Friday, July 27

Dream Living & Dining Room Reveal with West Elm

Well today is the day I finally show you my new look living and dining rooms. YAY! I've been working on these rooms for the past few months (and thinking about it even longer), and I do believe they are finished. About time huh? But apparently all good things come to those who wait, or something like that, and I am SO happy with the results!

 Dream Living & Dining Room Reveal with West Elm - French For Pineapple Blog
Thea Chairs / Art Display Coffee Table / Distressed Foliage Rug
You can have a look here to see my original moodboards and plans that I worked on in conjunction with a fab in-house West Elm designer. Such a great (and free) service you should check out. There's literally no obligation to buy, but trust me, you will want to!

So what's changed in the rooms? Well, almost everything!


 Dream Living & Dining Room Reveal with West Elm - French For Pineapple Blog

New Radiators:

The old rusted radiators have been replaced with lovely new ones from soak.com. They're perfect for this space because they're modern but quiet, and blend in nicely, but are also good-looking and I no longer feel the need to hide them in photos. Bonus!

They're the Flat Panel Vertical Radiators, quite modern, but are also a nice contrast in traditional spaces. I've replaced the radiator in the hall with one of their Colosseum radiators, and you'll see that once I've painted and added some artwork to that area. A woman's work is never done!

Their radiators are great really value, so definitely take a look at their range when you're next in the market.


 Dream Living & Dining Room Reveal with West Elm - French For Pineapple Blog

 Dream Living & Dining Room Reveal with West Elm - French For Pineapple Blog


New Wallpaper:

I changed the much darker wallpaper on the backs of the shelves, for a grasscloth effect one from Zoffany. It's called Wild Silk, and I chose the Linen colour. Just one roll of wallpaper can have such a big impact on the backs of shelves, adding so much interest and depth. And this one is the perfect backdrop to my bits and pieces, with it's texture it's interesting and draws the eye in, but it doesn't take away from what's on the shelves.

 Dream Living & Dining Room Reveal with West Elm - French For Pineapple Blog


New Colour:

Gone is the pink which I did truly love, but I was really craving a calmer, softer look in here, and something lighter and brighter.

In this case I wanted a pale neutral, but not bright white or grey. So many colours that I loved in theory, looked grey in our north facing dining room. I really struggled until I had a colour consultation with the very lovely Helen Shaw of Shaw Paints, who are the UK distributors of Benjamin Moore paint.

 Dream Living & Dining Room Reveal with West Elm - French For Pineapple Blog
Metal Framed Oversize Round Mirror in Brass

 Dream Living & Dining Room Reveal with West Elm - French For Pineapple Blog
Industrial Outline Table Lamp

I'm going to write another post about my chat with her it in the next few weeks because it was super helpful for me, and I'm sure it will be to anyone else who is struggling to find exactly the right paint colour too.

The colour I ended up choosing is called Navajo White. It's got a good dose of yellow in it, making it a creamy white with a touch of beige. A fabulous light neutral if you're after something that's not white or light grey, and as I found out, off-whites are actually really tricky!

The Benjamin Moore paint was really lovely to use (it's only been available in the UK since September last year). I've used the same colour on the walls, woodwork, coving and ceilings - I used the Regal Select in Matt Finish on the walls, the Regal Select in Eggshell Finish on the woodwork, and I went for the Aura Semi-Gloss on the coving and ceilings. Inside the bookshelves in the dining room, I've used the Advance Satin which is a tougher option for woodwork.

The colour works beautifully with the parquet, and together they set an elegant, grown-up base for the furniture, artwork and accessories.

 Dream Living & Dining Room Reveal with West Elm - French For Pineapple Blog

 Dream Living & Dining Room Reveal with West Elm - French For Pineapple Blog

New Floor:

As I said in my post yesterday about my Amtico floor installation, I've always believed in the transformative power of paint, and that flooring sets the tone. Big time.

The parquet really does add an air of elegance that I've always wanted and just couldn't get with my previous flooring, and I adore it.

 Dream Living & Dining Room Reveal with West Elm - French For Pineapple Blog

 Dream Living & Dining Room Reveal with West Elm - French For Pineapple Blog

 Dream Living & Dining Room Reveal with West Elm - French For Pineapple Blog
Oswald Tufted Slipper Chair

New Furniture & Accessories:

I was going to say that of all the beautiful things from West Elm in these rooms, that the Thea chairs residing in the bay window are my favourites. And they might be, but I also adore the table, the huge brass framed, mirror, the sofa, the coffee table... and the lamps, cushions and rug! Truth is, I love it all, and every time I walk into these rooms the combination of everything makes me smile. So maybe I don't have a favourite after all.

 Dream Living & Dining Room Reveal with West Elm - French For Pineapple Blog

I love a coffee table with a shelf for display, meaning the top can be kept relatively clear, and it's such a nice change having a round one too - no corners for small boys to bump into.

 Dream Living & Dining Room Reveal with West Elm - French For Pineapple Blog

 Dream Living & Dining Room Reveal with West Elm - French For Pineapple Blog
Sloane Sofa / Textured Silk Fringe Cushions
Apparently cats aren't interested in leather, and so far so good, Cleo has not really been on the lovely new Sloane sofa much. Fingers crossed she stays uninterested and that she doesn't take in interest in the Thea chairs either!

 Dream Living & Dining Room Reveal with West Elm - French For Pineapple Blog

 Dream Living & Dining Room Reveal with West Elm - French For Pineapple Blog

 Dream Living & Dining Room Reveal with West Elm - French For Pineapple Blog

I'm particularly happy that for the first time in the ten years we've lived in this house, the dining room actually works. The table shape and size is just right for this tricky space with so many doors, and it's already been used so much more than ever before. It's no longer a storage room and thoroughfare, but a gorgeous space that I want to be in.

 Dream Living & Dining Room Reveal with West Elm - French For Pineapple Blog
Silhouette Oval Dining Table

The oversized brass framed mirror is such a statement piece and is just made for the wall above the sideboard in the dining room. We've moved our spot print to the wall opposite and it's reflected in the mirror now which I love.

So there you go - two more rooms done and dusted. I intend to relax and enjoy them for the rest of the summer, before getting to work on my next projects!

This post is in collaboration with West Elm. Thanks so much for your support in helping me transform these rooms! 

And to my other fabulous sponsors too - Amtico for the floor of dreams, Benjamin Moore UK for the beautiful paint, soak.com for the lovely radiators, and Zoffany for that fab wallpaper.

I really hope you like the new look! Let me know what your favourite thing is in the comments below...


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Thursday, July 26

Amtico Flooring Installation [Aka My Dream Parquet Floor!]

I’ve always maintained that paint is the single most easy and effective way of transforming a room. And that floors set the tone. This is why no matter what colour I painted the living and dining rooms, I was never a hundred percent happy with the rooms. The fact is, I really hated our previous white painted floorboards that always ended up looking more shabby than chic. They were not my friend.

Carpet throughout the middle floor of our house (stairs, hall, landings and bedrooms) just under a year ago, massively improved those rooms, and now Amtico flooring throughout the ground floor of the house, has completely and utterly transformed it.

Amtico Flooring Installation AKA My Dream Parquet Floor - French For Pineapple Blog

Last week my Amtico floors were expertly and pristinely fitted (by Ceramtile on behalf of Amtico, who cover East London, Essex and Hertfordshire) in the hallway, living room, dining room and kitchen. And they’re the icing on the cake. Or should I say the foundation on which the cake is built? I don’t know, but whatever, they really do change the tone of the room, and have allowed me to achieve the look and feel I've always wanted. We've gone from rough around the edges to really rather smart and elegant, and that's music to my ears.

I’ve had loads of queries about my new floors, so I thought it would be useful to give you a rundown in layman's terms of the unbelievably quick process.

Amtico Flooring Installation AKA My Dream Parquet Floor - French For Pineapple Blog

I had done my homework and asked the questions, so there weren’t any surprises during the installation. Phew!

I had two main concerns before doing said homework (aside from actually choosing the right colour which is a whole other story!):

1. The most important thing for me was that it could be laid over the existing floorboards, and that there would be no need to remove the skirting boards. I just didn't want that level of upheaval - removing everything from the floors so they could be fitted was as much as I could deal with!

2. As a consequence of not removing the skirting boards, that there would not be a need to have a trim/beading around the perimeter of the rooms.

These points were non-negotiable, as removing the skirting boards would have had a massive knock-on effect and I just didn’t want to go there. Nor did I want the trim, as I don’t like the way it looks.

On Thursday morning two Amtico fitters arrived, and got to work laying a 6mm ply base over the existing floorboards – so the hall, living room and dining room, and the small space outside the cellar door were completely covered. And to be honest, I could barely contain my excitement even at that point to be saying goodbye to the old floorboards. 

Amtico Flooring Installation AKA My Dream Parquet Floor - French For Pineapple Blog

Amtico Flooring Installation AKA My Dream Parquet Floor - French For Pineapple Blog

The cracks in the concrete kitchen floor base (I had removed most of the flooring and trim in there the day before), and all the joins in the ply, were covered with a fast drying cement, smoothed off, and then the real fun began. 

Amtico Flooring Installation AKA My Dream Parquet Floor - French For Pineapple Blog

By lunchtime, the first couple of rows of flooring went down in the living and dining rooms using an Amtico adhesive. I had decided to go with a classic one colour small Parquet (Herringbone) laying pattern, in Amtico’s Brushed Oak from their Signature range, which comes with a lifetime warranty. Pretty amazing right?!

Amtico Flooring Installation AKA My Dream Parquet Floor - French For Pineapple Blog

Amtico Flooring Installation AKA My Dream Parquet Floor - French For Pineapple Blog

Make no mistake – I looked at a LOT of samples to get to my choice! I wanted something really classic and timeless, and for me that meant nothing too warm (so out went the redder tones), nor too cold (bye-bye to the greys), and finally arrived at the Brushed Oak (with a little help from Instagram too!).

I’m so pleased with the choice as it’s neither too dark or light, the colour is really neutral so it goes with absolutely everything. I had been a bit concerned that the rooms would feel much darker with the brown wood tone replacing the white floorboards (and replacing the previous grey cement look click-fit floor in the kitchen), but it really hasn’t had that effect at all which is a pleasant surprise.

Amtico Flooring Installation AKA My Dream Parquet Floor - French For Pineapple BlogThe Brushed Oak has a lovely, slightly aged look to it, but without looking rustic (which I didn’t want), so it was definitely worth all the hours pouring over samples and agonising over the choice!

Back to the installation... by the end of day one, over half of the living and dining rooms were complete, and a latex screed was poured in the kitchen in the afternoon. This is a self-levelling compound, that dries super fast, and by around 7pm, the screed was dry enough to walk on, and Cleo came out of hiding to inspect the work. She was impressed too.

Amtico Flooring Installation AKA My Dream Parquet Floor - French For Pineapple Blog

Amtico Flooring Installation AKA My Dream Parquet Floor - French For Pineapple Blog


Amtico Flooring Installation AKA My Dream Parquet Floor - French For Pineapple Blog


The next day it was three hands on deck and they got right to work like the well-oiled machine they clearly are. The process of the edges where the flooring meets the skirting was fascinating, and each piece was cut to size to butt right up to my less than perfect skirting.

Amtico Flooring Installation AKA My Dream Parquet Floor - French For Pineapple Blog

So don’t let anyone tell you that this can’t be done. And the reason it can be done, is that unlike a lot of flooring, Amtico doesn’t require an expansion gap. It’s solid vinyl, falling into the LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tile) category, and does not expand, even when wet. For this reason, it’s also a brilliant choice for kitchens and bathrooms.

As fascinating as the process was, I didn’t want to distract the guys with too many geeky questions, so kept my distance (kind of!), but I was so impressed with their attention to detail.

Amtico Flooring Installation AKA My Dream Parquet Floor - French For Pineapple Blog

They were completely finished by around 4pm on the second day, and left me feeling deliriously happy with the new floors. I knew, the transformation would be major, but quite honestly, it was even more transformative than I thought, and I was actually feeling quite emotional. Yes, I'm aware that's a bit over the top, but this was a long time coming, and really a flooring dream come true for me.

Amtico Flooring Installation AKA My Dream Parquet Floor - French For Pineapple Blog

It’s been six days now, and I still feel SO happy every time I walk downstairs and am greeted with this amazing floor. It looks like a different house, and I’m even dreading winter way less, now that I know there will be no ‘natural’ air conditioning (aka icy breeze) wrapping itself around our ankles in the living room through the old gappy floors! There’s ZERO chance I’ll be tiring of looking at these any time soon. Or ever.

Amtico Flooring Installation AKA My Dream Parquet Floor - French For Pineapple Blog

Pop back tomorrow to see how it looks all dressed up in the new look Living and Dining rooms – they’ve had quite the transformation! The furniture looks amazing against the parquet backdrop and I honestly couldn’t be more pleased.

Amtico Flooring Installation AKA My Dream Parquet Floor - French For Pineapple Blog

This post is in collaboration with Amtico. Giddy, fuzzy, happy thoughts, all mine.
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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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