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.

New Year, New Look In The Living Room!

Happy new year everyone! I'm back at my desk and ready to kick of the year by showing you some changes that I've made to the living room over the past couple of weeks.

New Year, New Look In The Living Room - French For Pineapple Blog

In the run up to Christmas I finally got around to framing and adding a few new pieces to the monochrome gallery wall. The additions have had the desired effect of making the wall look more finished, and the tweaks to the layout work so much better than the previous incarnation. I think gallery wall layouts are really hard to get right, and feel like we're kind of there now with this one (between you and me, it was starting to drive me totally insane). The best part, is that it's made the room feel bigger as the gallery now extends right to each end of the wall, drawing the eye along, instead of just focussing on the area above the sofa only. I love that only three new pieces have had such a dramatic effect.

New Year, New Look In The Living Room - French For Pineapple Blog

But speaking of sofas, the most exciting, and biggest change in here, is our new sofa from Out & Out Original that arrived with perfect timing, a few days before Christmas, and it has completely transformed the room.

Allow me to introduce our new family member, Slouchy...

New Year, New Look In The Living Room - French For Pineapple Blog

New Year, New Look In The Living Room - French For Pineapple Blog

The Slouchy is a generously sized three seater sofa with a fabulous contemporary shape, that gives a subtle nod to mid-century style with tapered oak legs, stopping the overall design from feeling too heavy.

New Year, New Look In The Living Room - French For Pineapple Blog

New Year, New Look In The Living Room - French For Pineapple Blog

The super wide arm rests (which we've discovered are perfect for resting remotes, phones and ipads on - because let's be honest, sofa time in our house at least, nearly always includes some, or all of these gadgets) are the same height as the back, and the padding is integrated into the sofa, negating the need for separate seat and back cushions (though two optional back cushions are included as pictured below). These design details work together to enhance the streamlined, contemporary look.
New Year, New Look In The Living Room - French For Pineapple Blog

The wool textured mid-grey fabric, which is not too light, and not too dark, is super soft and cosy, and I can confirm, that as I've been rather under the weather for the last few weeks, that I have spent way more time than I usually would sat on the sofa, and it's very comfortable indeed. Like, don't-want-to-get-up-and-do-anything-else comfortable. It's extra deep, meaning it's great for snoozing on too (okay, I might have already tested out this option a few times too), or indeed just settling back with your feet curled up.

New Year, New Look In The Living Room - French For Pineapple Blog

New Year, New Look In The Living Room - French For Pineapple Blog

New Year, New Look In The Living Room - French For Pineapple Blog

I'm not sure if our old sofa which was also a three seater was particularly compact, but the Slouchy definitely has a more generous seating area - three people always felt way too close on the old sofa, but perfectly fine with our new one.

I've been hankering after something more contemporary, as obviously the design of a large piece of furniture such a sofa really defines the look of a room, and this shape just works so well in here.

Needless to say, it has a big thumbs up from the whole family, and has given the room a lovely fresh look and feel. I'm so happy with it! Can you tell!?

New Year, New Look In The Living Room - French For Pineapple Blog

New Year, New Look In The Living Room - French For Pineapple Blog

New Year, New Look In The Living Room - French For Pineapple Blog

New Year, New Look In The Living Room - French For Pineapple Blog

New Year, New Look In The Living Room - French For Pineapple Blog

New Year, New Look In The Living Room - French For Pineapple Blog

Out & Out Original, (who I'd like to add, though I'm not obliged to, have been such a pleasure to work with), also have a fantastic range of other furniture for both indoors and the garden. I'm totally eyeing up some of the outdoor options like the Malibu Luxury Greywash Wooden Lounge Set, which actually looks way too nice be used outdoors, and dreaming of some warm days when it could be used. With a cocktail in hand. Obvs. There's a real passion that drives this company, which is just lovely, so please do go and check them out.

New Year, New Look In The Living Room - French For Pineapple Blog

This post is in collaboration with Out & Out Original.

P.S You can also pop over to the Out & Out Original blog where I'm now a contributor, to see what I've been banging on about there.

Textured Wallpaper Shelves & Goodies From Curious Egg!

Yesterday I finally got around to wallpapering the backs of the shelves in the living room (more about that next week, including what I used, and all the options I looked at before choosing this one!).

I absolutely love the result, and I couldn't wait to put everything back onto the shelves, with the much more dramatic backdrop, along with a few new additions from Curious Egg.

Curious Egg - French For Pineapple Blog

Curious Egg is not just another online homewares shop. Nope. Delve into the beautifully curated Curious Egg collection, and I promise you'll find so many beautiful gems that you have most definitely not seen before. I can't tell you how happy that makes me! So refreshing in a world of sameiness (that's totally a word, right?).

Curious Egg - French For Pineapple Blog

Artist Lorraine Aaron (and husband Roddy!), launched Curious Egg last year. They travel regularly, and on these off the beaten track adventures, they source many of the pieces in the collection from artisan makers and entrepreneurs around the world.

Curious Egg - French For Pineapple Blog

I asked Lorraine to share her styling tips for the pieces I've chosen for this post...

The Kea Vase

Curious Egg - French For Pineapple Blog

'This is one of my favourites as it’s so different to our other vases and has great texture. The more you look the more you see. It’s like looking at the edge of a shoreline as the waves draws away and you see all the grains of sand, foam and little reflective channels of water. I’ve shown it on the website against a very clean crisp background to show off its gnarly surface but it can look fantastic next to really dark walls too. It’s like relic that’s been buried under the sea for centuries and the unusual glaze will make your room instantly more interesting and confident because its not immediately ‘pretty’ – more like a dug up relic it adds layers and story.  The jug shape looks great with medium ‘mop headed’ flowers like green chrysanthemums or ball headed thistles as well as flat headed ‘lacey’ types.'

The Ana Vase

Curious Egg - French For Pineapple Blog

'This vase looks beautiful sat on a little pile of two or three books on the coffee table or on a shelf between books or a console as the main focus.
To show this off best I’d place it beside solid colours rather than patterned walls to show off its beautiful speckled like glaze. It looks lovely against brownish pink such as Farrow and Ball’s pink ground or any flat grey from pale to charcoal.
It’s like an artwork in itself so looks great on its own or if you want to put flowers in the tubes you could experiment with really tall grasses and put the vase down on a low table or the floor. You could also try umbrella type seed heads –flat headed, sculptural flowers to play off against the vertical tube forms.'

Lunga Bowls

Curious Egg - French For Pineapple Blog

'These have a lovely lozenge – like shape that makes you almost want to bite them!  You can stack them together making them ‘statement bowls’ for the hall console table, or make an arrangement of them on the coffee table all facing different ways as though they’ve been scattered - especially if they are the main gold item in the room. They’re really eye catching and work well for serving little wrapped treats in them at parties and can also just be a stylish way to keep nik-naks safe! So simple and striking, they work well with all colours of interiors and even with heavily patterned wallpapers.'

Curious Egg - French For Pineapple Blog

Here are some more of my favourite pieces from the current collection...

Curious Egg - French For Pineapple Blog

1. Angel #2 Original Mixed Media Artwork by Rachel Lee. Mini orginals for just £45?! There's a whole series of these and they're fantastic.

2. Cocoon Wire Lampshade. Three words: Oh. My. God. I've got a serious crush on this. It would be absolutely perfect on the landing outside my bedroom. I think I NEED it!

3. Urn Vase. I absolutely adore this vase. Yes, I do have a thing for vessels.

4. Appaloosa Fringe Cushion. Speaks for itself really, don't you think? L O V E.

5. Agata Marbled Vase. Le Sigh...

Thanks for the lovely pieces Curious Egg and for raising the online interiors shopping game. Go check them out!

This post is in collaboration with Curious Egg.

Fab Five - Coffee Tables

I recently purchased a gorgeous, slightly-knackered-in-a-good-way, gold and glass 70's coffee table for our living room which I'll show you very soon. Just a few finishing touches to do in there first. Or maybe I'll show you the progress or it may never happen. Hmmm.

Out of the many, many coffee tables that I looked at, it won ultimately because it was the right price, the perfect dimensions and most importantly, it has a shelf, which for someone who likes pretty things and for things to look pretty, but can't have a styled coffee table because their nearly four year old son uses it all the time as a race track and general play and eating surface, is perfect - styled shelf underneath / empty top = happy Mummy / happy everyone!

I considered round, hexagonal and square, but rectangular works best with the layout and usage of the room, and much as I ADORE marble, we're not a coaster kind of house and I didn't want to be uptight about it getting stained or etched. Our coffee table is also our dinner table on Friday evenings, so glass is the safest bet for us with our lifestyle.

I did a LOT of looking around before I purchased, and I fell in love several times so I thought I'd share my favourite five with you. I know, I'm so kind.

Practical issues aside, any one of these would work beautifully in my living room, and I love them all. Perhaps one will work for you...
Fab Five Coffee Tables - French For Pineapple Blog

1. Couldn't believe my eyes when I saw this Hex beauty from Next. It ticks so many boxes - hexagonal, smoked glass, gold finish.... What's not to love?! 

2. Adore this chunky brass and marble oval number from West Elm, who have a great selection of coffee tables. My friend Kimberly from Swoonworthy has this one, and I have big-time coffee table envy. The materials, the shape, ah, so much to love.

3. Another glass and brass finish (sensing a theme here?!), from Within Home. Love the Chinoiserie feel of this Halston one. Über glam.

4. The simple lines of this Gilmore Space coffee table at Fusion Living let that beautiful marble do the talking. I do love a simple box framed coffee table. They actually look great with (neat) stacks of magazines underneath too.

5. I couldn't resist throwing in a fantasy entry - a bit of window shopping never hurt now did it? This divine 70's piece from Talisman is a real timeless beauty. 

So it's safe to say that I only have eyes for brass (or brass finish), marble and glass when it comes to coffee tables these days. Totally irresistible.

Do they tick any boxes for you? Or do you prefer a more understated coffee table? I'd love to hear from you!

Living Room Moodboard (coming back from the dark side)

Navy Living Room with plants and vintage leather chair - French For Pineapple Blog
Image: Bianca Hall
Sometimes I get a bit overwhelmed in the lead-up to redecorating a room - my mind goes into overdrive thinking about the look I'd like to achieve, and a gazillion and one ideas pop in (and out) of my head. I'm great at visualising how something will look, but I also change my mind. A lot. So I find that I need to gather my thoughts and get them out of my head and onto paper (well, not always paper, but onto a screen, or sometimes both), and the best way to do that is to create a moodboard. For me, it's the best way to see how everything will work together, what might be missing, or what needs to go.

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you will know that I'm ALWAYS planning to redecorate a room of our house. It never ends. At the moment, I'm working on ideas for the main bathroom, and our adjoining living and dining rooms. And in the back of my mind, ideas for Edie's room (which is also on the list) are also brewing. Oh and then there's my studio which is less than pretty, that could do with some attention too.

The bathroom is a big job, and one I don't particularly have the headspace for at the moment, or this year even, but the living and dining rooms, which make up our main living area, have jumped to the top of the list. Oh, and finishing decorating the hallway and stairwell. Then there are the half finished lamps I need to re-spray, and the chair that needs stripping, repainting and re-upholstering, the coffee table that's to be repurposed as a bench seat, and the list goes on and on. So much going on in my head that I actually feel anxious about it sometimes, even though there are no deadlines, and the only people that need to like it are me and my family. Silly to feel anxious about it then I know, but it's true. I do tend to put a lot of unnecessary pressure on myself - I know that I need to get over it and remember it's just paint and stuff. And it's not like I can't change it again, right? Right.

That said, I feel my mind getting quieter and more relaxed as soon as a moodboard starts coming together, which I love. Then I know I'm heading in the right direction, and that as we already know, everything will be okay. Great even. And exciting.

I'm going to focus on just the living room in this post, otherwise it will go on for days, so we'll look at my plans for the dining room next time.

Here's what the living room looked like a few weeks ago...
Navy Living Room, Chartreuse Coffee Table and Zebra Print Rug - French For Pineapple Blog
Image: Bianca Hall
Navy Chimney Breast with Skull Print, Plants and Sheepskin Stools - French For Pineapple Blog
Image: Bianca Hall
It looked great didn't it?! So WHY ON EARTH am I changing it??!

Well, I get bored easily and the paint was starting to look a little worse for wear - it needed to be re-done and I'm not one for painting a room the same colour twice. I thrive on change, and once I get a 'I feel like a change' bee in my bonnet, there's no stopping me.

I also want the living and adjoining dining rooms to feel more unified, and painting them the same colour will go a long way to making that happen (and I didn't want the dining room dark blue or the living room bright aqua). But I felt there was more to it and I just couldn't put my finger on it. Then it clicked...

What we often forget when we're bombarded with images of beautiful rooms that look amazing on a screen or in a magazine, is how a colour makes you feel when you're physically in that room. It's all very well loving a colour in a picture, but will you love the way it makes you feel when it's in your home? I realised that even though I LOVED the way the navy looked, I mean it photographed beautifully right? BUT I didn't love the way it made me feel. For whatever reason, it just wasn't working for me, and so, it was time to lighten up again.

I should add that I know changing the wall colour is a big deal to some people, especially if DIY is not your thing, it can be quite costly. For me, it's the price of a can of paint or two and my time, so perhaps I can justify changing my mind every two years a little easier. Unlike, kittens and puppies, paint is not forever!

My objectives are to make the room feel cosy, but light and airy at the same time. And calm. I feel like I need calmness and serenity in this room that we spend so much time in as a rowdy family of four. Most importantly, I need to achieve this without stripping out the personality. Oh, and I don't really have a budget for this, so I'll be searching for bargains and moving lots of art around from other parts of the house.

So, what colour have I chosen for the walls? No, I haven't painted it white - don't be silly! The easy choice would have been to go for a mid to pale grey, and very nearly did. But although I love, it seems too easy a choice, and it's been done to death. Of course there's nothing at all wrong with that but I just I want it to feel fresh, and I keep being drawn to fawns and fleshy tones, so that's where I headed.

I was VERY surprised when Setting Plaster by Farrow and Ball got the thumbs up from the entire family. Just don't call it pink! However, in the slightly darker adjoining dining room, it was a bit too dark and salmony for my liking, so I went back to the drawing board. Again. Pink Ground won in the end - it's quite a bit lighter, less brown and more yellow, and okay, let's just say it - more PINK than Setting Plaster, but still more fleshy than sugary, especially in the darker dining room. It's actually surprising neutral, and yeah, I love it, so a few weeks ago I started the transformation by painting over that navy blue. Not as big a chore as I feared - one coat of high opacity undercoat and two coats of Pink Ground and voila! It's as if it was never there.

Stripping out that strong colour and replacing it with something so much lighter and softer has already transformed the room, but it's far from finished.

I need to source a rug (or possibly two to layer) that will add some warmth and texture, to replace the rowdy (and pretty knackered) zebra print rug. It will need to hide the sins of a family who tend to eat in front of the television a fair bit on the weekends. So texture and a darkish colour will be perfect.

I'll add some fun back in with new cushions - some leopard print ones that I'll make from the House of Hackney velvet I picked up at their recent sample sale, teamed with some of my own designs but sticking with quite a neutral palette of browns, blacks, taupes, golds and white. I'm going to keep the artwork pretty monochrome - by moving the framed Grayson Perry scarf currently above the sofa into the dining room, and hanging my beautiful new Juju Hat. I'll also pinch some monochrome art from elsewhere in the house to complement the existing Damien Hirst skull print, that will stay on the chimney breast.

Adding some pops of gold in the form of a vintage coffee table, West Elm side table and possibly a new lamp will add a bit of glamour, and contrast nicely with the textures of the feathers in the Juju Hat, the rugs and wicker pieces I also plan to add.

Here's the moodboard as it stands today. It has changed several times since I started writing this post, and it probably will again before I finish the room, but that's part of the fun, and if you're immovable on your original ideas, your end result won't be a natural one (and it will show).

Living Room Moodboard - French For Pineapple Blog

1. Shaggy Palm Lamp - Abigail Ahern. A bit of a fantasy inclusion, but man I love this lamp!

2. Serge Mouille inspired light fitting.

3. Damien Hirst 'Skull Beneath The Skin' Screen Print - for similar try Paul Stolper.

4. Setting Plaster by Farrow and Ball - may use this on the built in storage.

5. Charlotte's Locks by Farrow and Ball - another accent colour, but for something smaller like leather mats for the top of the built in cupboards (love this idea borrowed from my clever friend Kate!). A year ago I would NEVER have considered orange anything, but I love it against the wall colour!

6. Juju Hat. Mine was an ebay bargain but you can get one from Rockett St George.

7. Pink Ground by Farrow and Ball - aka The Wall Colour.

8. Florence Broadhurst Fabric (which covers an existing small sofa) - Liberty.

9. Footed basket - La Galeria Elefante.

10. Pieff Alpha Chair - vintage from ebay.

11. Sinnerlig Seagrass Rug - Ilse Crawford for Ikea.

12. Oceans Rug - Plantation Rug Company.

13. 70's gold and glass coffee table - vintage from ebay.

14. Ceramic Leopard - vintage from ebay.

15. Aspen sofa Content by Conran.

16. Leonine Cushion - House of Hackney.

17. Maui Cushion in Mink - Bianca Hall (yeah, that's me).

18. Antibes Cushion in Mink - OKA.

19. Bahia Cushion in Charcoal - Bianca Hall (yep, me again).

20. Tumbler Side Table In Brass - West Elm.

21. Fiddle Leaf Fig - mine was from Angel Flowers in Islington but you can buy one here.

22. Debbie Harry Photographic Print by Kate Simon - try Rock Archive for similar.

23. Keith Coventy Etching - try Paul Stolper for similar.

One major thing that needs to be addressed in this room is the alcoves and lack of storage. I never post any pictures of the television side of the chimney breast because it's plain old awful. I promise when this room is properly finished, that I will post ALL the before and after shots too - including this less that photogenic area that has been a bug-bear for years. I have finally decided to stop searching for the perfect vintage pieces as I want the alcoves to match and I'm now waiting on quotes for some bespoke cupboards and shelving, which really is the best option, though it won't be cheap.

A lot will be staying the same - the grey sofa, the small sofa covered in Florence Broadhurst fabric, the lucite side table, the It stools and the vintage leather chair. I will need to sell my 70's chrome trolley to make room the built in storage, and the chartreuse coffee table that's in the before images above is going to be repurposed into a bench seat for our bedroom.

Yes. The same coffee table I bought and painted just before Christmas last year. I chose the wrong colour, which I could fix easily enough, but what I didn't anticipate was that every time one of the kids spills their water/maple syrup/milk on it (so that's every day), that before I can wipe it up, it would seep under the glass and ruin the paint job. Nope, didn't see that one coming.

Other bits that need sorting are the blinds - I was waiting until I'd painted to decide on these and I've decided to go with simple semi-sheer black roller blinds. Anything will be a vast improvement on the awful bent/filthy/dust collecting silver venetians that needed to be replaced seven years ago, and somehow have survived my critical eye all this time. The floors desperately need a repaint (in lieu of me finding a spare six grand to install parquet! You can see my freshly painted hall floor here).

I still really really want a huge fiddle leaf fig. I have a plant already, but I really want a big tree. Maybe this year will be the year - an early Christmas present to myself perhaps. I adore the natural greens of plants against the fleshy pink of Pink Ground, so yeah, more plants.

So it's a work in progress - a few things are done and purchased already and later this week I'll make a decision on rugs and purchase those. I hope to have this room finished other than the alcove storage in a few weeks time, so I'll share my progress with you as soon as possible.

A big fat gold star for you for making it this far. I know I'm exhausted after this mammoth post.

By the way, I've been nominated for an Amara Interior Blog Award in the Best Newcomer category. So if you like my blog, I'd really like your vote! You can do that right here, and I promise it only takes a minute, AND you'll be in with a chance to win a holiday too!

Check out my Pinterest boards for more inspiration too!