Monday, June 26

How To Achieve A Boutique Hotel Lobby Look

I don't know about you, but I would love to have my home look like a beautiful boutique hotel. I know it's not everyone's thing, some people like a more lived in homely look, and others, like me, have that lived in homely look, even though it's not actually what they want! Ha, I know, I'm never satisfied and I never stop thinking about the next changes I'll make to our home. It's exhausting, and on one hand, I wish I could just get everything 'finished' and stop. Be done, and be satisfied. But that's not who I am, that's not what I do, and it's very unlikely to happen any time soon!

Budget. Money. Lack of budget and money is what stops me achieving the look I really want in my home, but I chip away at it, and with each little change, I get a little bit closer to the look I actually want.

How To Achieve A Boutique Hotel Lobby Look - French For Pineapple Blog
A moodboard I put together to demonstrate the Boutique Hotel Look

In this moodboard I've included Lamps from Pooky and French Connection, a vintage coffee table, rug, and framed scarf, a sofa from, a hexagonal pouffe from Swoon Editions, and Tom Abbiss Smith artwork.

I've blogged before about getting a high-end glamorous look without breaking the bank, and many of these points cross-over, but today I'm gearing specifically towards a Boutique Hotel Lobby Inspired Look. Just rolls of the tongue doesn't it?

The walls:

Texture is important here and you could do a lot worse than going for some grasscloth (if you've got cash to splash), or some faux grasscloth or linen look textured wallpaper.

Look for actual texture rather than printed 'texture', and make sure you always order samples first. What can look great on screen can look terrible in the flesh and you do get what you pay for. And for some reason that I just can not figure out, some companies seem to think that glitter is a good thing on these papers. It's not.

Harlequin do some that look good, and I'm actually awaiting some samples to potentially use in my home, and you also may have seen the fab textured wallpaper that I used on the back of my living room shelves a while back from Graham & Brown, that is also a great option, but the colour options are very limited. Budget dependant, also look at Designers Guild, and if you've got really deep pockets (lucky you) look at Thibaut, Andrew Martin, Urbane Living and Phillip Jeffries.

The higher end brands have a much bigger and better colour range, so I do apologise in advance if you see an incredible colour but it's a gazillion pounds a metre or roll.

Let me know if you find any amazing options that don't cost the earth!

If you can't stretch to real or faux grasscloth, all is not lost. How about a bit of DIY wall moulding? No? Statement wallpaper? But not a feature wall - to make this look work you have to go all out. And of course if none of the above are an option, then go with a new lick of paint in a lovely, rich, saturated colour of choice. That doesn't have to mean super dark or super bright. In fact, please don't. There are plenty of saturated colour options for a huge impact without needing to live in a cave or a tacky nursery! I think my TV room is a great example of that, and there's a bit of DIY wall moulding in there too.

How To Achieve A Boutique Hotel Lobby Look - French For Pineapple Blog

The floor:

The dream is herringbone or chevron parquet. Obvs. There are loads of choices these days - real wood blocks, engineered wood, and incredibly convincing and virtually indestructible luxury vinyl tiles. Failing that, and even if you can have the perfect flooring already, you need to add a rug. More than one of your room is big. Think vintage Oriental, or Beni Ourain (real if budget allows), or an amazing pattern. Not a plain rug, which is basically just a piece of carpet.

How To Achieve A Boutique Hotel Lobby Look - French For Pineapple Blog
Image: Amtico Signature in Ink Wash

How To Achieve A Boutique Hotel Lobby Look - French For Pineapple Blog
Images: Moroc Tribal Beni Ourain Rugs

Add to the textured, layered look and think pattern and / or heavy texture like the incredible vintage Beni Ourain rugs from Moroc Tribal (firmly on my must own one day list). La Redoute have great rugs, as do Plantation Rug Company and Anthroplogie (tip: wait for the sale!). Places like Benuta and are also worth checking out.

Colour and Pattern:

Mix it up here. Although this is not my usual style, I do love this look (it's just not for me, in my home). So think mixed jewel tones in sumptuous fabrics like velvet and linens, and add lots of pattern. You can really just go for it with this look! Use a mixture of prints on upholstery, curtains, blinds, cushions and lampshades. If mixing patterns is terrifying to you, make sure to stick to a limited colour palette and there's less chance of it going horribly wrong.

It's not hard to make a lampshade with a kit and a piece of your favourite fabric, so they needn't cost a load. and Swoon Editions both do some amazingly decently priced sofas and pouffes with a gorgeous selection of coloured, alongside other boutique hotel lobby worthy furniture.

How To Achieve A Boutique Hotel Lobby Look - French For Pineapple Blog
Image: Ham Yard Hotel / Firmdale Hotels


To get a really unique room, you need to mix up the new pieces with vintage. Trawl your favourite vintage shops and eBay, for some real gems, like a Pierre Vendel brass and glass coffee table, and side tables. Or a big sculptural vase or ceramic creature! Something that no one else has. It's my vintage pieces that I most often get asked about.


As you know, lighting is super important and you can't have too many lamps. I have the French Connection brass floor lamp on the moodboard, and it's beautiful. There are some super glam lamps around these days, and places like Pooky, Vaughn (if you have deep pockets), OKA, and surprisingly, some cheaper places online, have some stunning lamps and shades that really make a room. Shop around. I'm a firm believer in the bigger the better with lamps.

How To Achieve A Boutique Hotel Lobby Look - French For Pineapple Blog

If you have very little budget, eBay is your friend again. Look for some bases that you like the shape of, and spray paint them if you don't like the colour like I've done in the image above. Then you can spend on some lovely shades like these fab Ikat ones from Pooky, or make some yourself with a lampshade kit as mentioned above.


Be creative here, and don't buy generic art for the sake of it that is meaningless.

Search for an up and coming artist for something different, something that really speaks to you. Maybe frame a vintage scarf. There's a constant stream of beautiful vintage Hermes scarves on eBay (Vintage though, you hear?), so you can wait to find the right one that works with your colour scheme, and you won't see it all over Pinterest and Instagram.

Don't discount galleries as being too expensive as you might just be pleasantly surprised. And you never know where it might lead you. I wrote a post about how to buy grown up art a while back with some more tips.

I'm a big fan of Alan Fears paintings.

How To Achieve A Boutique Hotel Lobby Look - French For Pineapple Blog
Image: Alan Fears 'English Country Fudge'


Cushions, ornaments, scented candles are all a must, but keep the ornaments under control so your room isn't crowded and chaotic and doesn't start to resemble a junk shop (a tip I often need to remind myself about!)

How To Achieve A Boutique Hotel Lobby Look - French For Pineapple Blog


Don't forget some plants! The bigger the better. Fiddle leaf fig trees are still very desirable and beautifully sculptural plants, but Kentia Palms, ZZ plants and are also beautiful and easy to care for options. Huge ferns in urns also make stunning additions.

How To Achieve A Boutique Hotel Lobby Look - French For Pineapple Blog

Luxe Details:

Add a bit of interest and a feeling of luxury by adding a splash of glam. Brass details (an oversized brass framed mirror for example), a leather topped cabinet, and antiqued mirrored wall, a marble side table. These materials all ooze glamour, but if you source and use them cleverly they needn't cost the earth. Try West Elm, Rockett St George and Swoon Editions for starters.

A Knockout Piece:

If you have the space / time / money, keep your eyes peeled for a knockout piece for the room. It could be anything from a 70's moulded plastic hanging chair, to a brass palm tree lamp, a giant Jonathan Adler lucite hand, a sculptural 80's stone coffee table or a piece of vintage taxidermy. It's these wow pieces, alongside the combination of all the other elements that can make for a really incredible room. Yes, I know that an Ostrich Feather lamp is out of most peoples price range, but this really does demonstrate the impact of a knockout piece in a room rather beautifully don't you think? Also firmly on my must own one day list!

How To Achieve A Boutique Hotel Lobby Look - French For Pineapple Blog
Image: A Modern Grand Tour

So there you go. This is a look that you can achieve yourself if you set your mind to it, and it doesn't have to cost billions, though obviously it can also cost plenty if you have the cash to splash! This look is primarily about texture, layering and colour and clever use of materials.


Wednesday, June 21

A Mattress Fit For A Boutique Hotel Style Bedroom
[Hilary Devey Collection]

When I was contacted a few months ago to see if I'd like to review a Hilary Devey, Duvalay mattress, it couldn't have come at a more perfect time. I was in the midst of my big bedroom makeover, and it was like the mattress gods knew it was time to let go of our trusty old one, and were sending me a not very subtle hint.

French For Pineapple - Hilary Devey Collection

Yet the offer was met with 50% excitement, and 50% trepidation. I know that's a tad dramatic, I mean it's only a mattress right? But even though I knew we really needed to replace our old one, I was actually kind of fond of it despite it's obvious lack of support (a bit like a comforting old friend that you love even though they can be a bit flaky. Oh. I might have just described myself there...).

And if I'm honest, I was a bit scared that we'd end up getting rid of it for one that was rubbish, uncomfortable or just not right for us. Plus there were decisions to be made. And when it comes to what I consider quite major decisions like a new mattress, I just turn into an indecisive fool. Ed likes a firmer mattress than I do, but give me a soft squishy cloud to sleep on any day, so a compromise needed to be reached.

French For Pineapple - Hilary Devey Collection

French For Pineapple - Hilary Devey Collection

French For Pineapple - Hilary Devey Collection

After much mind-changing on my part, we settled on the Diamond Luxe, which I felt was a bit of a compromise for me. I'd have gone for something softer if it was for me alone, but obviously we both need to be comfortable, and actually I'm pleased to report that it's perfect for both of us. And I know that as much as I say I want to sleep on a soft cloud, that my back is not with me.

French For Pineapple - Hilary Devey Collection

It was really odd for the first few nights - a week even. But odd in a 'this is very different to what I'm used to' way, and not in a 'this is terribly uncomfortable' way.

And then I just stopped thinking about it - I'd gotten used to it without realising, which is what you want in a new mattress I think. If something is just right, you don't really notice it. It has enough give, that I get that lovely sinking-in feeling when I first get into bed, but it's definitely got a lot of support right under that top layer. A semi-firm cloud you could say. It's become my good new friend, but this time, a supportive friend. And our backs really appreciate it.

French For Pineapple - Hilary Devey Collection

French For Pineapple - Hilary Devey Collection

It's heavy and requires turning once a week until you've completed the 'turning cycle', then you just flip it once a season - totally doable, unlike our old mattress, which was so heavy that we were physically unable to flip it. So that's a bonus too.

This is a proper, old-school mattress with a hand-stitched border, tufted on both sides, hand-crafted in West Yorkshire, and it's comfortable in a luxurious way, so it perfectly fits the criteria for my continuing quest to create my dream Boutique Hotel Style Bedroom.

French For Pineapple - Hilary Devey Collection

French For Pineapple - Hilary Devey Collection

However, don't be fooled by its traditional appearance, because beneath that tufted exterior lies some impressive technology. The 'Wooltec' ensures great temperature control, on top of comfort and durability, whilst the 'Midas Touch' springs beneath, give a unique combination of responsiveness, comfort and support to individual shapes and body weights.

So that's another piece of the Boutique Hotel Style Bedroom puzzle in place (told you I was working on it - a few more pieces yet to come), and our Diamond Luxe mattress has a very relieved, big thumbs-up from both Ed and I, and I'm exhausted by this week already, and can't wait to sink into it this evening.

This post is in collaboration with Hilary Devey Collection.


Friday, June 16

A Few Of My Favourite Things From CP Hart [a.k.a Tap Bothering]

I did my second pilgrimage to the incredible CP Hart Waterloo showroom the other week. And it was every bit as impressive as my first visit, if not more so, because I had a guided tour through the whole showroom, focussing first on the new pieces and trends picked up at the most recent ISH trade show.

French For Pineapple Blog - CP Hart - Materials and Sample room Bathroom Trends

The Waterloo showroom is part glam hotel lobby, part bathroom showroom as I've said before, so it really has me at hello.

Off to the left after reception, is the material and sample library - hands down, my absolute favourite bit. The taps are displayed in all their different finishes (something you need to go in person for, because not all the different finishes are on the website), and there are so many stunning options to choose from. Yes, I did use the word stunning, referring to taps. Because they really are. And how about that cabinetry that dreams are made of?

French For Pineapple Blog - CP Hart - Gesse, Vola, Axor taps, brass finishes

I swing between loving Hansgrohe Axor, and Vola taps the best. And I'm pretty sure I love a brushed / satin brass finish the most. Then again, I do love black taps too. And white. And, these Gesse Rettangolo taps are pretty special...

French For Pineapple Blog - CP Hart - Gesse Rettangolo Tap finishes

This studded bath is really something else, and I can't ever imagine having a bathroom big enough to do it justice, but it's certainly drool-worthy!

French For Pineapple Blog - CP Hart - Studded bath
And further into the showroom you'll find THOSE House of Hackney bathroom sets, which really are beautiful. The level of detail that went into designing them is very impressive and I actually can't settle on which one I like the best. Truthfully I'd be pretty damn happy with either! Let me know in the comments if you have a favourite...

French For Pineapple Blog - CP Hart - House Of Hackney Bathroom Set

French For Pineapple Blog - CP Hart - House Of Hackney Bathroom Set


Monday, June 12

A Little Dude's Bedroom [The Moodboard]

Work is yet to commence on Edie's Drama Tween bedroom, though it's imminent, and I have promised that BOTH kids rooms will be done, so I thought I'd share my plans for Baxters bedroom today. The rooms will probably happen in tandem, to create the most house chaos possible. Because that's just how I roll.

Baxter has a small and slightly awkward bedroom at the back of the house. His ceiling is low, and it slopes even lower on one side. But it's cosy, and it has the best view of the garden, and I actually love his little room.

At the moment it's painted in a rather full on blue, which I like, but when I told him he could have some fun wallpaper like his sister, he got so excited that I now have to go through with it. Ha! Me and my big mouth.

If you follow me on Instagram, specifically my stories, you may recall that I ripped up his old lilac carpet a few months back and painted his less than perfect floorboards white. This is a temporary measure, as I do plan to replace the carpet on the stairs, back hall and landing, and take it into both the kids bedrooms and our bedroom. Eventually. Meantime, his wonky floorboards are mostly covered with a seagrass rug, layered with lovely but a bit small, geometric grey and white rug from Plantation Rug Company, so these will remain for now.

French For Pineapple Blog - A Little Dude's Bedroom Makeover. The Moodboard featuring Desert Llama wallpaper by Drop It Modern

There's no scope to change the layout - his white bunk beds and white wardrobe only just fit along one wall (the side with the lower ceiling). The position of his door and window mean there's no other option - it's tight in there. His clothing and general storage is an issue, so his very small chest of Ikea Rast drawers need to go, and will be replaced with something much more substantial that can house both clothes and some toys.

The Tom Dixon pendant that I got for a total steal on ebay is not right in his room, so we're replacing it with the Sinnerlig bamboo pendant from Ikea that used to be in our bedroom. I adore that pendant, and it's big scale. It will be hung over the new chest of drawers, and alongside the gorgeous Desert Llama wallpaper from Drop It Modern, sets the feel of the room.

I don't normally go for overtly 'kiddie' wallpaper, but this one has really captured my heart. It's so fun and different. I'm planning to use an aqua on the woodwork to tie in with the wallpaper, and to keep the room fun, whilst all the rest of the furniture, and accessories will be black, white and neutrals, really letting the walls shine.

I'm excited about this makeover (when am I not?!), and I might have to have a sleepover on the top bunk once it's done so I can fully appreciate my hard work!

Keep an eye out on my Instagram stories, because work on both rooms will start as soon as possible.


Thursday, June 8

RHS Chelsea Flower Show

As I mentioned in my event round-up post, I was lucky enough to be taken to the Chelsea Flower Show a few weeks ago by the lovely people at Oka Direct. It's something I've always wanted to go, and although it was different to what I'd imagined (I'd naively not realised it would be quite so overtly commercial, with a huge amount of space dedicated to product sales), it was certainly not disappointing. If you've never been, I'd thoroughly recommend it next year as a special treat.

I'm keeping it light on the words today (at least by my standards), becasue I think the pictures really speak for themselves for the most part, so here's to a bit of escapism by way of pretty flowers!

I'd recently taken possession of my new camera, and the flower show was absolutely the best place to go and have a play with it.

Upon arrival, we were ushered straight to the beautiful Dorchester pop-up bar for a cocktail on the deck. Plenty of pictures were taken of the incredible flower wall at the entrance by Phillip Hammond, The Dorchesters in-house floral designer. Totally stunning...

French For Pineapple Blog - RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 - Dorchester Pop-Up Bar Flower Wall

After a drink we were set loose to explore...

French For Pineapple Blog - RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017

French For Pineapple Blog - RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017

French For Pineapple Blog - RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 - Sculptural Orange Tree and Mosaic Wall
Perfect Sculptural Orange Tree + Mosaic Wall: Instantly Transported To The Mediterranean

French For Pineapple Blog - RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 - Metal Water Feature in Wild Garden

French For Pineapple Blog - RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 - Traditional planters with Olive and Lavender
Inspiration For My Garden

French For Pineapple Blog - RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 - Purple Flower Garden

French For Pineapple Blog - RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 - Copper Poppies
Copper Poppies!

French For Pineapple Blog - RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 - Close up of pink and red flowers

French For Pineapple Blog - RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 - modern rusted sculpture

Do you remember 'that' Grand Designs episode, featuring the incredible steam bent wood home of 
Tom Raffield? It was one of my favourite Grand Designs ever, because it wasn't about obscene amounts of money, it was about hard ridiculously hard work, passion, and huge amounts of talent, so it was great to see that Tom was exhibiting at the show. I was obsessed with this hanging chair when I saw them on the show, and I still am - I'd love to own one of these one day...

French For Pineapple Blog - RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 - Tom Raffield Hanging Chair

French For Pineapple Blog - RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 - Tom Raffield Lights In Trees At Dusk
Tom Raffield Lights Adorning The Trees At Dusk

French For Pineapple Blog - RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 - Silk Road Ombre Pink Garden
Silk Road Garden 

French For Pineapple Blog - RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 - Giant Marble Head Sculpture
I was pretty impressed with the wild tropical vibes of the Bromeliad garden....

French For Pineapple Blog - RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 - Bromeliad Garden

Until I turned around and saw an entire garden dedicated to my all time favourite Proteas. Who knew there were so many different varieties?!

French For Pineapple Blog - RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 - Protea Garden

French For Pineapple Blog - RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 - Protea Garden

French For Pineapple Blog - RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 - Protea Garden

French For Pineapple Blog - RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 - Protea Garden

French For Pineapple Blog - RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 - protea garden

French For Pineapple Blog - RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 - protea garden

French For Pineapple Blog - RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 - Protea Garden

I know, I know, so many photos of Proteas, but I love them so.

A huge thank you to Oka Direct for hosting such a fantastic afternoon, and for thoroughly spoiling us, and The Dorchester for the delicious cocktail! Flowers and cocktails are definitely the way to my heart!

French For Pineapple Blog - RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 - White Proteas


Monday, June 5

Event Round Up [March, April & May 2017]

I love attending events when I can, and it's always so nice to be invited. However, I can't get to a lot of the ones I'm invited to because the timing doesn't work childcare wise, or I'm just too busy, and I most definitely suffer from a bit of FOMO when I can't go (or shock-horror, wasn't invited??!). That's Fear Of Missing Out for those of you not down with the kids.

I always share them on Twitter and Instagram Stories, but I thought it would be good to start doing a roundup here of the ones I do get to - just a pic or two from each, and my rambling thoughts and highlights.

I'll probably do a bi-monthly roundup depending on how many events I go to, but this first one covers March, April and May...


Back in March I ventured to Oxford, for a blogger workshop with the lovely Annie Sloan herself at her headquarters one sunny Saturday.

It was a fascinating day, and Annie is such a lovely lady - I could have listened to her for hours talk about colour and colour theory. Frustrated by what was (and wasn't) on the market, Annie developed Chalk Paint in 1990, which is pretty impressive, and there's really no end to how you can use her paints - from furniture to fabric dying (yes, really!) and everything inbetween. And no, it's not just Shabby Chic! Of course it can be if you want it to be, but there's absolutely no reason why you can't create a thoroughly contemporary look with her products too - it's all in the way you use them. And the bonus of course is that chalk paint requires no primer - perfect for people like me, that loathe the prep and just want to get to the fun bits!

I left with a starter kit, including some colours chosen for each individual blogger (a lovely touch), mine were Antoinette and French Grey, some furniture waxes, gilding waxes, and a pure bristle paint/wax brush.

I haven't yet had the chance to have a play with them, but I'll be pimping a chest of Ikea drawers soon for Baxters room and painting them (colour TBA!) and giving them soft sheen waxed finish, so I'll finally get to have a proper play with Annie's products.

Annie has also recently added wall paint, and coloured linen to her product range, and though I've not had a play with the wall paints, the fabrics are really stunning, and each one is a mix of two complementary colours based on her paint colours.

I was in such great company that day, and met a group of inspiring, supportive and friendly bloggers, which is one of the best parts of events like this, and among the reasons I try to get to them whenever possible.


Okay, so I didn't actually go to this event, but I was invited and I really really wanted to go. I'm a huge fan of Burleigh ceramics and my favourite plates ever, are the Black Willow design, so I was gutted when I couldn't make it to this launch. The Regal Peacock pattern has been around since 1913 (woah!), but the black is a new colour way, giving it a contemporary twist. The collection is so stunning, and they were sweet enough to send me the cutest mini-mug from the goody bag, even though I couldn't attend.


I had dinner at the ├╝ber glam Sanderson Hotel with Julien Macdonald, and the Debenhams Home PR team, for a look at the new collection which was set against the pristine white walls of the penthouse suite. Lots of texture by way of sequins, beading and faux fur as you would expect from the incredibly and lovely Mr Macdonald, alongside lots of white, grey, taupe and metallics. The standout pieces for me were the stemmed votives and vintage inspired beaded table runners, both of which were also the star of the spectacular table setting in the even more glam Purple Bar where we dined. Lined with small glass vases and flowers of varying heights, layered over the aforementioned beaded table runners, and dotted with plenty of high and low level tea lights, it was breath-taking. So simple yet so effective, and definitely an idea to steal.

Image: Debenham

Oh and a little tip! I'm a self-confessed scented candle snob, and always find the more affordable ones are soapy and awful when lit, even if they initially smell nice before you light them. But I can confirm that the Julien Macdonald Black Vanilla candle, smells totally delicious and unlike so many other affordable scented candles, it fills the house with the most delicious scent. And the deco inspired black and gold packaging is so pretty too. Who knew?!


I was already a fan of Swoon Editions beautiful collections, so when I was invited along to check out their pop-up which was at Oxo Tower Wharf for two weeks earlier in May, I couldn't resist. It was great to see some of this online retailers pieces in the flesh - especially the glam Ziggy cabinet.

Swoon are a great resource for really reasonably priced furniture (sofas in particular - they have a fantastic selection of fabrics to choose from including linens and wools, but their velvets are super gorgeous).

Swoon Editions are definitely worth adding to the list for places to check out when looking not only for the classic pieces like sofas, chairs, side and coffee tables, but for something a bit different too (like THAT Ziggy cabinet!). A big YES to Swoon for offering up some more glam and brave pieces than what is often on offer in the UK market. Long may it last!


I had a guided tour of the amazing CP Hart showroom in Waterloo (part glam hotel lobby, part bathroom showroom for those who haven't been), focusing on the key trends picked up from the most recent ISH show (the leading bathroom tradeshow that takes place each year in Frankfurt). You can read about the trends in more detail here on the CP Hart site. Next week I'm sharing my favourite pieces from the showroom because there's just too much good stuff to share here in this 'brief' roundup!


I had a lovely lunch at Lima, a Peruvian restaurant in Covent Garden with the Sainsbury's team to see their high summer South American inspired capsule home collection. Consisting of colourful patterned snack bowls, glassware, cast iron cookware, and serving boards, all at ridiculously reasonable prices, it's a lovely colourful collection that would be spot on for casual entertaining and outdoor parties. And everyone should have a stash of Margarita glasses somewhere in their kitchen, right? And probably a clear cocktail shaker too...

The collection is in store now.


Another fab event a few weeks ago was the AW17 press show for Marks & Spencer Home held in central London, followed by dinner at Alyn Williams at the Westbury. I was totally captivated by the new Manhattan collection, so much so that I kind of neglected to look at the others. Oops! So much glam goodness in the form of a velvet sofa, armchair and ottoman, a beautiful bar cabinet, stunning brass framed bamboo mirror, great cushions, and loads of other accessories.

I featured a few pieces in my Summer Dining Room post as part of the UK Home Blog Hop on Monday last week. Some pieces are available already, with more hitting the stores soon.


I've always wanted to go to the Chelsea Flower Show, so when I was invited by one of my favourite stores, Oka, to do just that I knew some serious precision childcare planning would need to be sorted as a matter of urgency.

We started at the Fulham Road flagship store in Chelsea, for a faux flower arranging workshop and afternoon tea.

Now, I'm going to admit that I was in two minds about this (the faux flower bit - I'm always good with afternoon tea, FYI), as I've never been a fan of fauxs, but as soon as I walked in and saw how incredibly realistic Oka's faux flowers are, I realised that my issue with fauxs, lies with faux plants, not faux flowers. For me, faux plants are for showrooms, restaurants, corporate settings, and photo shoots. Not for homes. BUT cut flowers on the other hand, and cut foliage is different, and this is why...

Quite simply, cut flowers and foliage are purely ornamental - their only job is to look pretty. Living plants however, not only bring life to a room, but they have air-purifying qualities, and they, you know, grow. I won't be converting to faux plants any time soon, but I'm officially a convert to high-quality faux blooms!

It was SO fun doing the flower arranging workshop. I think mine was the messiest and least formal looking arrangement, and I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing. I think it was because I'm drawn to the more casual looking, blousy flowers like Peonies and Hydrangeas. Well that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

After we finished our arrangements, we had a delicious floral inspired afternoon tea at the store (sorry, no pics - I was way too busy stuffing my face and chatting) with bubbles, before jumping into cabs to the Flower Show, where we headed straight to the Dorchester Pop-Up Bar for a quick cocktail before heading off to check out the displays. What a fab day!

More on the show itself soon...

Okay, I'm exhausted after writing this 'brief' round-up post, I tried to finish writing this on Friday, but it was half-term and what can I say? The kids had other plans...

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