Creating A Chic Contemporary Bedroom with Marks & Spencer

My bedroom is my sanctuary. It instantly makes me feel calm, and if I could, I’d spend a load more time just hanging out in there reading. That bit is a fantasy though - it never happens, except on my designated lie-in day (Sundays, if you’re wondering), and even then ‘reading’ usually means flicking through an interiors mag, whilst simultaneously scrolling through Instagram and Pinterest.

French For Pineapple Blog - Marks and Spencer Sleep Retreat - Chic Contemporary Bedroom
Image: Sam Mellish for Marks & Spencer

Anyway, I digress. As the weather turns colder and the days are shorter, it's even more important to turn your bedroom into a cosy sanctuary, somewhere you can escape the chaos of daily life and unwind. So here are my top tips for doing just that, using pieces from the Marks & Spencer Manhattan collection.

Lighting

Of course an overhead pendant is essential - especially on dark winter mornings and in the evenings for practical tasks, but come dusk, it’s lamps all the way for atmospheric lighting. One on either side of the bed, and if you have the space, perhaps another one or two on top of a chest of drawers.

French For Pineapple Blog - Marks and Spencer Sleep Retreat - Chic Contemporary Bedroom
Image: Sam Mellish for Marks & Spencer

French For Pineapple Blog - Marks and Spencer Sleep Retreat - Chic Contemporary Bedroom
Image: Sam Mellish for Marks & Spencer 

Bedding

This is the easiest way to make your bedroom look cosy and inviting. Always buy the best bedding you can afford, and then layer and accessorise.

You'll need a fitted sheet and top sheet, duvet cover and pillowcases obviously, but a bed isn't properly dressed without the addition of a throw and some cushions too. For me, this is essential.

For the colder months, I like to layer my bed with mixed textures like velvets, silky fabrics and chunky weaves. Mixing it up keeps it casual and inviting, creating a bed that just begs to be crawled into.

French For Pineapple Blog - Marks and Spencer Sleep Retreat - Chic Contemporary Bedroom
Image: Sam Mellish for Marks & Spencer


French For Pineapple Blog - Marks and Spencer Sleep Retreat - Chic Contemporary Bedroom
Image: Sam Mellish for Marks & Spencer

 
French For Pineapple Blog - Marks and Spencer Sleep Retreat - Chic Contemporary Bedroom
Image: Sam Mellish for Marks & Spencer

Clear the Clutter

Keep clutter to an absolute minimum. This is not something I always manage to achieve, but I do try because it really does make a difference. Never has the phrase 'tidy house, tidy mind' been more relevant than in the bedroom.

Get into a habit of putting your clean washing away as soon as possible, and don't leave dirty clothes lying around. Keep on top of excess stuff gathering on your bedside table - too many face products for one face, and half-drunk discarded cups of tea anyone? Just these small things can make a really 
big difference.

French For Pineapple Blog - Marks and Spencer Sleep Retreat - Chic Contemporary Bedroom
Image: Sam Mellish for Marks & Spencer


French For Pineapple Blog - Marks and Spencer Sleep Retreat - Chic Contemporary Bedroom
Image: Sam Mellish for Marks & Spencer
Storage 

This ties in with the above, but storage really is King. Think clever extra storage like an upholstered blanket box at the end of the bed that doesn’t feel like obvious storage, but can hide a multitude of sins. A larger bedside table with drawers can double as extra storage, or a divan base with drawers to house things you don't need to access every day.  Anything that enables you to put everything away to avoid clutter.

Scent

Optional extras such as fresh flowers, a scented candle, room or pillow spray, help set the scene, and add a little luxury to the cosy room you've created.


French For Pineapple Blog - Marks and Spencer Sleep Retreat - Chic Contemporary Bedroom
Image: Sam Mellish for Marks & Spencer


French For Pineapple Blog - Marks and Spencer Sleep Retreat - Chic Contemporary Bedroom

1. Monochrome Line Cushion

2. Diamond Quilted Throw

3. Emerald Velvet Cushion

4. Teal Textured Velvet Cushion

5. Diamond Quilt Cushion

6. Mono Decoration Bedding Set

7. Dexter Table Lamp

French For Pineapple Blog - Marks and Spencer Sleep Retreat - Chic Contemporary Bedroom
Image: Sam Mellish for Marks & Spencer


You can read more about the M&S Sleep Retreat here, and check out Kate and Rebecca's bedrooms too!

French For Pineapple Blog - Marks and Spencer Sleep Retreat - Chic Contemporary Bedroom
Images: Sam Mellish for Marks & Spencer


This post is in collaboration with Marks & Spencer.

My Summer Dining Room [#UKHomeBlogHop]

Welcome to French For Pineapple to any new readers that have come my way via the The Ordinary Lovely (thanks Rachel!) for the #UKHomeBlogHop! I'm excited to be taking part in this years first UK interiors blog hop, organised by our gorgeous host Kimberly, from Swoon Worthy.

I'm Bianca Hall, an interiors obsessive, writer and designer. French For Pineapple is where I share my room makeover plans and reveals, products I'm currently obsessed with, and everything in between, as long as it's interiors related.

If you're a regular reader, and not aware of the hop, do pop over to Kimberly's blog where the trail begins. There are 27 blogs taking part over the week, and it's really rather fun to follow the hop and see all the bloggers different styles - in this instance we're all sharing our Summer Style.

So without further ado, I'm sharing my new look summer dining room with you today.




I found that we were using our dining room less and less, despite the fact that I'd made a concerted effort not to leave our dining table covered with stuff all the time (just me?). We were still crowding around the kitchen table for most meals, and I'm not sure I'll ever understand this common phenomenon, but I really wanted to make our dining room more inviting. And more, well, used!

I convinced my husband that the stainless steel clad table needed to go to another home, because I really felt that a round (or oval) table would work so much better in this space. He finally agreed, and now we have a lovely round wooden table, which not only feels lighter in the space, but helps with the flow between the living and dining rooms. The stainless steel always felt cold and uninviting to me, and the wood has instantly changed the feel of the room, warming it up and making it much more inviting.

My Summer Dining Room - French For Pineapple Blog - Medium wide shot of dining room with round wooden mid century style table, eames chairs, blue shaggy rug and smart casual table setting and side board with stepped panelled doors

My Summer Dining Room - French For Pineapple Blog - medium close up of round wooden dining table set with plates, linen napkins and brass napkin rings, and decorative footed bowl.

My Summer Dining Room - French For Pineapple Blog - Side board with stepped panelled doors, with brass deco style lantern and plants


I don't make any drastic changes to my decor seasonally, but I do make a few small changes to suit the warmer weather...

I like to lighten up as far as clutter goes (and the sideboard was starting to resemble a junk shop), so I've thinned it out a little, giving everything a bit more breathing space. Of course, I couldn't just thin it out and leave it at that, I had to make one or two additions too...

My Summer Dining Room - French For Pineapple Blog - damien hirst valium print above sideboard with stepped panelled doors with boston fern in an urn planter and gold orb decorative object


Lighting is of course an important part of creating the right atmosphere, and I fell in love with this brass Deco Lantern from Marks & Spencer. It's solid brass and really substantial at over 30cms tall. It's looks great, glowing away with one large pillar candle in it on the sideboard, and I'll also be getting lots of use from this outside on warm evenings. In fact, I probably need another one or two so I can dot them around the garden - they're SO pretty.


Scent is another important element to set the mood, and scented candles are an essential of mine. Sweetpea & Willow have a great selection (among many, many other beautiful homewares - if you don't know them, do check them out!) to help get the mood spot on, and I've gone for a True Grace candle in Portobello Oud, the perfect exotic scent for balmy summer evenings.

My Summer Dining Room - French For Pineapple Blog - sideboard with candle and framed black and white photograph

My Summer Dining Room - French For Pineapple Blog - close up of lit scented candle on sidebaord with lung like vase object and ornate framed photograph


Another new addition to the sideboard is this amazing urn planter from Wayfair. I've always loved a Boston fern in an urn, and I'm really going to try my best to keep this one alive. Apparently it's all about keeping it moist but not wet, with lots of spritzing. This is definitely where I've gone wrong in the past, so pray for this one, that it doesn't become yet another of my fern victims.

My Summer Dining Room - French For Pineapple Blog - boston fern in a decorative urn planter



We tend to entertain much more in the warmer months, because I basically hibernate in the winter, and I've only recently realised that my stance against a formal dining setting, was causing me to miss out on all sorts of table accesory fun! So my new thing, is informal-formal. It's a bit like a smart-casual dress code, but for your home. This is how I do it:

My Summer Dining Room - French For Pineapple Blog - table setting with ornate footed bowl of limes, stemless wine glasses and tinted tumblers

Ditch the table cloth (it'll only get stained), but do use crumpled linen napkins.
Ditch the excess cutlery (it'll only mean more washing up), but do use pretty napkin rings.
Ditch the fussy flower arrangements (seriously, who has the time?!), but do go for either a messy loose arrangement in a low vase, or a footed bowl filled with a single kind of fruit.

Catch my drift? So basically, don't go super informal with just simple plates and cutlery - dress the table up with an interesting mix of plates and accessories, but keep it fun and informally-formal! I also like to swap stemmed glasses for stemless ones at the table for less chance of spillage (these ones are from LSA, and the tinted tumblers are from Neptune).

My Summer Dining Room - French For Pineapple Blog - close up of geometric brass napkin rings sitting on linen napkins


My Summer Dining Room - French For Pineapple Blog - table setting with linen napkin and brass napkin ringMy Summer Dining Room - French For Pineapple Blog - close up of edge of scalloped plates on round wooden table

My Summer Dining Room - French For Pineapple Blog - close up of graphic black and white side plates on scalloped edge white dinner plates with linen napkins and gold cutlery and napkin ringsMy Summer Dining Room - French For Pineapple Blog - close up of linen napkin with brass napkin ring on graphic black and white side plate

My Summer Dining Room - French For Pineapple Blog - table setting with layered plates, linen napkin and gold cutlery and napkin ring


I love the new Toulouse dinner plates from Marks & Spencer (coming soon from the AW17 collection), and paired them with the Sue Timney for Marks & Spencer Camouflage side plates (available now). This is a great pairing, that stops the scalloped shape of the Toulouse plates feeling too traditional and gives them a modern, fun edge. And what's not to love about the solid brass geometric napkin rings? They're also from Marks & Spencer and available now - a set (only £15 so be quick before they sell out) includes a square, octagon, round and triangular ring, and I love them so.

My Summer Dining Room - French For Pineapple Blog - close up of footed bowl on table
I've piled limes into this fab footed bowl, also from Wayfair, which makes a lovely centrepiece. We go through a load of limes in the summer months - lime juice is great in dressings, it's an essential for asian dishes, and they're obviously a staple cocktail ingredient for Mojitos, and a G&T isn't really a proper G&T without a wedge of lime squeezed into it. So yes, they are very much practical as well as decorative.

My Summer Dining Room - French For Pineapple Blog - ornate footed antiqued bowl on round wooden dining table

My Summer Dining Room - French For Pineapple Blog - close up of dining table setting



We've actually started eating at the new dining table rather than the kitchen table, and I just love the new look in here. Long may that continue!

I hope you like my new summery dining room, let me know what you think in the comments, and please hop on over now to see what the lovely Carole from Dear Designer has in store for you, and make sure you follow on with the hop for the rest of the week! I'll be adding all the links below each day.

And a big thanks to my sponsors Marks & Spencer, Wayfair and Sweetpea & Willow.

Monday
Seasons in Colour

Tuesday

Lazy Daisy Jones

Wednesday