Thursday, November 30

Velvet Fever In The Kitchen With Swaffer

When I was doing my kitchen re-fit, I knew the palm fabric on the banquette had to go. While the cushions had survived well enough over the last few years, the cover for the seat itself, was dirty, worn and very badly faded. I was also ready for a change as the pattern defined the room to a certain extent, and it was time to move on from that look.

I didn't want to replace it with another pattern as I wanted to keep things quite pared back and calm, (give or take a cushion or two!) but I did want texture and warmth. I considered two fabrics only, which were linen and velvet.

French For Pineapple - Velvet Fever In The Kitchen With Swaffer

Now I'm the first to admit that velvet probably isn't the most practical choice for a kitchen where kids sit to eat, but sometimes you have to put practical things aside, and go with your heart instead, and when a selection of beautiful velvet swatches from Swaffer landed on my door mat, I knew that there was no contest. It HAD to be velvet, practical or not!

However, it turns out that the Venice velvets actually have a built-in soil and stain repellent, which also prevents liquid spills from being absorbed. I can confirm that this has already been tested in our kitchen, and a food spill literally wiped right off, leaving no mark at all. So perhaps not such an impractical choice after all.

Originally I'd thought I'd go with blue, but when I saw this olivey-chartreuse colour, I fell in love immediately - it was THE ONE.

French For Pineapple - Velvet Fever In The Kitchen With Swaffer

I had intended to have box-cushion cover made, but decided that the velvet would sit better if it was upholstered onto the bench, so I recycled the original foam, and did just that. Have I ever told you how much I love my staple gun? I also had a local seamstress make a couple of bolster cushions out of the left-over fabric, which are super cute!

French For Pineapple - Velvet Fever In The Kitchen With Swaffer

French For Pineapple - Velvet Fever In The Kitchen With Swaffer

It's a complete coincidence that the cushions from Black Parrots just happen to be the perfect match, however, it's no coincidence that it's also a perfect match for the beautiful handblown glasses that I picked up on holiday in Formentera in the summer. I knew they had to come home to my kitchen, that was actually still in it's old guise at that point, to become friends with the velvet that would eventually go on the banquette. Yep, I'm that person.

I just adore how the green looks in the room, it picks up the greens from outside and somehow manages to be both bright yet muted.

French For Pineapple - Velvet Fever In The Kitchen With Swaffer

It's a seriously good quality fabric and very heavyweight, suitable for everything from curtains to cushions, bedspreads and fixed upholstery, which is why I decided to outsource the bolsters as I didn't want to destroy such a stunning fabric with my very basic sewing skills, and I also wasn't sure my sewing machine would actually be able to get through more than one layer of it.

I'm also head over heals for their Mineral Velvet Collection, and think that the Marble design may find it's way into my living room next year. It's just SO gorgeous!

French For Pineapple - Velvet Fever In The Kitchen With Swaffer

My other Swaffer favourite, and what I'd have used in the kitchen had I not fallen so hard for the velvet, is the Acer linen-look fabric, which comes in a staggering forty-eight beautiful colours, and is again suitable for curtains, blinds and upholstery.

French For Pineapple - Velvet Fever In The Kitchen With Swaffer

French For Pineapple - Velvet Fever In The Kitchen With Swaffer

Do check out the Swaffer range when you're looking for fabric for your home, I'm so glad I discovered them. There's a sample service on their website, and they're stocked at a huge number of retailers around the country (and world for that matter).

This post is in collaboration with Swaffer.








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Wednesday, November 15

My Mistral Worktops & Splash-backs!

Since the reveal of my new kitchen a few weeks ago, I've had LOADS of messages asking me about things that weren't mentioned in that particular post, and one of those things is my beautiful worktops and splashbacks - so let's talk about them today!

French For Pineapple Blog - My Mistral Worktops & Splashbacks

I actually can't believe that after ten years of living with rotten and broken in parts butchers block worktops, that these beautiful (acrylic-based) surfaces are actually ours - they finish off the kitchen in the best possible way.

Everything that went into the kitchen re-fit of course has a part in the finished look, but the worktops, really are the icing on the cake - they're SO important, and really do set the tone of the entire room.

What I love about the 'Mist' colour that I chose after MUCH deliberation is that it's classic and pale, but interesting, and even I, the Queen of getting bored easily, won't tire of it any time soon.


French For Pineapple Blog - My Mistral Worktops & Splashbacks

French For Pineapple Blog - My Mistral Worktops & Splashbacks

It has a warm pale grey base, with flecks of white and black, and because the flecks are dispersed throughout the full thickness, they give depth and variation in tone. From a distance, the different colours blend into one warm base colour, and it's not until you get closer that you see the detail, which is a really nice surprise. So as I said, pale, but interesting.

Mistral is classed as a solid surface worktop, but unlike some others, it's solid right through, making it a particularly stable product. So no MDF substrate, and therefore no risk of water damage and warping.

The fact that it can be manufactured to be fabricated on site, also makes it a much it a more affordable option than many. No templating required, which again keeps costs down. And did I mention that it's beautiful too?

French For Pineapple Blog - My Mistral Worktops & Splashbacks

I hadn't realised what a minefield choosing a worktop is until my kitchen refit, or the variety available. It's SO CONFUSING. But Mistral has a load of pros, so I thought I would list them here for you.

• Seamless joints. I have two - one on a work surface, and one on a splashback, and you've got to hunt for it with a magnifying glass to find them which is pretty amazing. They are virtually invisible.

• Same colour and design right through the whole thickness, meaning drainage grooves, undermounted sinks, and edges are not a problem.

• Heat resistant, and non-porous, making it stain resistant and hygienic, and they don't need to be sealed (or re-sealed!).

• Refinishable and repairable. It can be sanded and polished to remove any particularly stubborn stains or scratches, leaving it looking as good as new.

• Chemical, fire and UV resistant. Yep, this stuff is tough.

Mistral truly is a great choice for a hard-working family kitchen like ours. Practical and beautiful as you know, is always of utmost importance. Well, okay, sometimes I just ignore the practical bit for beauty, but with Mistral you don't have to.

French For Pineapple Blog - My Mistral Worktops & Splashbacks

As I mentioned above, there was a LOT of mind changing before I settled on Mist, which I don't regret one little bit, but I thought I'd share my not so short, shortlist with you too. I love all these colours / designs, and actually would have happily had any one of them...

The quiet, pale and interesting ones...

French For Pineapple Blog - My Mistral Worktops & Splashbacks

Clockwise from top left: Snowstorm, Polaris, Glacier & Mist

The slightly more attention seeking ones...

French For Pineapple Blog - My Mistral Worktops & Splashbacks

Clockwise from top left: Orka, Arctic Frost, Winter Drift, Zircona.


French For Pineapple Blog - My Mistral Worktops & SplashbacksFrench For Pineapple Blog - My Mistral Worktops & Splashbacks


French For Pineapple Blog - My Mistral Worktops & Splashbacks

So there you go! My kitchen secrets have been revealed. There are a few little bits and pieces that I keep being asked about, like 'that' Disco pot, so I'll put another post up within the next week or two with everything listed and linked, so that everything can be referenced from one post.

This post is in collaboration with Karonia, the makers of Mistral, who I am so thrilled to have been able to work with on my kitchen re-fit. Thank you Karonia!













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Monday, November 6

Drama Teen Bedroom Reveal!

I’ve been working on Edie’s bedroom between a myriad of other projects for quite a while. 

In fact, in between me originally designing this Drama Tween room, she’s actually gone and turned thirteen and is in fact a proper TEENAGER now, so I've revised the name to Drama Teen. And if someone finds out where the last thirteen years went, can they let me know?

French For Pineapple Blog - Teen Girls Bedroom


Anyway, the thing is, it should have been finished in July (I did the moodboard back in April!), and was kind of meant to be a birthday present, but that didn’t happen. Sometimes things just don’t go according to plan, and this was one of them, for no one particular reason, but a combination of many things, plus life. 

But the day has finally come when it's finished and I'm ready to share it! Whoop!

French For Pineapple Blog - Teen Girls Bedroom

French For Pineapple Blog - Teen Girls Bedroom

French For Pineapple Blog - Teen Girls Bedroom
Edie’s room was a mish-mash of colour, and just a bit of a mess before. I admit I didn't follow previous plans for her room through, and as a result it was looking worse than ever a few months back.

For her new room, she really wanted a big bed, and wanted it to be more grown up, a bit glam and a little bit cool.

In order to do this she got ruthless and threw away, gave to charity, and passed on a load of stuff to smaller family friends. I was impressed.

French For Pineapple Blog - Teen Girls Bedroom

French For Pineapple Blog - Teen Girls Bedroom

French For Pineapple Blog - Teen Girls Bedroom
We started with some amazing Drop It Modern wallpaper called Kitten, which quite frankly, injects instant cool into any space. It's fabulous and feminine without being really girly, and would work beautifully in a nursery, or grown up bedroom or living room. To be honest, I'm jealous that she has it and I don't.

French For Pineapple Blog - Teen Girls Bedroom

French For Pineapple Blog - Teen Girls Bedroom

I decided to set the wallpaper within frames that I made from dado rail from Skirting4U, which came pre-primed saving me loads of time, and keep the wallpaper and moulding to the wall behind her bed only. Then I painted everything in a warm greige colour by Earthborn Paints called Donkey Ride. It's a really soft pretty colour that changes quite dramatically depending on the light, and looks so good next to the wallpaper. I used their Lifestyle Emulsion on the walls, and Eggshell on all the woodwork. I've left the ceiling and cornicing white, but everything else was colour-washed with Donkey Ride. Earthborn paints are easy to work with, they don't smell, they're durable, breathable, have a gorgeous selection of colours, and are eco-friendly too. So if you don't know them, you should go check them out.

French For Pineapple Blog - Teen Girls Bedroom

French For Pineapple Blog - Teen Girls Bedroom

French For Pineapple Blog - Teen Girls Bedroom
I had been wanting to put carpet into the bedrooms for YEARS. I come from warmer climes, and I absolutely hate being cold - especially in the bedroom, where it should be warm and cosy. I couldn't be happier to now have replaced the carpet on the stairs with Cormar Carpet - specifically their Sensation carpet in Light Taupe, and it continues into the kids rooms and our bedroom too. Carpet not only makes a room physically warmer, but it imparts a feeling of comfort and luxury too, which is exactly how I want our bedrooms to feel. We absolutely love it, it has a subtle velvet-like sheen, and is super bouncy and soft to walk on. The kids may even love it more than me, and I love it a LOT.

French For Pineapple Blog - Teen Girls Bedroom
Edie's gorgeous new 'Redford' bed, came compliments of the very lovely Mood Collections, who do a fabulous range of upholstered furniture (and accessories including the most gorgeous mirrors). It was made to order in my choice of fabric and leg colour. Ridiculously soft Taupe velvet, and Ebony wooden legs since you asked. And it was made in my choice of colour, not because I'm a complete control freak*, but because it was a surprise. It has a softly curved headboard, is low to the ground, and incredibly inviting. She adores her new bed, which is great obviously, but I'm a little concerned she may never leave it.

*I might be a bit of a control freak.


French For Pineapple Blog - Teen Girls Bedroom

French For Pineapple Blog - Teen Girls Bedroom
On her bed is something she's been wanting for ages - beautiful French Linen in the palest blush, from Soak & Sleep. Yes, my daughter of thirteen knows the difference between cheap high street linen, and high quality French Linen, and I often used to find her snuggled up in our bed, under our Soak & Sleep linen, but now she has a set of her very own, which she loves. There's no going back for her now!

French For Pineapple Blog - Teen Girls Bedroom

French For Pineapple Blog - Teen Girls Bedroom

French For Pineapple Blog - Teen Girls Bedroom

I added some stunning gold hued velvet curtains, also from Drop It Modern, and her broken blind has been relegated to the scrap heap. The lovely thing about curtains (well, there are MANY lovely things), is that she can easily open and close them herself, whereas the blind was a total pain. But more importantly than the practicalities though, is that she absolutely loves them (and so do I!), and they add an extra layer of luxe-glam to her room.

French For Pineapple Blog - Teen Girls Bedroom

French For Pineapple Blog - Teen Girls Bedroom

And finally, alongside a few little bits and pieces, new cushions and lamps, she has this lovely 'Colette' chest of drawers from Maisons du Monde, which ties in beautifully with the ornate mirror that we've had for fourteen years and used to be in our bedroom. The natural wood adds more warmth and charm to her room and finishes the look perfectly.

French For Pineapple Blog - Teen Girls Bedroom

The design of this room has been a collaborative effort between Edie and I, as I really wanted her to have a say in how it was going to look. Oh, alright, I may have steered her in certain directions when needed, but she absolutely loves her new room now that it's finally finished and has a cohesive look. It's a room that will work for her for several years to come, and will be her own little sanctuary. She's a lucky young lady, but don't worry, she knows.

A massive thanks to the brands that worked with me on this transformation for Edie - I couldn't have done it without you!

This post is in collaboration with Earthborn PaintsMood CollectionsDrop It ModernCormar CarpetsMaisons du MondeSoak & Sleep & Skirting4U.





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