted something low and comfy - perfect for zoning out, and that would fill the entire space available in the long shallow room (the dimensions of this room are about 2.8m x 4.5m), and although this sofa wasn't marketed as a sofa bed, it's modular, and one of the sections can be moved around to form a (near) square which is larger than a standard double bed. Then we pop a mattress topper on it, and voila, it's a guest room. And yes, it's BROWN! I bought a new BROWN sofa!

I decided to add the decorative moulding along the back wall quite late in the day, when the room was otherwise finished. I'd been mulling over ideas for art, and Ed and I just could not agree on anything. Well, nothing that we could afford at the moment, so I had a lightbulb moment and decided to add the moulding instead. It's something I'd wanted to experiment with for such a long time, and I'm so pleased I was brave enough to do it. I absolutely love the finished result, and it was surprisingly easy. I did the entire wall of nine boxes over a weekend, from start to finish. I'm now looking around the house to see where else I can add moulding, with my favourite new toy - my mitre saw, at the ready.

Family TV Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog
Family TV Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog - Decorative Wall Moulding with Brass Light SwitchI also bought the little wall mounted lamps, the rug (absolutely could not resist it, drastically reduced on sale from Anthropologie), the mirror I bought ages ago on eBay, and the TV, which is simply wall mounted on a hinged bracket between the two windows.

Most other pieces have been borrowed from other parts of the house. I whipped up the inkblot artwork because that wall definitely needed something and as I said, my husband and I don't always see eye to eye on art purchases so it can be quite a lengthy process.

Family TV Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog - Turquoise Foo Dogs

Family TV Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog - Gold Skull, Gin Bottle and Coasters

I think some blinds need to go in soon so it's not a room where guests get woken up at the crack of dawn because their host has neglected to put any window coverings in. Oops!

So there you go! I am stupidly happy with this room - it's exactly how I envisioned it, and now I never want to leave. Result!

Let me know what you think of The Blue Room as it's now known.

This post is in collaboration with Dulux!


Monday, November 28


And just like that, we're another week closer to C-day!

Today I'm sharing my picks for the best Living and Bar gifts. The two go hand in hand obviously. We don't have a bar in the living room, but we do have a little set up in the TV room, though I think we probably need one in the living room too, because the TV room is all the way at the top of the house, and sometimes, that's just too far to go to fetch the gin. It's something I plan to remedy one of these days. I do have some plans somewhere in the back of my mind...

French For Pineapple - Living And Bar Gifts

If you missed my other gift guides so far, you can check out my best gifts for the Bedroom here, and best gifts for Kitchen & Dining here.


Friday, November 25

Kitchen & Dining Gift Guide

In today's gift guide I'm looking at kitchen and dining, as so many people these days are losing the traditional dining room (or don't have the luxury in the first place) and opting for a more open-plan kitchen diner.

We have a small table in the kitchen, which actually gets used much more than the dining room, but I'm lucky to have both options. For me though, if you're eating in the kitchen, it's even more important that you're surrounded by things that are practical AND beautiful. Well that should always be the case now shouldn't it?

French For PIneapple - Kitchen & Dining Christmas Gift Guide

1.  Hay Egg Timer - Made In Design
2. Bodo Sperlein - Goldline Plates
3. Nosh Oak Paddleboard - Prep at Trouva
4. Skull in Crown Two Cup Teapot - Melody Rose
5. Arles Linen Tea Towel - The Linen Works
6. Copper Triply Saucepan - Sainsburys
7. Sand Everyday Mug - Emma Lacey
8. Jadite Green Fish Dish - Paula Navone at The Conran Shop
9. Hario Buono Copper Pouring Kettle - Coffee Hit
10. Black Willow Rectangular Dish - Amara


Wednesday, November 23

It's All In The Details [Living Etc House Tours with]

Once upon a time, waaaaaaaay back in September, when the sun was still shining, and the world was a slightly better place, I was invited by the lovely peeps at to jump on their tour bus with a bunch of other bloggers to do my favorite thing in the world: nose around other people's houses on the LivingEtc House Tours.

French For Pineapple Blog - Living Etc House Tours with AO

We visited four of the seven open houses on the day, and of those four, we could take photos in two, plus the beautiful manicured garden belonging Neisha Crossland pictured above, hidden behind the weathered doors of former stables. I never knew that I wanted a garden like this, but I do now. Buxus balls anyone? Total garden swoon!

And you may recognise this lovely conservatory of another home if you're a Living Etc fan, as I imagine you are if you're in the UK reading this blog...

French For Pineapple Blog - Living Etc House Tours with AO

But I had a favourite. And one of the reasons for that, was that it was full of life, soul, and treasures that had clearly been collected over an interesting lifetime.

Details. It was full of details.

Okay, it wasn't just full of details, it was also full of religious paraphernalia, incredible lamps and artwork, and fun stuff including a random motorised disco ball in a hallway, with the odd skull thrown in for good measure. It was cool and grown-up, yet it didn't take itself too seriously. Totally up my street.

French For Pineapple Blog - Living Etc House Tours with AO

But details really are what makes a house a home, they're what gives it warmth and character, and although it's obviously lovely if you're able to splash the cash, you actually can't buy buy a lifetime's worth of collected treasures in one fell swoop no matter how much money you have, and that's what makes it so special.

French For Pineapple Blog - Living Etc House Tours with AO

French For Pineapple Blog - Living Etc House Tours with AO

French For Pineapple Blog - Living Etc House Tours with AO

French For Pineapple Blog - Living Etc House Tours with AO

French For Pineapple Blog - Living Etc House Tours with AO

French For Pineapple Blog - Living Etc House Tours with AO

French For Pineapple Blog - Living Etc House Tours with AO

French For Pineapple Blog - Living Etc House Tours with AO

French For Pineapple Blog - Living Etc House Tours with AO

And to top this house off, as if it wasn't already great enough, I walked down the stairs to the basement to see this...

French For Pineapple Blog - Living Etc House Tours with AO

No, I'm not talking about the utility room particularly, though I'd really love one, I'm talking about that bespoke paint tester pot shelving. Jealous much??!

I could have stayed in this house, not surprisingly, belonging to an Interior Designer and Colour Consultant, ALL day. In fact I had to be dragged out so we could make it to the last house in time!

Tell me, have you ever been on the Living Etc House Tours? I highly recommend you treat yourself next year if you're an interiors fan and not too far away from London - it's such a fun day. And if you're not an interiors fan, then what on earth are you doing here?!

I was a guest of for the LivingEtc House Tours.


Monday, November 21

Bedroom Gift Guide

Oh yes, it's that time of year. Christmas is coming and I've put together my gift guides - room by room (well, this is an interiors blog), which I'll be sharing over the coming weeks. They'll replace my normal Fab Five and Fantasy House Friday posts on Mondays and Fridays between now and December, but don't forget to pop in on Wednesdays too because I have some very exciting non-gift-guide posts scheduled for you.

Right then. I thought I'd start with the French For Pineapple Bedroom Gifts Edit. 'Cause you know, we're all wanting to get cosy right now, and the bedroom is a pretty good place to start. I'll have any one of these under the tree thanks very much...

French For Pineapple Blog - Bedroom Gift Guide

1.  Couverture & The Garbstore - Sheepskin Hot Water Bottle
2. Soak & Sleep - Blush 100% Pure French Linen Duvet Cover
3. Bella Freud - Fairytale of New York Candle
4. Habitat - Regency Grey Velvet Bedspread
5. Stephanie Vovas - Diora 2012 Photographic Print
6. Mia Fleur - Set of Apple And Pear Jars
7. Jonathan Adler - Gold Carnaby Zebra Stacking Dish
8. Marks & Spencer - Leopard Print Dressing Gown
9. House of Hackney - Ananas Pink Quartz Lampstand with Limerence Pink Quartz Shade
10. Space NK - By Terry Baume de Rose


Wednesday, November 9

My £20 Shelving Facelift!

You may have already seen that my living room shelves have been given a facelift with some textured wallpaper, but I wanted to tell you a bit more about them because I've had so many lovely comments and loads of interest, and I couldn't be more pleased with how they turned out!

Textured Wallpaper - French For Pineapple Blog

I'd had a bee in my bonnet for several months about adding some depth and texture to the backs of the shelves with some grasscloth. Something to draw the eye in, giving a dramatic backdrop to my ever changing (and growing!) collection of treasures.

I looked at loads of different options over a period of several weeks (months!), I um'ed and ah'ed about what I would go for. I knew I wanted to go for a dark colour, perhaps a brown.

At one point I'd decided on a stunning heavily textured jute grasscloth from Urbane Living, but I've been spending so much on the house, and it was quite pricey so I kept hesitating and not ordering it. 

Do check their collection out if you're in the market, because they have some incredible textured wallcoverings, also including linen, seagrass, cork and bark cloth and bamboo.

Textured Wallpaper - French For Pineapple Blog
Urbane Living Grasscloth L-R Rock Formation, Loganberry & Cumin

I'd also drooled over the amazing collection from Phillip Jeffries whose grasscloth comes in the most delicious range of colours including Tantalizing Teal, that adorns the walls of this über glam 'den' belonging to Emily Murray of The Pink House. Amazing, right?

Textured Wallpaper - French For Pineapple Blog
Image: Susie Lowe / The Pink House

Alas, this was also out of the question for me for this little project, but again, check out the Phillip Jeffries collection if you're in the market because it really is stunning.

Textured Wallpaper - French For Pineapple Blog
Phillip Jeffries Grasscloth L-R Woodland Blue, Blueberry & Split Pea

I'd initially ruled out cheaper options as I'd previously ordered some samples that were so shiny and cheap looking it had put me off the idea of more budget friendly options. 

However I figured I should at least look at some other cheaper options since budget was an issue, so after trawling the net some more, I stumbled upon a few from Graham and Brown that looked really lovely. They were so reasonably priced (cheap!), that I really wasn't holding out much hope to be honest.

When the samples arrived I was super pleasantly surprised by the quality, and knew that the Burgundy and Copper Grasscloth was 'the one'. And with a pricetag of £20 per roll (slightly less with a discount code I found) it was a no-brainer.

Textured Wallpaper - French For Pineapple Blog

The brown base with touches of burgundys and pinks was the perfect choice. It ties in beautifully with not only the pink walls, but everything else I've got going on in the room too.

I ordered two rolls, but when it arrived I realised that if I laid the paper horizontally rather than vertically, that I'd only need the one roll, so I've sent one back, meaning I did this entire makeover for around £20! The wallpaper glue I used was a powdered one that was less than £3 from my local DIY shop, for heavyweight, paste the paper wallpapers, and I just brushed it on with a normal paintbrush.

I actually love the grain running horizontally and it also meant that there are less joins. 

Textured Wallpaper - French For Pineapple Blog

I'm not experienced at wallpapering at all, but I know that paste the paper wallpapers are harder to handle than the paste the wall kind. However, as I was papering relatively small pieces, it wasn't a big deal at all, and it's probably good I didn't realise before I ordered it as it would have put me off!

So there you go - no excuses not to pimp your shelves! It's easy and so effective.

Please do show me if you do some. Maybe I'll start a pimpyourshelves hashtag or something....


Monday, November 7

Fab Five - Gold Cutlery Sets

It's the second week of November, so even I'm not getting grumpy when hearing about Christmas now. In fact, my mind keeps wandering to how I'll decorate this year - a little earlier than last year for the kids sake! I'll also be making sure the tree is beautiful and big, but in height rather than diameter, because when the kids and my husband arrived home with last years tree, it took up WAY too much space, and I turned into The Grinch. Again. I think I may have given it quite a serious haircut too.

So this year I've pledged to myself that I'll get more into the spirit.

However, I still draw the line at tinsel. Nope. Not here thanks. That's something that my family just have to deal with. And I won't be decorating with red and green either. You know I don't do red, right? Not even for Christmas.

I've been putting some thought into the Christmas table, and really wish I had gold cutlery to put on it. And to use every day of course. Alas, it's pretty low on the things to buy list right now, but that's never stopped me from looking before, and it's not about to now.

I'm sharing my favourite five with you today. I saw plenty of other sets that I liked the look of, but I'm quite particular (surprise, surprise) about how cutlery feels when in use, so I've discounted anything too thin and flat (yeah, taking the name flatware a bit too literally). No one wants to buy a beautiful new set of gold cutlery to find the finish coming off within weeks, so ask questions, do your research and make sure you check it's dishwasher safe if you want to use it as your everyday cutlery.

French For Pineapple - Fab Five Gold Cutlery Sets

1.  Ralph Lauren Academy 5 Piece Place Set - Amara (Just, YES.)
2. Thai Bronze Bamboo - Ebay (Loads to be found, both vintage and new!)
3. Viners Gold - John Lewis (Also available in Rose Gold)
4. Geo Gold - West Elm (US only sadly. Story of my life!)
5. Biba Odette - House Of Fraser (Um, YES PLEASE! And it's on Sale!!)


Thursday, November 3

Textured Wallpaper Shelves & Goodies From Curious Egg!

Yesterday I finally got around to wallpapering the backs of the shelves in the living room (more about that next week, including what I used, and all the options I looked at before choosing this one!).

I absolutely love the result, and I couldn't wait to put everything back onto the shelves, with the much more dramatic backdrop, along with a few new additions from Curious Egg.

Curious Egg - French For Pineapple Blog

Curious Egg is not just another online homewares shop. Nope. Delve into the beautifully curated Curious Egg collection, and I promise you'll find so many beautiful gems that you have most definitely not seen before. I can't tell you how happy that makes me! So refreshing in a world of sameiness (that's totally a word, right?).

Curious Egg - French For Pineapple Blog

Artist Lorraine Aaron (and husband Roddy!), launched Curious Egg last year. They travel regularly, and on these off the beaten track adventures, they source many of the pieces in the collection from artisan makers and entrepreneurs around the world.

Curious Egg - French For Pineapple Blog

I asked Lorraine to share her styling tips for the pieces I've chosen for this post...

The Kea Vase

Curious Egg - French For Pineapple Blog

'This is one of my favourites as it’s so different to our other vases and has great texture. The more you look the more you see. It’s like looking at the edge of a shoreline as the waves draws away and you see all the grains of sand, foam and little reflective channels of water. I’ve shown it on the website against a very clean crisp background to show off its gnarly surface but it can look fantastic next to really dark walls too. It’s like relic that’s been buried under the sea for centuries and the unusual glaze will make your room instantly more interesting and confident because its not immediately ‘pretty’ – more like a dug up relic it adds layers and story.  The jug shape looks great with medium ‘mop headed’ flowers like green chrysanthemums or ball headed thistles as well as flat headed ‘lacey’ types.'

The Ana Vase

Curious Egg - French For Pineapple Blog

'This vase looks beautiful sat on a little pile of two or three books on the coffee table or on a shelf between books or a console as the main focus.
To show this off best I’d place it beside solid colours rather than patterned walls to show off its beautiful speckled like glaze. It looks lovely against brownish pink such as Farrow and Ball’s pink ground or any flat grey from pale to charcoal.
It’s like an artwork in itself so looks great on its own or if you want to put flowers in the tubes you could experiment with really tall grasses and put the vase down on a low table or the floor. You could also try umbrella type seed heads –flat headed, sculptural flowers to play off against the vertical tube forms.'

Lunga Bowls

Curious Egg - French For Pineapple Blog

'These have a lovely lozenge – like shape that makes you almost want to bite them!  You can stack them together making them ‘statement bowls’ for the hall console table, or make an arrangement of them on the coffee table all facing different ways as though they’ve been scattered - especially if they are the main gold item in the room. They’re really eye catching and work well for serving little wrapped treats in them at parties and can also just be a stylish way to keep nik-naks safe! So simple and striking, they work well with all colours of interiors and even with heavily patterned wallpapers.'

Curious Egg - French For Pineapple Blog

Here are some more of my favourite pieces from the current collection...

Curious Egg - French For Pineapple Blog

1. Angel #2 Original Mixed Media Artwork by Rachel Lee. Mini orginals for just £45?! There's a whole series of these and they're fantastic.

2. Cocoon Wire Lampshade. Three words: Oh. My. God. I've got a serious crush on this. It would be absolutely perfect on the landing outside my bedroom. I think I NEED it!

3. Urn Vase. I absolutely adore this vase. Yes, I do have a thing for vessels.

4. Appaloosa Fringe Cushion. Speaks for itself really, don't you think? L O V E.

5. Agata Marbled Vase. Le Sigh...

Thanks for the lovely pieces Curious Egg and for raising the online interiors shopping game. Go check them out!

This post is in collaboration with Curious Egg.

© Bianca Hall. All rights reserved.