Fab Five: Modern Branch Style Chandeliers

On Friday you might have caught me waffling away on Insa-stories about my new branch style 'Franklin' chandelier by Menu, that was about to be fitted in the bedroom (which has been undergoing a major overhaul).

I mentioned that it was by no means the cheapest version (nor the most expensive, I might add), and that I had really tried quite hard to fall in love with a more affordable option, but in the end, my heart had been stolen by this one. Honest, I did try. I even ordered another one first and cancelled it.

When I asked if I should put all the information regarding the other versions that I came across whilst researching the best options into a blog post, it was a resounding yes. So, thanks if you were one of those people - this is for you!

These range in price from a bargainatious £85.99 to an eye-watering £2600.00. I really love the shape of all five, but a combination of price and finish led me to my final choice...

Let me know what you think, and keep an eye out for the finished bedroom makeover on the blog soon!

Habitat Lighting [AW16]

French For Pineapple Blog - Porcini Lamp
Porcini Lamp / Bianca Hall for French For Pineapple

There are a few places I automatically look at when I'm considering new lighting for my home, and Habitat is firmly on that list.

Their Autumn/Winter collection doesn't disappoint, with a lovely selection to choose from.

I need to replace a few lights in our house for various reasons (er, mostly mistakes on my part!), so I thought I'd share the lights I'm considering using, including a couple of my favourite picks from the new collection.

First up, is Baxters bedroom. I had bought a lovely looking brass finish light for his room, but as soon as it was installed, it became apparent that it was more of a lamp than a main light - due to it's torch-like shape, and the solid metal material, it gave off very little light, and whilst it looked great, it was virtually useless. Oops! Good job that I'd bought it on sale.

So it needs to be replaced, and I'm considering this gorgeous Astrid light. It would look great in Baxters room, give off lots of light, whilst working with his low ceiling. It's got a kind of futuristic feel to it that would work well in a boys room, or any space for that matter. I just need to figure out if it will be far enough away from the top bunk, so as not to be dangerously tempting for little boys to grab at. Hmmm.

French For Pineapple Blog - Astrid Light
Image: Astrid Light / Habitat

If it won't work in Baxter's room, then it's also a contender to replace the landing light outside our bedroom. It also comes in a black version, and I can't decide which one I like best. Basically, I love it, and want to use it somewhere! Currently, the light on the landing is a bare decorative bulb on a neon pink flex, but I'm kind of over that look and feel the space needs something more substantial. This Euan light is also a possibility. I love the simple shape and matt black finish.

French For Pineapple Blog - Euan Light
Image: Euan Light / Habitat

Another one that I love, but don't actually have a spot for (dammit!), is the oversized Collette pendant that I fell for at the press show back in June. It's a real showstopper. You can't really tell how big it is in this image, but it's got a real presence with a diameter and height of 65 centimetres. It would look fabulous hung quite low over a dining table. Yes, mine included!

French For Pineapple Blog - Collette Light
Image: Collette Light / Habitat

And last, but definitely not least is the gorgeous Porcini Lamp, looking very comfortable in my dining room. I was given this when I attended Habitat's very first Light Club, celebrating the AW16 lighting collection launch.

French For Pineapple Blog - Porcini Lamp
Image: Porcini Lamp / Bianca Hall for French For Pineapple

By the time I arrived, the cocktails were flowing freely, the music was pumping, and indeed, there were people going for it on the dance floor - right in the middle of the lighting section of Habitat on Tottenham Court Road! Surreal, but totally fun. Light Club. Geddit!?

The Light Club I attended was a private event, but Habitat are throwing open the Light Club doors again, as a one-night-only pop-up on Thursday 27th of October. There are no tickets available at the moment, but keep your eyes peeled as they just might release a few more closer to the date!

This post is in collaboration with Habitat.

(Fab Five will be back next Monday!)

Living Room - The Big Reveal!

Living Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

This post has been a loooooong time coming, but I'm SO excited to finally share my new look living room with you today! Whoop!

A LOT has changed in here. You can see my post about the plans and moodboard for this room here, and here it is in it’s previous navy blue period, in my 'DIY It Stool' post (a.k.a my most popular post, like, ever).

As promised way back when, here's a look at the alcove on the right side where the wall mounted television is. This was without a doubt the worst part of the room...

Living Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog
Pretty awful, huh? Those white cubes and all those DVD's and toys on display do my head in! And that grotty, yellowed floor, ewwww.

I decided that buying shelving and/or cupboards for the alcoves was false economy given that what I really wanted, was something bespoke, and eventually that's what we went for. I was beyond excited when it actually started to happen...

Living Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

Living Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

So there are now bespoke cupboards and shelves in the alcoves, making the most of those awkward spaces and the high ceilings which has had a huge impact on the feel of the room, and they look like they've always been there.

Other changes include a new vintage coffee table and a seagrass rug, the floors have been given two coats of fresh white floor paint, and I've 'upgraded' my fiddle leaf fig plant for a tree, and hung a monochrome gallery wall above the sofa.

Oh, and I've finally gotten rid of the awful filthy disgusting bent and tangled ancient silver venetians!

The walls have gone from darkest navy blue, to a pale, understated, yet anything but boring, fleshy pink. And I must say, I know a lot of you REALLY loved that blue, and so did I, but the room just feels so much calmer and warmer now, and I am absolutely in love with the new colour. It changes in different lights from a tue pink, to palest flesh, to almost beige (yes, that’s right, beige, and I STILL LOVE IT!).

To demonstrate, the light changed dramatically whilst I was photographing the room - from dark grey and cloudy to bright sunshine and everything in between, so you'll see in all the images below how different it looks in different lights. I wish I could say I did that on purpose, but, ummm, I didn't.

Phew, that's quite a lot of change for one room! But you don't want to listen to me rabbiting on about it, you want pictures.

So here you go...

Living Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

Living Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

The wall colour is Pink Ground (Farrow and Ball), and I decided to go with Setting Plaster for the alcove built-ins, which is a touch more brown than pink, and the two colours together work beautifully.

I adore the lights that I finally purchased for the tops of the shelves, and I think they stop the built-ins from looking too traditional, along with the brass handles, giving it a modern edge.

Living Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

Living Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

And yes, in case you're wondering, I designed these shelves primarily for display rather than books (we already have a big built in bookshelf in the dining room), so each side has only two shelves (as well as the cupboard top on the left side), to give a nice amount of space for displaying treasures and plants.

Living Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

Living Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

Living Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

Living Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

Living Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog
I love having these cupboards to hide Baxter's toys away at the end of the day, you'd never know that in the afternoons and evenings, and on the weekends, this room is his playground - the coffee table is a car park (and Jurassic park), and the sofa, his castle. It all goes into baskets in the cupboards once he goes to bed, et voilà, it's a grown-up space again....aaaaand relax. 

Of course I also love not seeing the cable box, DVD player and DVDs even more - that was a huge bugbear for years. It's such a treat to no longer despair about the television arrangement.

Another exciting change, which is actually more dramatic than I thought it would be, are the new blinds. The old ones that we inherited when we moved in were horrific, and I really don’t know why it’s taken me so long to bid them farewell. The metal silver venetians were caked with grime and dust - totally impossible to clean, and they were bent, warped and the control strings were really knotted and grotty. Urgh, just look!

Living Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

Living Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

Living Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

But they’re gone!

In their place are lovely simple black Vista roller blinds from Blinds2Go

I love the clean lines of the panels which are made with a high-tech fabric, cleverly allowing light in during the day, and allowing us to see out, yet from outside you can't see in and they look solid black. Cool, right? 

This switches at night (depending on how much light there is inside and outside), so they're nearly solid black from inside and slightly transparent from outside. This is not a problem for us as we have opaque lower window panes, and once our lights are out, you can't see in at all. 

I like to have the blinds half up during the day, but something more solid wouldn’t let much light in, so these are the perfect choice for us, and they really did complete the room.

Blinds2Go have a huge selection of products to choose from, including romans blinds and shutters. I'm pretty sure there's something for every window covering requirement, and the ordering system is easy and efficient (and they've just launched a shiny new website!), so do have a look if you're in the market.

The black blinds coupled with the other black accents throughout, ground the room, and stop the pink from looking too feminine.

Living Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

Living Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog
Living Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog
Now how about my beautiful new fiddle leaf fig tree? Isn't she just gorgeous? I still have fiddle leaf fig plant too, currently residing in the dining room, and once it's grown a bit taller and the trunk a bit thicker and stronger, I'll coax it into tree form, so eventually I'll have a multi-trunk AND a single trunk tree. This excites me more than it probably should! I think one will end up in my studio, once I get it sorted out (ie. once you can actually get into the room!).

Living Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

The new monochrome gallery wall is a success (well at least I think so!), as we've never got the art on this big wall right before, but now it's a real feature.

Living Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

Living Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

And that's about it, I think the pictures speak for themselves. If there's anything you want to know about, just shout. And be sure to come back on Friday, because I'm turning the camera around to show you the adjoining dining room.

Living Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

Living Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

Living Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

Living Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

Living Room Reveal - French For Pineapple Blog

Disclaimer: Posted in collaboration with Blinds2Go who kindly provided me with the fab Vista Black Roller Blinds for this room.

If you like what you see, I'm now offering a range of interior design services. Get in touch if you need my help, be it choosing paint colours, a whole new room (or house) scheme, and everything in between.

Statement Lamps

Let's talk about lamps. Or more to the point, let's talk about statement lamps, and how much I love them. They're a definite weakness of mine - I don't 'need' anymore lamps, I even have several spare ones in my studio, but that does not stop me wanting more. And want more, I do.

Rather annoyingly, my taste in lamps seems to be getting more expensive. Now it's statment lamps that I covet, and the bigger the better.

There is no way I could justify buying most of the lamps I currently have a crush on, though I'm considering starting a (not so) secret savings fund to buy this one from Abigail Ahern.

Statement Lighting - French For Pineapple Blog
Shaggy Palm Lamp - Abigail Ahern
My husband is not so keen, but he'll come around. I included this in my (very nearly ready to be photographed) New Look Living Room moodboard, but alas, it hasn't magically materialised as I'd hoped. And yes, it's completely bonkers with a definite tribal feel to it, which I'm loving right now, but this would be a forever lamp. Honest. Every time I walk past the Abigail Ahern shop, I pop in just to have a look at it. Again. It really would be the icing on the cake in my living room, and at nearly nearly 80cms tall it's huge - now that's a statement.

Then there's this gorgeous creature by Young & Battaglia (a.k.a Mineheart), that I spotted a couple of months ago on their instagram feed and completely fell in love. I could stare at this aaaaall day - the ostrich feathers combined with the brass finish is almost too much glamour to bear. Yes, this would also work just perfectly in my living room.
Statement Lighting - French For Pineapple Blog
Feather Table Lamp - Mineheart

Moving right along, I love having a browse through the lamps on offer at Vaughn, and this sculptural one caught my eye big time. It reminds me of a big chunk of malachite, which is no bad thing. Again, it's no shrinking violet, at 61cms with the shade, which means I love it even more.

Statement Lighting - French For Pineapple Blog
Mimizan Ceramic Lamp - Vaughan

For some vintage eye-candy, I always head to Fears and Kahn, and old favourite, where there is without a doubt always something that has me totally drooling, and these original French 1970's gold plated Koi lamps are no exception. And I do love a pair of lamps. Just wow! And yes, they do have marble bases.
Statement Lighting - French For Pineapple Blog
Koi Lamps - Fears & Kahn
I know, I know, all my choices are on the pricey side, but I did warn you.

If you're after some statement lamps and your purse strings won't allow for such extravagances, you can of course find cheaper options, like this much-more-expensive-looking-than-it-is number that I found at The Lighting Superstore.
Statement Lighting - French For Pineapple Blog
Balthazar Table Lamp - The Lighting Superstore
Now don't say I never do you any favours.

Fab Five - Desk Lamps

The next room that needs attention on my vast house DIY list is my studio, which has become increasingly more like a dumping ground than a useable space.

It houses furniture in limbo, clothes and various other things that are waiting to be sold on eBay or Gumtree, not to mention huge amounts of packaging, samples and stock that I've accumulated over the years. And then there's the piles and piles of filing. Oh dear. At the moment, you can barely get in the door which is obviously not ideal.

Once the excess is cleared out, or at least sorted out so it feels less chaotic, I really want to take it from being purely practical (but not at all pretty to look at), to practical AND pretty. So that it becomes a room I want to spend time in, rather than a room I avoid. That shouldn't be too hard now should it?

How am I going to achieve this? Well, a massive skip keeps springing to mind, but short of something so drastic, I think baby steps are the way to go. Slowly clearing and sorting will be a good start, then buying a few new things to up the pretty factor. That's the bit I'm really interested in, but the reality is that a few full days of hard work are in order before I get to do that.

The first thing on my list is a new desk lamp. It will be a reward for finally sorting out the chaos. Over the last couple of months, I've spent hours and hours online searching for the perfect wall lights to go on the alcove shelving we've had built in the living room, and on my travels I've also stumbled upon several great looking desk lamps. And I had to include the Ikea Ranarp, because it's fast becoming a classic, and I love it.

As the studio is on my mind, I hope you'll forgive me if the next couple of Fab Fives are home office / studio themed. That said, I think that each one of these desk lamps is beautiful enough to work elsewhere in the home too.

Fab Five Desk Lamps - French For Pineapple Blog

1. Belid Cato LED in Polished Brass  - Lighting Workshop
2. Lektor in Black and Brass - Holloways of Ludlow
3. DAR Ranger in Satin Chrome - Love Lights
4. Ranarp in Off-White- Ikea
5. Paul Neuhaus Tino 1 Light in Brass - Scotlight Direct