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.


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...


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.


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


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


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


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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