Monday, May 29

My Summer Dining Room [#UKHomeBlogHop]

Welcome to French For Pineapple to any new readers that have come my way via the The Ordinary Lovely (thanks Rachel!) for the #UKHomeBlogHop! I'm excited to be taking part in this years first UK interiors blog hop, organised by our gorgeous host Kimberly, from Swoon Worthy.

I'm Bianca Hall, an interiors obsessive, writer and designer. French For Pineapple is where I share my room makeover plans and reveals, products I'm currently obsessed with, and everything in between, as long as it's interiors related.

If you're a regular reader, and not aware of the hop, do pop over to Kimberly's blog where the trail begins. There are 27 blogs taking part over the week, and it's really rather fun to follow the hop and see all the bloggers different styles - in this instance we're all sharing our Summer Style.

So without further ado, I'm sharing my new look summer dining room with you today.




I found that we were using our dining room less and less, despite the fact that I'd made a concerted effort not to leave our dining table covered with stuff all the time (just me?). We were still crowding around the kitchen table for most meals, and I'm not sure I'll ever understand this common phenomenon, but I really wanted to make our dining room more inviting. And more, well, used!

I convinced my husband that the stainless steel clad table needed to go to another home, because I really felt that a round (or oval) table would work so much better in this space. He finally agreed, and now we have a lovely round wooden table, which not only feels lighter in the space, but helps with the flow between the living and dining rooms. The stainless steel always felt cold and uninviting to me, and the wood has instantly changed the feel of the room, warming it up and making it much more inviting.

My Summer Dining Room - French For Pineapple Blog - Medium wide shot of dining room with round wooden mid century style table, eames chairs, blue shaggy rug and smart casual table setting and side board with stepped panelled doors

My Summer Dining Room - French For Pineapple Blog - medium close up of round wooden dining table set with plates, linen napkins and brass napkin rings, and decorative footed bowl.

My Summer Dining Room - French For Pineapple Blog - Side board with stepped panelled doors, with brass deco style lantern and plants


I don't make any drastic changes to my decor seasonally, but I do make a few small changes to suit the warmer weather...

I like to lighten up as far as clutter goes (and the sideboard was starting to resemble a junk shop), so I've thinned it out a little, giving everything a bit more breathing space. Of course, I couldn't just thin it out and leave it at that, I had to make one or two additions too...

My Summer Dining Room - French For Pineapple Blog - damien hirst valium print above sideboard with stepped panelled doors with boston fern in an urn planter and gold orb decorative object


Lighting is of course an important part of creating the right atmosphere, and I fell in love with this brass Deco Lantern from Marks & Spencer. It's solid brass and really substantial at over 30cms tall. It's looks great, glowing away with one large pillar candle in it on the sideboard, and I'll also be getting lots of use from this outside on warm evenings. In fact, I probably need another one or two so I can dot them around the garden - they're SO pretty.


Scent is another important element to set the mood, and scented candles are an essential of mine. Sweetpea & Willow have a great selection (among many, many other beautiful homewares - if you don't know them, do check them out!) to help get the mood spot on, and I've gone for a True Grace candle in Portobello Oud, the perfect exotic scent for balmy summer evenings.

My Summer Dining Room - French For Pineapple Blog - sideboard with candle and framed black and white photograph

My Summer Dining Room - French For Pineapple Blog - close up of lit scented candle on sidebaord with lung like vase object and ornate framed photograph


Another new addition to the sideboard is this amazing urn planter from Wayfair. I've always loved a Boston fern in an urn, and I'm really going to try my best to keep this one alive. Apparently it's all about keeping it moist but not wet, with lots of spritzing. This is definitely where I've gone wrong in the past, so pray for this one, that it doesn't become yet another of my fern victims.

My Summer Dining Room - French For Pineapple Blog - boston fern in a decorative urn planter



We tend to entertain much more in the warmer months, because I basically hibernate in the winter, and I've only recently realised that my stance against a formal dining setting, was causing me to miss out on all sorts of table accesory fun! So my new thing, is informal-formal. It's a bit like a smart-casual dress code, but for your home. This is how I do it:

My Summer Dining Room - French For Pineapple Blog - table setting with ornate footed bowl of limes, stemless wine glasses and tinted tumblers

Ditch the table cloth (it'll only get stained), but do use crumpled linen napkins.
Ditch the excess cutlery (it'll only mean more washing up), but do use pretty napkin rings.
Ditch the fussy flower arrangements (seriously, who has the time?!), but do go for either a messy loose arrangement in a low vase, or a footed bowl filled with a single kind of fruit.

Catch my drift? So basically, don't go super informal with just simple plates and cutlery - dress the table up with an interesting mix of plates and accessories, but keep it fun and informally-formal! I also like to swap stemmed glasses for stemless ones at the table for less chance of spillage (these ones are from LSA, and the tinted tumblers are from Neptune).

My Summer Dining Room - French For Pineapple Blog - close up of geometric brass napkin rings sitting on linen napkins


My Summer Dining Room - French For Pineapple Blog - table setting with linen napkin and brass napkin ringMy Summer Dining Room - French For Pineapple Blog - close up of edge of scalloped plates on round wooden table

My Summer Dining Room - French For Pineapple Blog - close up of graphic black and white side plates on scalloped edge white dinner plates with linen napkins and gold cutlery and napkin ringsMy Summer Dining Room - French For Pineapple Blog - close up of linen napkin with brass napkin ring on graphic black and white side plate

My Summer Dining Room - French For Pineapple Blog - table setting with layered plates, linen napkin and gold cutlery and napkin ring


I love the new Toulouse dinner plates from Marks & Spencer (coming soon from the AW17 collection), and paired them with the Sue Timney for Marks & Spencer Camouflage side plates (available now). This is a great pairing, that stops the scalloped shape of the Toulouse plates feeling too traditional and gives them a modern, fun edge. And what's not to love about the solid brass geometric napkin rings? They're also from Marks & Spencer and available now - a set (only £15 so be quick before they sell out) includes a square, octagon, round and triangular ring, and I love them so.

My Summer Dining Room - French For Pineapple Blog - close up of footed bowl on table
I've piled limes into this fab footed bowl, also from Wayfair, which makes a lovely centrepiece. We go through a load of limes in the summer months - lime juice is great in dressings, it's an essential for asian dishes, and they're obviously a staple cocktail ingredient for Mojitos, and a G&T isn't really a proper G&T without a wedge of lime squeezed into it. So yes, they are very much practical as well as decorative.

My Summer Dining Room - French For Pineapple Blog - ornate footed antiqued bowl on round wooden dining table

My Summer Dining Room - French For Pineapple Blog - close up of dining table setting



We've actually started eating at the new dining table rather than the kitchen table, and I just love the new look in here. Long may that continue!

I hope you like my new summery dining room, let me know what you think in the comments, and please hop on over now to see what the lovely Carole from Dear Designer has in store for you, and make sure you follow on with the hop for the rest of the week! I'll be adding all the links below each day.

And a big thanks to my sponsors Marks & Spencer, Wayfair and Sweetpea & Willow.

Monday
Seasons in Colour

Tuesday

Lazy Daisy Jones

Wednesday



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30 comments

  1. It looks so nice. You're going to have so many people wanting dinner invites. I love how formally informal it is. I love sitting at the dining table with my family and while I like it to look pretty, nobody wants to feel like they're at a stiff dinner party (especially as I have two young children). I think you've nailed the summer vibe x

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    1. Thank Rachel! I do love a bit of summer entertaining, and yes, I'm totally with you - I have two kids too and I don't want to exclude them! Xx

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  2. Ahh it's gorgeous and yes, the new wood table really does add so much warmth to the space! I love how you styled your sideboard too - I NEED a couple of those M&S Lanterns in my life!! As well as those beautiful scalloped plates and the napkin rings! God, they are really knocking it outta the park lately with their homewares! Absolutely stunning darling and thank you so much for joining in the hop - we need to plan another evening of chatting and drinks so I can see it all in person ;) xxx

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    1. There's SO much more good stuff to come from M&S for next season - they're really having a moment! And thanks for having me on the hop - so much fun! Let's get a date in! Xx

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  3. I am always in awe of your makeovers and pink and ochre seems to work so well in this space! * high fives *

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  4. The round wood table definitely has a welcoming, summery feel to it Bianca, and I love all the gold/brass accent pieces in the room which really enhance the feeling of warmth in the space x

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  5. What a beautiful space Bianca! I absolutely love your tablescape. It's elegant but light and fun. The scalloped plates are to die for. xx

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    1. Thanks Sueli! I'm really happy with the new-look room. Xx

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  6. Love that new table Bianca!. Also loving your informally-formal approach to entertaining. Seriously who has the time? And I'm hoping M&S don't sell out of those lanterns cos I so need one. Or two. x

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    1. Thanks Carole! Aren't the lanterns fab? And they're such a good price too. Every home needs at least two I think! Xx

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  7. Honestly Bianca, this is absolutely stunning!! Everything from the styling to the colour palette is beautiful. Feeling very inspired to sort my dining area out right now :)

    Victoria x

    Editor & Founder
    www.apartmentnumber4.com

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  8. Beautiful photos as always! Everything looks so dreamy and summery!

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    1. Aw, thanks Melanie! Can't wait to see yours! Xx

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  9. Just found your blog via the blog hop. I feel a bit like a weirdo commenting around, but hey, you got a new reader!

    I hope that fern lasts. I'm a professional fern killer, so I gave up on them long time ago. Also, thank you for the practical no-fuss tips for the dinning table: no tablecloth or stemmed glasses. Makes life easier!

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    1. Hey Juan! Don't be silly - that's what the comments are for, so thanks for joining in! Yeah, I have my doubts about the fern lasting more than a month, I give up on them temporarily after every death, but I just love them so much I always go back for more!

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  10. This looks so welcoming, and I love the shape of those plates! So nice to have something other than circles or squares. Great post!

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    1. Thanks so much Stephanie! Yes, I love that they're different too! Xx

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  11. Wow, what a gorgeous dining room, it looks amazing. Amanda - The Ana Mum Diary

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    1. Thanks Amanda! Looking forward to seeing your post too! Xx

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  12. I love the setting on the table, it looks simple and stylish. Those napkin rings are gorgeous! I also love the colour of your chairs. A really nice pop of colour!

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    1. Thanks so much Vicki! Simple and stylish is the way to go! Xx

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  13. Looks really great. Love your choice of table. Dining rooms are funny old things. It's easy not to use them if you have a table in the kitchen. I wish I had a dining room. Yours has made me really envious, in a good way of course. I hope the changes you've made mean that you'll use it more now.

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    1. Thanks so much Stacey! Our dining room was in danger of becoming a permanent large thoroughfare - such a waste of space. We're going to dine there every night now!

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  14. Bianca this is sooo beautiful, but I have to say I am totally head over heels in love with your rug!
    lovely to find you through the blog hop too...
    bestest wishes
    Ashley x

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    1. Thanks Ashley! Ah yes, I've borrowed the rug from the TV room, but really love it in there. It was a bargain in an Anthropologie sale - they always do such amazing rugs! Lovely to 'meet' you! Xx

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  15. It looks absolutely beautiful! Having given over our dining room to be the combined dog/cat home I know the feeling of not being able to use a space but I'm inspired now to try and reclaim it! X

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    1. Thanks so much! Yeah, I reckon you should reclaim it from the pets - ours had become an expensive thoroughfare!

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  16. Really lovely whilst still relaxed great job #UKBLOGHOP

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So, what do you think? I'd love to know!

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