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.

Fab Five - (Sexy) Desks

You did know that desks can be sexy didn't you? Good. And who wants a sexy desk? Well, I do actually.

As you may know, prettying up my studio is on my mind, and on my list. I currently have this Ikea Micke desk which is perfectly fine, but pretty and sexy it's not. I have a (not so) secret plan to relocate it to Edie's room and get rid of her smaller version of the same desk, so you know, if I do that I'll actually need a new desk.

I recently wrote a post that included a Dream Studio moodboard. It wasn't meant as anything more than that - a bit of a fantasy, but I love that moodboard so much and can totally imagine my studio taking that direction, and now I really want to bring that vision to life!

Sadly in real life I don't have the funds for either the desk or the chair that are included on said moodboard, but a girl can dream. And she can also DIY.

I want a desk that will be light in the space but at the same time make an impact and be a feature, so something with a clear(ish) top is the way to go, and I love the idea of an a-frame/sawhorse/trestle base in an unexpected material.

So here's my selection of the best, just in case you're in the market. And yes, I have included the dream one, because I just couldn't help myself.

Oh, and an explanation about number four. You have to use your imagination here as it's not a great picture, but I really wanted to include it because these are acrylic/perspex/plexi-glass or as I like to call it lucite (because it makes me sound cool and in-the-know), a-frame bases. And I love them. These were made to order for a (very lucky) customer of Argo Plastics who can make just about anything you can dream up out of acrylic. I'm told these were about £1400 for the pair (le sigh). They're made from super thick 40mm acrylic, but could be made in a thinner material too, which would obviously bring the price down. Just imagine these with a gold smoked-glass top. Oh yes.

Fab Five Sexy Desks - French For Pineapple Blog

1. Sonnet - Safavieh Couture a.k.a 'The One'. I was awestruck when I stumbled upon this. Love, love, love.
2. NIC - Habitat I would be sorely tempted to spray the white bases gold or even give them the faux gold leaf treatment.
3. Kipling - Andrew Martin A more industrial look, I'm loving this one too. Super cool.
4. Double A-Frame Bases - Argo Plastics As I said above, use your imagination, because these lucite legs totally rock.
5. A-Frame - Andrew Martin A chunkier silver take on 'The One', it's pretty damn awesome too.

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