Wednesday, July 11

Our New Leesa Mattress [Sponsored]

To say my husband was sceptical when I told him I wanted to replace our not very old traditional sprung mattress with a new premium foam one from Leesa is an understatement.

Although always supportive of my work and the constant, never-ending, chaos inducing changes in the house, I actually thought he might veto this one!

But he didn’t. And I’m so pleased, because from the very minute I lay down on our new mattress, I knew we’d made a wise move.

French For Pineapple Blog - Leesa Mattress Review

He always found our old mattress more comfortable than I did. He’s a better sleeper in general anyway, possessing the enviable skill of being able to fall into a deep sleep within minutes of his head hitting the pillow, but prefers a firmer mattress than me, and our old mattress was a medium tension. So although it was a great mattress for him, it wasn’t for me in the end.

I was very intrigued to try a Leesa mattress, having only ever slept on traditional sprung, tufted mattresses before. And I’m actually lying on it as I write this post, trying to put my finger on exactly what it is that makes it so comfortable, and I think it’s that the top layer of foam is super squishy (technical term), but the next layer down is firmer, so although it's soft and squishy, it's supported by a firmer layer below.

That’s my highly scientific explanation and I’m sticking to it.

French For Pineapple Blog - Leesa Mattress Review

French For Pineapple Blog - Leesa Mattress Review

And if you look at the facts, they back up my theory, although the mattress is actually made of three distinctly different foam layers...

The top layer (the soft and squishy one) is made from Avena cooling foam, and provides airflow and bounce. See? I was right!

The next layer is pressure relieving memory foam, and then the base layer provides strength and structure, so I guess it’s the overall combination making it feel soft and squishy yet weirdly not. You get comfort AND support, and both my husband and I were sold after our first sleep on it. Soft enough for me, yet firm enough for him. Needless to say we decided very quickly that we didn’t need or want to keep our old mattress for backup, nor take advantage of the 100 night risk free trial.

French For Pineapple Blog - Leesa Mattress Review

French For Pineapple Blog - Leesa Mattress Review

French For Pineapple Blog - Leesa Mattress Review

I’m definitely more excited about sinking into bed at night now. And my concerns about the bed looking flat without a tufted mattress (yes, these things matter to me!) were unfounded, as once it’s made, it looks no different than any other mattress would.

Our fitted sheets actually fit perfectly now which is a bonus, as they weren’t deep enough for our very thick old mattress, and kept popping off in the night (super annoying), and I love that it's a neutral colour that you can’t see through white sheets.

The fact Leesa mattresses are delivered compressed and rolled in a box makes the whole new mattress process infinitely easier, though make no mistake, our super king is still a hefty weight, and I had to wait for Ed to come home to lift it upstairs.

Once it's next to your base, you unbox it on its side, lift it onto your bed base and remove the plastic to watch it decompress. Within an hour it’s good to go. And no, you don't have to watch it decompress, though I can confirm that a certain young six year old and his furry little feline friend both did exactly that, whilst trying to resist the urge to jump on it.


French For Pineapple Blog - Leesa Mattress Review

French For Pineapple Blog - Leesa Mattress Review

The new mattress smell does take a while to go, but it's not an offensive smell at all. I feel I'm moving around less in the night and it's actually enabled me to sleep on my back a bit more too which is great as I've been trying unsuccessfully to break my life-long stomach sleeping habit for years.

I admit that I was definitely sceptical about foam mattresses, though not quite as much as my husband, but we're both super impressed, and I can wholeheartedly recommend Leesa.

And even better, I have a discount code for you, so if you’re in the market for a new mattress, you can get a whopping £100 off. Just pop FRENCHFORPINEAPPLE in at the checkout.

This post is in collaboration with Leesa, who provided me with a mattress for review, but all thoughts are my own.

This post contains affiliate links which means I earn a small percentage of a sale if you click the links and purchase a product.


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Friday, June 15

Dream Living & Dining Room Makeover with West Elm: The Plans

Imagine my excitement levels right now to be working with one of my all time favourite brands. Yes, that's right, I'm doing a living AND dining room makeover with West Elm!

West Elm have been in the UK for four and half years, with the first store opening on Tottenham Court Road in London in December 2013, to MUCH excitement among the interior lovers ranks, who like me, had admired them from afar for much longer. So as you can imagine it didn't take me long to get myself in store for some real life product swooning way back then, and I've continued to do so ever since.


French For Pineapple Blog - West Elm Living & Dining Room Makeover Plans

Anyway, it's not like they actually need an introduction, but do you but do you know that they offer an in-house design service? It's completely free, and comes with no obligation to buy. There's an in-person option, which can be either at a store or if you live close they can even come to you. And if you're not near a store you can have a phone consultation. Fabulous designers that can help you with your room design, the floor plans, mockups, even give you advice on colour and rug size and all the things that are so often tricky to get right. In fact they can advise you on everything from your key pieces of furniture, right down to accessories if you want them to.

French For Pineapple Blog - West Elm Living & Dining Room Makeover Plans



If you're a regular reader of my blog, you'll know that I'm not short on ideas of how I want a room to look, and I'm very specific about what I'll have in my home. So why would I need their help?

Well, there is something exciting about having a fresh set of eyes and a creative mind, brainstorming with you about a space in your home. Someone that isn't your sick-to-death-of-hearing-about-it other half, but instead, someone who is actively interested in your dilemma about which lamps will work best on the sideboard, should you go for a round or rectangular coffee table, and will that sofa work in the space. The best thing about an impartial fresh set of eyes, is that they'll see your room in a way you won't have. It was actually a revelation and such a great experience to sit down with Clara in the  Tottenham Court Road store and thrash out a plan.

French For Pineapple Blog - West Elm Living & Dining Room Makeover Plans

You may or may not know that a new herringbone parquet floor is imminent throughout the ground floor (more about that here) which will completely transform the look of the rooms. From this base I'm planning pale neutral walls, and I want to keep the rooms feeling fresh, modern, warm and welcoming, with a bit of drama and glamour thrown in for good measure.
French For Pineapple Blog - West Elm Living & Dining Room Makeover Plans
After my consultation Clara put together a presentation for me, including a floor plan and mockups with products we discussed and existing pieces that are staying, and it's spot on.

Here's what she came back with...

Luxe & Modern

Strong graphics are complemented by luxurious brass, acacia, and walnut wood pieces.
Black details add some edge, while the leather Sloane sofa finishes off the room with a sleek and elegant presence.

Accessories with a luxe but clean look for both the living room and dining area.

Yes Clara! As I said - spot on...

French For Pineapple Blog - West Elm Living & Dining Room Makeover Plans
Mobile Chandelier - Grand, Silhouette Table - Oval

After ten years of the wrong dining table in this tricky room of doors and openings (see the floor plan), I'm so excited that we firmly agreed on the stunning and rather glamorous oval Silhouette Table, which is a match made in furniture heaven when paired with my recently acquired vintage Arkana chairs. Honestly, they are meant to be together, but when I bought them I had no idea just how perfect they would turn out to be, or that they would be teamed with this dream of a dining table, I just knew I had to have them. Serendipity, I'm sure.

To say I'm excited about the new direction for this room is a massive understatement. I feel like it's finally heading in the right direction after all these years of just never being quite right.

The dining room requires little else other that some new accessories and lamps, and it will be as done as a room in my house ever is.

French For Pineapple Blog - West Elm Living & Dining Room Makeover Plans
Industrial Outline Table Lamps, Metal Framed Oversized Round Mirror

Moving on to the living room, the old sofa, the vintage leather chair and coffee table have all gone to new homes. The pink chair remains at this point, although it desperately needs to be reupholstered, and may go and live in another room. Don't worry, my vintage pieces have gone to live in very good homes - I always did want my Pieff chair to be tan and not black, so it's gone to it's forever home now, where it's loved just the way it is. And maybe a vintage tan one will come into my possession one day. I'm a firm believer in stuff like that (did I mention my Arkana chairs?!)

French For Pineapple Blog - West Elm Living & Dining Room Makeover Plans
Wood + Resin Round Table, Sloane Sofa, Pink Sorbet Woven Silk Cushion, Gold Dust Textured Silk Fringe Cushion, Mid-Century Art Display Round Coffee Table, Valley Ridge Rug
The Sloane sofa is a sleek leather number, which is a real departure for me, but I wanted a different look in here. Apparently cats aren't that interested in leather, so I'm hoping Cleo doesn't destroy it immediately. It's the softest supple leather, and a taupe colour with the loveliest curves. I'm really looking forward to seeing how it fits. And to having the odd Sunday snooze on it too. Surely that's the real test of a good sofa, non?

French For Pineapple Blog - West Elm Living & Dining Room Makeover Plans
Eden Cross Base Standing Planter, Thea Chair (coming in August), Pink Sorbet Woven Silk Cushion, Brass Martini Side Table, Valley Ridge Rug
The round Art Display coffee table is going to be a lovely fit in here, with a lower tier to display favourite things, whilst keeping the top pretty clear for a little boy who loves to use the living room as his playground. And no sharp corners, which is also great for him. It will be nice to have a bit more clear space in the room rather than filling it to the brim which is my usual style. At least that's the plan...

French For Pineapple Blog - West Elm Living & Dining Room Makeover Plans
Image: West Elm Thea Chair
And have I mentioned Thea yet? Well allow me to introduce you to the chair of actual dreams. In fact, I don't think I've been as excited about a piece of furniture ever. I'm also extremely excited about the Crescent Swivel Chair too, and for me, these chairs mark an exciting turn in high street furniture design, and are exactly the kind of pieces I've been wanting to see more of in the UK. Apparently (and unsurprisingly!), Thea was an immediate sell out when she hit the US West Elm stores, and I predict the same will happen here. So keep a keen eye out, because once she hits the UK website and stores, it's game on.

French For Pineapple Blog - West Elm Living & Dining Room Makeover Plans
Image: West Elm Crescent Swivel Chair

I'm undecided about a rug in here. Part of me thinks no rug, so I can see as much of the beautiful new floor as much as possible, and part of me thinks yes to a rug to add some softness and more texture. I think I probably will add one, but wait for everything else to be finished first before choosing one.

I'm pretty sure my beloved vintage lucite trolley which I currently use as my beside table will need to come back downstairs into the living room because we will need at least one side table, though I really love it as my bedside and don't know what I'll replace it with. Actual dilemmas!

So that's it. I hope you like the plans for these rooms. Watch this space, and my Instagram stories for updates and sneak peeks - I'll be painting next week, and of course I'll show you the finished rooms just as soon as I can!

I highly recommend taking advantage of West Elm's in-house design service whether you know exactly what you want, or haven't a clue - they are super helpful, knowledgeable and creative, and if you are in doubt about what will work, you will come away feeling much more confident about your choices.

This post is in collaboration with West Elm.




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Monday, June 11

The Best Indoor Planters [That Aren't Baskets or Mid-Century Style]


I love my indoor plants, but I’m bored of most of my planters, so I’ve been on the lookout for alternatives.

I used to have lots of baskets but yep, you guessed it, I’m over them, so I'm sharing my favourite alternatives with you here today.

As an aside, I tend not to repot plants directly into planters, probably a hangover from having used lots of baskets in the past, and you obviously couldn't, well, shouldn't, plant directly into a basket. Rather, I place the plant pot into the planter, which also takes care of drainage issues as your plant pots would normally have a drainage hole and tray, or as I like to use, self-watering pots which are self-contained, but I don't particularly love the look of them on their own.

As well as baskets, I'm also leaving mid-century style hairpin leg, and ceramic ones with turned wooden legs out today, as I feel they’ve both been around for ages now, and are pretty widely available. 

They're all classics, and there's nothing wrong with them, but what are the other options if you’re not into those staples, or just want to mix it up a bit? Well, I’ll tell you...

Galvanised:

Traditionally used outdoors, there’s no reason not to use them inside too, like I have in my TV room to hide the self-watering pot, and the height also seems to deter Cleo from attacking my beloved Fiddle Leaf Fig. For now at least! 

The Best Indoor Planters French For Pineapple Blog
Image: Bianca Hall

I love this planter so much that I’m considering another one for the living room when the redecorating is done. Used indoors these have a Parisian feel, and I just love the way they look with more modern furniture too. I got mine here, but they're widely available in different shapes and sizes.

Concrete:

Okay, concrete is already a staple, but I spotted these at the Broste Copenhagen press show last week (coming soon), and think they're fab. A bit different from what I've seen before, and again, great for indoors or outdoors. 

The Best Indoor Planters French For Pineapple Blog
Image: Bianca Hall


Faceted:

I’m a bit (oh alright, a LOT) obsessed with all things faceted right now, and these planters are no exception. A refreshing change and they look super sleek indoors or out. I prefer them in neutral colours personally, and these Habitat ones come in white and grey in two different styles. Check out these West Elm ones too.

The Best Indoor Planters French For Pineapple Blog
Image: Habitat



Statement: 

I absolutely LOVE these stunning Modern planters from West Elm. They’re super striking and actually look amazing even without anything planted in them as sculptural pieces. They're suitable for indoors or out, made from a composite stone and resin material, but look ceramic.

The Best Indoor Planters French For Pineapple Blog
Image: West Elm


Urns:

Metal or Stone look (or real stone if you can afford it and your floors can take the weight) urns are an old favourite of mine, and make a real statement. They look amazing planted up with big Boston or Maidenhair ferns if you’re lucky enough to be able to keep one alive for more than a few weeks, and are a real showpiece. Huge ones on the floor, or smaller ones as a centre piece on a table or sideboard look fab and are a bit different too. Wayfair have loads of options, including my one below, but sadly this fern is no longer with us.

The Best Indoor Planters French For Pineapple Blog
Image: Bianca Hall 









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Thursday, May 31

Afternoon Tea With Villeroy & Boch

When Villeroy & Boch asked if I'd like to style some of their tableware products for a blog post, I knew immediately what I'd do. I love styling tableware, and I love pink glass too, so it had to be a pink themed afternoon tea setting! And what better excuse than to go out and buy beautiful flowers and posh macarons? I can think of none...


In my mind, if you're going to go to the trouble of doing afternoon tea, you should make sure it's as pretty as possible. And you should ALWAYS include macarons and finger sandwiches.

I selected items from three different collections to style the dining table:

Montauk, is brand new, and has a lovely relief rope motif, and is the prettiest off-white porcelain. The collection includes these oval side plates, which I think are just the perfect mini platter size. Platters are often too big for smaller gatherings, so I end up using plates instead (and then not having enough plates!), but these are spot-on for fruit, and of course, the aforementioned macarons and finger sandwiches. They're also perfect for cold-cuts, olives, pickles and cheeses.



The cups and saucers are so pretty with fresh mint tea, and I've added the Boston pink crystal glass tumblers (filled with fresh lemonade no less), into the mix to stop everything being too matchy, to give setting a more casual look, and of course to add a pop of colour.




These tumblers which also come in several different colours, are really stunning, and are now my new favourite glasses to drink from (water, juice, cocktails...). Watch-out to the first person to break one of them, because I won't be happy! They're heavy based and the textured exterior is just lovely.



And speaking of pink glass, the Coloured DeLight collection has some absolute beauties. My new favourite vase, which also doubles as a hurricane lantern, is the prettiest 'noble rose' colour, and has actually reinvigorated my love of fresh flowers.




I'd been consistently favouring muted greenery over blousy blooms, but this vase was just crying out for the latter! I filled it with pink and white tulips, sweet peas and ranunculus. So pretty! The only problem is that it seems that Cleo the kitten is quite the flower fan too, which I discovered after leaving the vase on the table unattended, only to return to a sheepish looking kitten, and lots of beheaded flowers! So I will have to keep fresh flowers on the bench where she can't get to them for the foreseeable, but I can cope with that, and the vase brightens up any space, and actually looks fab in my otherwise mostly monochrome kitchen.



Another favourite are these gorgeous little tea light holders also from the Coloured DeLight collection, which I have chosen in clear and 'berry fantasy'. A different pink to the vase and the tumblers, but they all look so pretty together. These also make the sweetest little bud-vases, and again the glass is thick and heavy - such great quality, as you would expect from Villeroy & Boch.



I really am quite taken with all these pieces, and in case you're wondering, I most definitely DID eat and drink the props, and the macarons (rose, vanilla and tonka) were delicious, as were the smoked salmon, cream cheese and cucumber sandwiches. What is it about a sandwich with the crusts cut off that make them so good?! Answers on a postcard. Or in the comments below...

I'd also love to know what your favourite pieces are, and what food just has to be on your fantasy afternoon tea table?

This post is in collaboration with Villeroy & Boch.


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Tuesday, May 29

Master Bedroom Makeover: The Greige Edition

I'm sure I've said before, that the term 'Master Bedroom' in a normal, non-palatial home, totally cracks me up, hence the reason I can't resist using the term. But yes, it's just my bedroom. Nothing 'Master' about it, except that it's a little bit bigger than Edie's bedroom and has built-in wardrobes, so does that count?

In my dreams, it will be a proper Master Bedroom one day, with a slight re-jig of bedrooms, with a walk-through wardrobe and ensuite ala Kate Watson-Smyth's bedroom. One day.

French For Pineapple Blog - Master Bedroom May 2018

French For Pineapple Blog - Master Bedroom May 2018

But in the meantime, I hope you'll enjoy its latest look. Gone is the saturated pink, the darkest off-black and whatever it was before then (sage green?), and here is the May 2018 version. All greige and neutral, and well, I hope, Boutique Hotel-esque. At least what my version of a Boutique Hotel is.

Now first, let me say a thing or two in defence of greige and beige, which have dreadfully bad names these days (but not for long, I might add!). These colours have become synonymous with boring and bland, and understandably so, as for years they have been in the wrong hands, and have had the life and soul sucked out of them.

French For Pineapple Blog - Master Bedroom May 2018

French For Pineapple Blog - Master Bedroom May 2018

French For Pineapple Blog - Master Bedroom May 2018

French For Pineapple Blog - Master Bedroom May 2018

They have fallen in with the likes of Magnolia, and this really should not have happened. Because far from being safe and boring, they are actually magical colours (and pretty damn hard to get right too), that don't shout, but play a special role in a room whilst letting the other pieces take centre stage. Yet they're not boring, they're warm and welcoming. Not many colours can lay claim to that, so think about it next time, before you outright dismiss them as I have in the past. And it's not only me that's of this opinion: these colours were super popular at Milan Design Week last month, so, you know, expect to see a whole lot more of these warm neutrals over the next few years.

The colour I have chosen (and yes, after MUCH deliberation), is Donkey Ride by Earthborn Paints. The same colour as Edie's bedroom, which is in fact, breaking one of my own cardinal rules, but I loved it so much in there, that I just couldn't help myself.

It's a gorgeous neutral, and I can't recommend it highly enough. My bedroom is south-facing, and Edie's is north-facing, so it looks quite different in each room, but consistently lovely.

Also gone in here are the painted floorboards, replaced with this beautiful Light Taupe carpet from Cormar Carpets. Although it's been in for six months now, I swear it still makes me happy every single day. Plush carpet in bedrooms, brings a whole other layer of luxury that hard flooring just can not do. It's in the kids rooms too, and on the stairs, landings and back hallway. You can read more about that here - it really has transformed these parts of the house.

French For Pineapple Blog - Master Bedroom May 2018

In warmer countries, I probably wouldn't opt for carpet in the bedrooms, but here in the UK, I will take all the comfort and warmth on offer thanks, so my vote is for carpet all the way!

In my quest for a Boutique Hotel-esque bedroom, a wall of floor to ceiling velvet curtains were non-negotiable. So a happy arrangement with the absolutely fabulous Drop It Modern last year, resulted in these beauties coming into my world. They sat perfectly folded in their boxes rather shamefully for MONTHS as fear of getting the whole curtain track thing wrong, apparently paralysed me. See here for more about my fears and how the wonderful Shading Specialists eventually came to my rescue and hung them for me. To say I'm pleased with them is an understatement. They are GORGEOUS, and again add another layer of luxury to the room (and do a much better job of making the room nice and dark that our old Roman Blinds did too!). They are THE perfect shade of taupe, and tone in perfectly with both the wall colour and my DIY headboard (which, for the record, I'm still very much in love with!).

French For Pineapple Blog - Master Bedroom May 2018

French For Pineapple Blog - Master Bedroom May 2018

The Albany Biba table lamps from House of Fraser (which sadly now appear to be sold out, but the floor lamp version is still available) are a brilliant addition. I needed something a little bit chunkier that their predecessors so that they held their own against the marbled backdrop and didn't disappear, and these are the perfect addition. I adore these Clarissa ones too, also Biba at House of Fraser, which are gorgeous (and currently on sale!). And I have to say the Leopard, Heron and Palm ones have caught my eye too. Did you know I have a thing for lamps?! I know, who'd have guessed?

French For Pineapple Blog - Master Bedroom May 2018

Linen bedding, is a firm favourite, and this my Soak & Sleep blush 100% Pure French Linen in blush (gifted a while back, but on our bed more often than not!), mixed in with a few other existing pieces.

French For Pineapple Blog - Master Bedroom May 2018

French For Pineapple Blog - Master Bedroom May 2018

Despite this room now being 'finished' (Ha! Is there actually any such thing!?), there are a few things I'd like to change. The round Ikea mirror isn't really doing it for me. I'd like something a bit bigger, perhaps with a brass frame, and in my dreams that bigger round mirror would be flanked with wall lights. And come to think of it, as lovely as the vintage chest of drawers is, I'd love to replace them with something that requires less of a push and a shove to open and close again! I know, never satisfied...

French For Pineapple Blog - Master Bedroom May 2018

French For Pineapple Blog - Master Bedroom May 2018

French For Pineapple Blog - Master Bedroom May 2018

French For Pineapple Blog - Master Bedroom May 2018

French For Pineapple Blog - Master Bedroom May 2018

The charcoal Agnes throw from Christy (also gifted), is actually meant for the TV Room, but I may have borrowed it for the bedroom. It's such beautiful quality, and I'm pretty sure it will make many appearances around the house. And as you can see, Cleo approves.

French For Pineapple Blog - Master Bedroom May 2018

French For Pineapple Blog - Master Bedroom May 2018

French For Pineapple Blog - Master Bedroom May 2018

French For Pineapple Blog - Master Bedroom May 2018

Ed also loves the room, as do I. It makes me happy and feels calm and uncluttered, and those things are pretty important to me these days. Now onto the living and dining rooms...

This post is in collaboration with Cormar Carpets, House of Fraser, Shading Specialists, Drop It Modern and Earthborn Paints.




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