The Kids Room Plans [Yes, again!]

[Promotional Partnership with West Elm]

If you follow me on Instagram you'll know that a LOT of changes are brewing in our house. And if you've been following me for any length of time, you'll know that I absolutely thrive on change, so I'm *pretty* excited about what's to come over the next few months!

When we did our loft conversion when I was pregnant with Baxter, it was always our intention for that floor to eventually be the kids zone. It's why we decided to break up the space into two bedrooms and a small bathroom, rather than one big space with an ensuite. Up until now, that floor of the house has been dreadfully underused to put it mildly. My last attempt to change that was by giving the TV room a lovely overhaul for Revamp Restyle Reveal, but even then we failed to use the room other than a handful of times.

Although moving the kids up there at this point in time was not the plan - I have only just finished both their bedrooms after all - it suddenly made sense. They're both old enough now to be what feels like much further away, and Edie in particular loves the privacy being up there brings, and as for Baxter, well he's the most laid-back child you could ever meet, and likes the idea of it, although I suspect he just wants to be near his sister. So, apparently it's time!

Of course they both seem to take after me, and so as soon as it was suggested, they wanted to move immediately. And who am I to argue - I love a change more than most! However, this has thrown the house into quite an extreme state of chaos, as I started selling and giving away a few pieces of furniture that wouldn't work in their new rooms possibly a few weeks prematurely, leaving Edie without much storage, and Baxter without a wardrobe or bed!

I'm slowly but surely bringing it back around, and by the end of next week, Edie's room will be 98% finished and all things going to plan, so will Baxter's.

So what are my plans?

Both kids want to go quite pared back. Edie wants her room to feel light and bright and to keep it quite simple and grown up, and Baxter hilariously wants to get rid of literally all his toys and just keep his books, his tablet and Cleo (our crazy cat) as his entertainment. He is the least materialistic child I've ever come across. Not that I would, but I could literally give away all his belongings and it wouldn't phase him one single bit.

Needless to say we've been having, and  will continue to have some huge clearouts! I think I'll be making several trips a week to the local charity shops over the coming month.

The Details...

Edie's room was already painted a lovely soft warm white called Marbles by Earthborn Paints, and thankfully I had just enough left over to paint the two end walls once I stripped the wallpaper. It's actually my favourite room in the house with such beautiful light, and really doesn't need much decorating to be honest, so we're keeping it super simple. We've kept the decorative moulding which just adds that bit of interest without being too rowdy. It's all that room needs. Other than some furniture obviously!

French For Pineapple Blog Kids Room Plans

She's been sleeping up there for a maybe two weeks now despite the lack of furniture (her drawers have gone, and her old wardrobe is too big), so just her bed and some new bedside tables have made the cut. On Thursday some beautiful new pieces from West Elm are arriving, and then she just needs some roman blinds and her room will be complete.

Baxter's room is a little more complex. It's the smallest bedroom in the house (not that he cares!), so I really wanted to be smart about making the most of the space. That meant going down the bespoke built-in route, which is neither cheap nor quick it turns out, but I know that it will not only look great, but will be a long-term investment that will work for him for many years to come.

He will have a raised platform bed, bringing the top height of his mattress to about 85cms (his window height). Under the base will be three simple cupboards with a single shelf inside for clothes (and if he wants to keep any toys - though he's adamant he doesn't!), and they will be about 40cms deep. So as not to waste any valuable space, there will be a hatch under the mattress to allow access to the back section which will be storage for things we don't need to access very often like boxes of paperwork and old photos / keepsakes etc.

French For Pineapple Blog Kids Room Plans

Continuing on from his bed, a shelf / desk the same height as the window will run right along the window wall, to the wall opposite his bed. How that is used now (probably just a book/display shelf), may differ from how it's used in future, and I may eventually get him a tall office chair so he can use it as a little desk with a view of the gardens below too. He really likes that idea and what will be his birdseye view from his yet to be built bed!

So that's the plan. This week I need to choose a paint colour and get his room painted before his new bed and desk/shelf are installed next week. And I've also decided to make a fabric covered pin board for him that will be on the wall next to his bed. I have some grand lighting plans too, but we'll see what the electrician says before I bother filling you in on all that!

More details to come on all the pieces in their rooms when I share the space with you, but I just wanted to give you an idea of the direction I'm taking before the big reveals in a few weeks time.

I hope you like their new room plans, I feel like they're more in-keeping with the rest of the house and actually with their personalities too. I keep referring to Baxter's room as his Gentleman's Den because it looks so grown up on the moodboard, but throw a star wars figurine or three, and a Batman clock into the mix, and I think it will be age-appropriate whilst being super easy to update too as his interests change.

And what's to become of the rooms they've now vacated I hear you ask? Well there are even more exciting plans on the horizon which I'll tell you about very soon!

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.

Room Repurpose: Studio to Family TV Room!

I'm SO excited to share these plans with you today, as they've been in the pipeline for a few months now.

Recently I wrote a post about my plans to repurpose, and breathe some life back into the top floor of our house, starting with moving my studio into what was a guest room. You can read all about that here.

My chaotic studio is no longer - I've had a HUGE clear-out, and my studio has now been relocated, with the overspill currently being housed on the landing. My studio is now an organised uncluttered calm space and I absolutely love it!

The big room that was my studio, is going to be a second living room where we can relax and watch films on the weekends, the kids can escape to watch their own movies, and hang out with their friends, and it will also double as a guest room when needed. I'm hoping that Baxter will want to make it a place to chill out after school and do some drawing whilst I try to sneak a bit more work in in my studio next door. It's a beautiful big(ish), light room, and we've never really used it well.

It makes so much more sense to use the space this way, as we just don't need a dedicated guest room 24/7. I don't know why it didn't occur to me to use the rooms this way before, but I'm so pleased it has now - we'll finally be using the whole house properly! It'll be so lovely, and will also make the perfect peaceful reading spot. I can't wait to get it finished.

I've never shared my old studio on the blog before, because it was always such an extreme mess - definitely not a pretty room. Not only was it a mess, but it had become a major dumping ground, and I was embarrassed it had gotten so out of control. But I have managed to drag myself back from the edge of no return, and I am SO pleased. So yes, go ahead and tut, gasp and judge me, for I deserve it.

I had actually already begun the clearing out process when these photos were taken. Prior to that, you could literally not get into the studio at all. Note the absence of a computer on the desk - I couldn't stand to be in there, so used to work from the dining room table instead!

Here's the moodboard to give you an idea of what I'm hoping to achieve; a serene, laid-back, multi-purpose room...

I had a piece of blue House of Hackney Palmeral velvet that I'd forgotten about, that I rediscovered when clearing the studio, and with it's beautiful blues it became the inspiration for the colour scheme. I wanted the room to be relaxing during the day, and cosy and enveloping at night. But I didn't want to use a navy blue, because I've used that before elsewhere in the house (it's against my rules to use the same colour twice!), and it can feel a bit cold, so I decided to look at teals instead.

After several tester pots, I knew I'd found 'The One' when I put Sea Urchin 2 on the wall. With a big dose of yellow, it's anything but cold, and it's just the right side of murky and muted to keep it looking sophisticated rather than primary, in-your-face-bright.

It perfectly fits the bill of feeling fresh during the day, and cosy at night, and importantly works beautifully with my inspiration fabric.

With the addition of a brand new big modular sofa that fits perfectly in one end of the room and will double as a guest bed, some brass accessories and a couple of plants, this room is set to become my new favourite spot in the house. I'm fickle like that.

This room will be finished in a couple of weeks time, and of course I'll share the results with you right here, so stay tuned!

This post is in collaboration with Dulux.

Urban Safari Studio - The Reveal!

Well, this is exciting! Room reveals are always my most popular posts, and oh how I wish I could do them more often, because I do love them so.

As you may know, I've been working away turning what was our old guest room into a calm, cosy, welcoming and organised, studio space. Well, that was the dream, but I'll let you be the final judges.

The room got a lick of paint using Summer Pecan 3 - a lovely warm caramel colour that I absolutely adore. The walls get a hard time in our house - kids, deliveries coming and going all the time, so an extra durable paint is a must. I chose to use Dulux Endurance+ which is twenty times tougher than the standard matt finish.

I moved my juju hat into the room to give it a focal point and a bit of drama, which definitely does the trick (I'll be putting some art up in it's place in the dining room). I found a vintage smoked glass table with brass coloured metal base on ebay for a steal, which has replaced my white Ikea desk and it makes such a difference. The glass is reflective so helps to bounce light around and it doesn't feel heavy in the room even though it's substantially larger than my old desk and in a smaller room. I'm super pleased with it! Having a table that is not meant as a desk, rather than a traditional desk, also makes the room feel less formal, and the smoked glass and brass lend a touch of glamour. The extra depth means I don't miss the drawer space, and will force me to keep it tidy!

After maybe eight years of my hilarious husband offering to dispose of my beaten up old chippendale chair frame (found in a furniture shop that was closing for £10!), I finally got around to putting a seat base in it, and made some DIY mudcloth using a simplified resist dying technique, which I've used to upholster the base. It's super satisfying that it's being used after all this time, and I love it. I decided to work with the textured coating on the frame that I was originally going to remove, and have left it as is. And my husband has stopped trying to throw it away. Result!

 My lovely brown and white greek key rug keeps it cosy, and I've curated a mini jungle on top of my metal ikea cabinet that houses a gazillion paint samples, art supplies and more. I also moved the vintage french coat hooks that were already in this room to another wall to hang a few plants from. I bought the cute basket back from our holiday in Formentera last year, with the intention of putting a plant in it, which I finally have done, and I made the string plant hanger using a brass o-ring I already had, with a little basket from Ikea housing a string of pearls plant. It's so cute and it literally took me less than ten minutes.

I borrowed a few things from around the house, picked up a few African inspired pieces from ebay, and this lovely wooden based cloche from Ikea.

I recently changed the door handles to these beautiful brass ones, which look so good against the wall colour and the colour on the other side of the door too.

I decided to add not only my new desk lamp, but another table lamp to the mix, because I really wanted to enhance the comfortable inviting atmosphere as much as possible. I'll spend a lot of time in here so I want to love being in the room.

I can live with the practical areas of the studio happily, now that I have it organised and rest of the room looking pretty!

The only thing that's missing is some music - something we've been meaning to sort out for years in the house in general. And I haven't decided if I'm going to worry about a window covering in here. I'd originally planned to have a roman blind, but as privacy and glare are not issues, I've decided to wait until winter to see if I want to add one or not. I have a pretty view of the garden (and neighbours gardens!) and an old school building that is now apartments, so I don't feel the need to block it out. Check out this blue sky - if only it looked like that every day too!

I am so thrilled with the final room - it's the first time in years that I've had an organised, calm work space, the first time ever, that I've had a beautiful workspace, and it makes me incredibly happy. Hope you like it too!

This is a sponsored post is in collaboration with Dulux.