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 Reveal with West Elm

Well today is the day I finally show you my new look living and dining rooms. YAY! I've been working on these rooms for the past few months (and thinking about it even longer), and I do believe they are finished. About time huh? But apparently all good things come to those who wait, or something like that, and I am SO happy with the results!

 Dream Living & Dining Room Reveal with West Elm - French For Pineapple Blog
Thea Chairs / Art Display Coffee Table / Distressed Foliage Rug
You can have a look here to see my original moodboards and plans that I worked on in conjunction with a fab in-house West Elm designer. Such a great (and free) service you should check out. There's literally no obligation to buy, but trust me, you will want to!

So what's changed in the rooms? Well, almost everything!

 Dream Living & Dining Room Reveal with West Elm - French For Pineapple Blog

New Radiators:

The old rusted radiators have been replaced with lovely new ones from They're perfect for this space because they're modern but quiet, and blend in nicely, but are also good-looking and I no longer feel the need to hide them in photos. Bonus!

They're the Flat Panel Vertical Radiators, quite modern, but are also a nice contrast in traditional spaces. I've replaced the radiator in the hall with one of their Colosseum radiators, and you'll see that once I've painted and added some artwork to that area. A woman's work is never done!

Their radiators are great really value, so definitely take a look at their range when you're next in the market.

 Dream Living & Dining Room Reveal with West Elm - French For Pineapple Blog

 Dream Living & Dining Room Reveal with West Elm - French For Pineapple Blog

New Wallpaper:

I changed the much darker wallpaper on the backs of the shelves, for a grasscloth effect one from Zoffany. It's called Wild Silk, and I chose the Linen colour. Just one roll of wallpaper can have such a big impact on the backs of shelves, adding so much interest and depth. And this one is the perfect backdrop to my bits and pieces, with it's texture it's interesting and draws the eye in, but it doesn't take away from what's on the shelves.

 Dream Living & Dining Room Reveal with West Elm - French For Pineapple Blog

New Colour:

Gone is the pink which I did truly love, but I was really craving a calmer, softer look in here, and something lighter and brighter.

In this case I wanted a pale neutral, but not bright white or grey. So many colours that I loved in theory, looked grey in our north facing dining room. I really struggled until I had a colour consultation with the very lovely Helen Shaw of Shaw Paints, who are the UK distributors of Benjamin Moore paint.

 Dream Living & Dining Room Reveal with West Elm - French For Pineapple Blog
Metal Framed Oversize Round Mirror in Brass

 Dream Living & Dining Room Reveal with West Elm - French For Pineapple Blog
Industrial Outline Table Lamp

I'm going to write another post about my chat with her it in the next few weeks because it was super helpful for me, and I'm sure it will be to anyone else who is struggling to find exactly the right paint colour too.

The colour I ended up choosing is called Navajo White. It's got a good dose of yellow in it, making it a creamy white with a touch of beige. A fabulous light neutral if you're after something that's not white or light grey, and as I found out, off-whites are actually really tricky!

The Benjamin Moore paint was really lovely to use (it's only been available in the UK since September last year). I've used the same colour on the walls, woodwork, coving and ceilings - I used the Regal Select in Matt Finish on the walls, the Regal Select in Eggshell Finish on the woodwork, and I went for the Aura Semi-Gloss on the coving and ceilings. Inside the bookshelves in the dining room, I've used the Advance Satin which is a tougher option for woodwork.

The colour works beautifully with the parquet, and together they set an elegant, grown-up base for the furniture, artwork and accessories.

 Dream Living & Dining Room Reveal with West Elm - French For Pineapple Blog

 Dream Living & Dining Room Reveal with West Elm - French For Pineapple Blog

New Floor:

As I said in my post yesterday about my Amtico floor installation, I've always believed in the transformative power of paint, and that flooring sets the tone. Big time.

The parquet really does add an air of elegance that I've always wanted and just couldn't get with my previous flooring, and I adore it.

 Dream Living & Dining Room Reveal with West Elm - French For Pineapple Blog

 Dream Living & Dining Room Reveal with West Elm - French For Pineapple Blog

 Dream Living & Dining Room Reveal with West Elm - French For Pineapple Blog
Oswald Tufted Slipper Chair

New Furniture & Accessories:

I was going to say that of all the beautiful things from West Elm in these rooms, that the Thea chairs residing in the bay window are my favourites. And they might be, but I also adore the table, the huge brass framed, mirror, the sofa, the coffee table... and the lamps, cushions and rug! Truth is, I love it all, and every time I walk into these rooms the combination of everything makes me smile. So maybe I don't have a favourite after all.

 Dream Living & Dining Room Reveal with West Elm - French For Pineapple Blog

I love a coffee table with a shelf for display, meaning the top can be kept relatively clear, and it's such a nice change having a round one too - no corners for small boys to bump into.

 Dream Living & Dining Room Reveal with West Elm - French For Pineapple Blog

 Dream Living & Dining Room Reveal with West Elm - French For Pineapple Blog
Sloane Sofa / Textured Silk Fringe Cushions
Apparently cats aren't interested in leather, and so far so good, Cleo has not really been on the lovely new Sloane sofa much. Fingers crossed she stays uninterested and that she doesn't take in interest in the Thea chairs either!

 Dream Living & Dining Room Reveal with West Elm - French For Pineapple Blog

 Dream Living & Dining Room Reveal with West Elm - French For Pineapple Blog

 Dream Living & Dining Room Reveal with West Elm - French For Pineapple Blog

I'm particularly happy that for the first time in the ten years we've lived in this house, the dining room actually works. The table shape and size is just right for this tricky space with so many doors, and it's already been used so much more than ever before. It's no longer a storage room and thoroughfare, but a gorgeous space that I want to be in.

 Dream Living & Dining Room Reveal with West Elm - French For Pineapple Blog
Silhouette Oval Dining Table

The oversized brass framed mirror is such a statement piece and is just made for the wall above the sideboard in the dining room. We've moved our spot print to the wall opposite and it's reflected in the mirror now which I love.

So there you go - two more rooms done and dusted. I intend to relax and enjoy them for the rest of the summer, before getting to work on my next projects!

This post is in collaboration with West Elm. Thanks so much for your support in helping me transform these rooms! 

And to my other fabulous sponsors too - Amtico for the floor of dreams, Benjamin Moore UK for the beautiful paint, for the lovely radiators, and Zoffany for that fab wallpaper.

I really hope you like the new look! Let me know what your favourite thing is in the comments below...

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.

A vaguely cautionary tale...

I bought a vintage chest of drawers for our bedroom on ebay recently, which turned out to look an awful lot better in the photos than they did in reality. That's ebay though - it's always a bit of a gamble if you're buying vintage, or anything for that matter, that you've not seen in the flesh.

I probably couldn't accuse the seller of mis-selling exactly, more of using flattering photography / lighting / angles, and a vague description. When it was delivered, I saw that the fronts of the drawers were covered in what I think were watermarks, the drawer fronts were also very faded - and they generally looked old and grotty, as opposed to the old and a little bit glam I was expecting.

I wasn't super disappointed though, as it had great bones and was the perfect size for the space - I wanted the largest chest of drawers I could fit along the wall to maximise storage space, and this is 122cms wide by 95cms high and 55cms deep - a sizeable piece, so was by no means a complete disaster of a purchase as it's flaws were only skin deep.

I had really wanted a new piece to fit the space in our bedroom, albeit a new piece in a mid century style, like this chevron grained beauty from West Elm. I really, really wanted it. In fact, I still do. Sadly though, even with a big price reduction when it was on sale (£949 reduced to £549.95), it was still way above what I could afford to spend, so I had to let it go (let it go..!).

Chevron Grain Chest of Drawers West Elm

I really wanted to have the luxury of smooth running drawers and, something that could just be put into place and didn't require any work at all on my part for this piece of furniture. I already have a huge list of half finished DIY jobs and not enough time to complete them, but alas, it wasn't to be this time. Yes, maybe next time. Back to reality. So, this is what mine looked like on ebay...

Not bad for £120 huh? But this was the reality... Hmmmm, not quite so pretty now, is it?

You can see from the dust in the image above that I'd already started taking to it with sandpaper. Impatient as ever, and a bit of a risky move considering that it's veneer, but thankfully, good quality thick wood veneer, so it's taken a sand perfectly well, and all the marks have come off. You can also see in the image above that the handles were not in good condition at all. They were probably once lovely shiny brass, but that plating was long gone, and no amount of elbow grease was going to make them sparkle again.

I looked into having them re-plated, but it was surprisingly more expensive than I'd thought it would be at around £13 a piece, so a total of £104 for the eight handles - nearly as much as the chest of drawer cost to start with, and I just didn't like them enough to spend that kind of money, so I started the hunt for some replacements. The replacements had to fit or cover the existing holes, which meant my choice was quite limited, in an already limited market. However, I absolutely love the ones I found. I have a post dedicated to cabinet hardware coming very soon, so you'll have to wait for the details, but they were £6.30 each. I'd possibly have preferred a natural brushed brass if it was an option, but I do love their shiny goodness.

I removed the old handles, and sanded to get rid of the uneven faded varnish and watermarks, and filled the existing handle holes with a drill-able filler, as the new holes needed to be precariously close to the old ones. I drilled new holes, and gave each drawer three coats of clear Osmo Oil, before fitting the new shiny new chunky handles... Ta dah!

I'm pretty proud of this one, even though it was very straight forward, because it's made such a dramatic difference, and taken a battered and really average piece of furniture, to something I love and will keep for years to come. Not to mention the fact that we can finally put all our clothes away.

Now remember kids, the moral of this story is that you should probably ask more questions than I tend to when buying vintage on ebay, and perhaps for more closeup shots too. Or just take the gamble, which is quite probably half the fun.

So what do you think? Have you had any ebay disasters that you managed to salvage? Or not? Do tell...