🍍Pineapple mad🍍

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So, I’ve written about my justified pineapple addiction already here Mrs Love will ALWAYS love pineapples 🍍 and when I wrote that I thought Pineapples were possibly on the way out this year…. BUT NO, I reckon, the funky pineapple  isn’t going anywhere in 2017!

Sure, other trends are around and there are looks going strong (including the leafy tropics, greens and botanicals that I, ahem, mentioned earlier in the year) BUT the pineapple has stamped it’s foot and refused to leave!

All hail the pineapple!

I’ve been focusing on my downstairs loo over the last week or so as it’s been painted and decorated but not dressed, vamped or styled. I’ve been looking for lots of different pieces including some kind of basket or box (i’m thinking tribal and retro) to store our loo rolls, bottles etc, a nice soap dispenser, hand towels, a macrame plant hanger etc and whilst scouring the net to source these finds I’ve realised, pineapples are still EVERYWHERE!

*As my loo has come up in conversation, let’s just briefly draw attention to the Maison du Monde cactus above. How. Utterly. Beautiful. Is. That. Fucking. Cactus.*

I wanted pineapple wallpaper in the summer that I became Mrs Love (2015) and there wasn’t one in existence.  I’ve had to sit and wait patiently for prints to arrive. Fast forward 2 years and all time favourite (and first stop shop for my wallpaper needs) Wallpaper direct, now have bloody loads to choose! From designer prints from Barnby Gates, to cheap and cheerful patterns like mine from Albany, £12.99 a roll in the sale. Bargain! (Full price £20) I actually chatted to someone on Instagram who told me she’d seen it for sale in B&M for £1 a roll! A pound!!?! How amazing is that?

Anyway… If you’re (still) an unashamed pineapple fan like me, I just thought id just share the array of amazing affordable pineapple shiz that i’ve found online for you to swoon over!

Enjoy!

And if you’d like to see how we incorporated pineapples into our wedding , look up the hashtag #thelovewedding2015 on Instagram.

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Starting with me

Ok, Let us begin. I want this blog to be honest and real. I’m a straight talker. I don’t beat about the bush. I dont bs. Our interior choices speak volumes about who we are and our homes are extentions of our personalities, right? So, because my home is so bright and colourful, I must be the happiest person on earth right? Wrong.

I have my favourite colour blue in every room in my house (apart from my toilet and bathroom) which is apparently a calming and tranquil colour. Let me tell you, I’m many things, but calm and tranquil aren’t two of my better qualities!

It’s important you know where I came from. I don’t mean geographically, more, why I’m interested in Interior Styling in the first place. I’m 34 and have always thought my style was a bit weird. In my 20’s,  If I pointed something out that I liked in say, a shop, the reply from whoever I was with would always be the same. “Yes, It’s very you”. And I always took that as a bit of an insult. It was polite speak for “it’s not my cup of tea but whatever floats your boat”. But now, I take “it’s very you” as a compliment! It means that I have a recognised style, which yes, may be a bit different sometimes, but I now embrace ‘the weird’ more than fight it. It’s taken me a long time to figure out who I am, be comfortable in my own skin and discover what I actually like and I can’t say it’s always come naturally to me. I’ve never been one of those people who can just throw something together and it just looks effortlessly cool. And I constantly get it wrong!

So, here’s the thing. I’m here, writing this blog, as I quit my job in January. I’ve worked in Childcare for 17 long years in an array of different positions, from schools, to nurseries,to children’s centres, charities and cruise ships. I’ve done it all from babies to teens. Last year, my husband and I had IVF after years of unsuccessfully trying to conceive naturally, and it failed. I went back to work shortly after and I was a total zombie. It was as though I wasn’t fully present and I just couldn’t care like I used to.  I knew that my life working with children couldn’t continue. Going to work was a constant reminder of what I wasn’t able to achieve and I was absolutely miserable. It’s a cliché but on Dr’s orders (after a proper meltdown), I went on holiday to ‘find myself’ again, did A LOT of thinking, came home and handed in my notice. Simple as that.  The relief was amazing! I hadn’t acknowledged or appreciated how hard it was to work with kids every day whilst not being able to have them. It was daily, mental torture. When I quit, it’s like I’d released myself from all that anguish and pain. I could deal with infertility like a normal person! Not with it shoved down my throat each and every day. It was litreally a weight lifted.

So now being able to deal with my personal life in a healthier way, it left me wondering (well. Panicking) about what the crapping hell was I going to actually ‘do’ now I no longer ‘do’ childcare. My qualifications are in childcare. I have zero experience in anything else, minus my Saturday job working on the tills in Iceland when I was 15, although I’m not sure that counts.  So I asked myself, what am I good at? Tough question to answer for a person with surprisingly low self esteem. I thought, I’m OK at singing? Perhaps I could do weddings or something? But then I remembered that I am terrified of singing on my own in front of people. Slight glitch. I love photography and I guess I’m OK at that too but I couldnt really work out how that could make me any money when I’ve only got a shitty Cannon compact camera. So, a bit stuck, I threw the question out  to a few friends and they were like “DURRRR? Your house? Why is this even a question?”. It came as a shock to me, it really did. I’ll say it again, I always thought my house was a bit weird! I thought it was “very me” but not “very anyone else”. I didn’t really realise that other people actually liked it! But to my dismay, apparently they do! Mind blown 🔫💥

And so the story begins. I had a bunch of really supportive, encouraging people around me, telling me to do this. “Cease the day. What have I got to lose? You’ll never know what could happen unless you try”. Yada yada yada. So I’m going to go along with it.  Interior Styling I mean. I’m giving it a go! I trust those friends. They believe in me and eventually I think I may learn to do the same. So I’m currently creating new looks for two friends in their homes. One kitchen, one living room. (I’ll of course blog about their progress). I’ve signed up for a painting and decorating course. I’m blogging! *me? Blogging? As if!* And I’m basically starting to put some feelers out and see where it takes me. It’s exciting! I think?

It’s also quite scary to be professing to the world that “I can do this”, so I’m actually not going to. To say “I’m now an interior stylist” is a bit cringe for me. I’m not delusional! I’m just making an opportunity for myself because I’m unemployed! That’s pretty much it?! I’m OBVIOUSLY not an interior stylist. But what I am is someone who really enjoys styling my home and I’m going to transfer that joy I have by perhaps designing other people’s homes…. if they’d like me too! You say tomato, I say “I just like making rooms colourful and inviting”.  If I can turn this into a little job, something to fill my days and perhaps earn me some pocket money, fantastic! If not, a bunch of people in my life, husband included, have really lifted me up after a proper shit 12 months and given me the confidence to think that I’m good at something other than looking after other people’s sprogs. That’s something to be celebrated I reckon.

💛 Welcome to my colourful home💛

And welcome to my living room! It’s a sunny room, with 2 windows on different walls, which helps this to be the light, airy space that it is. It also happens to be my favourite room in my house. There are lots of squares aren’t there? Hmmmm.  This wasn’t a conscious decision by any means! I suppose I’m a big fan of symmetry. That dates back to Spiragraphs as a child. Remember those?

The shelving units were picked up half price in a Next sale, years ago. They were a horrid, mock, birch effect things. Just cheap mdf really. So I put a coat of “sticks to absolutely anything” spray paint from B&Q (not it’s official name. Just what I call it!), allowed it to dry and then brought 3 tester pots of paint from Wilkos in colours that I liked. It wasn’t a particularly ‘thought out’ idea, but my best ideas never are. My living room at this stage had lots of green accents but I knew I wanted to fade the green out and run with blue and yellow. Well. Habitat Kingfisher Blue and Habitat Mustard if we’re being precise. Man I’m gutted they discontinued their paints. They were great! I’m usually very happy with Dulux but I strayed to Habitat once and didn’t regret it.

The blue Square with the Morgan Kane print in it was inspired by the shelving. I like how angular everything is but at the same time, it’s imperfect. I purposely wanted to place the print off centre just to add a bit of interest. I often like things that aren’t quite perfect, but they’re trying! If everything looks too symmetrical or ‘placed’ that’s when I find that design starts to look a bit contrived and staged. That’s when the “show home” look creeps in. I want my home to be a home, not a set.

Behind my ‘you look lovely’ mirror is a mustard triangle.  I hated the line between the two a joining walls. One white. One mustard. It was too severe. There was no blend. It’s why I’m not so keen on feature walls. I like to try and blend the walls together in anyway I know how. So, I just started at the top corner and brought an angle down onto the white wall. I’d seen it on Pinterest and knew it’d be fitting in this room.

As for our stairs, that lead off the living room, I painted a faux bannister with the mustard that’s on the TV Wall and created a gallery staircase. It may look very “thrown together”, and I’d love to say it was, but unfortunately I did have to plan the placements of the frames quite meticulously. Nailing that many holes into the wall? I knew I had to get it right first time! This isn’t our forever home and I sometimes look at my stairs and think “the poor people who are going to buy this house are going to absolutely curse me!” for some of these decisions! 😂 Oh well. It looks great and I often feel that our stairways get quite neglected or seen as a mere passage to get from one space to another. I wanted to utilise it as it’s own, unique space. (And to stop the harshness of the blue wall meeting the mustard wall I placed a plant in the corner to break it up. Little tip there if these things bother you like they bother me!)

My teak sideboard was an Ebay find. A steal at £150. Over the years I’ve toyed with the idea of painting a design on it or putting some wallpaper on it. But I love it in it’s original form and would hate to somehow ruin it. I got it years before having a teak sideboard was “cool”. Not that I’m gloating! But usually when a trend takes off it puts me right off ‘said thing’ and I’ll turn the other cheek, not wanting to fit a mould or look like I’m following a heard. It’s just the way I am. But, I have an emotional tie to that sideboard because it was the first piece of furniture that we got when we moved in so I could never get rid of it simply because of my aversion to trends. It’s now a sentimental piece and I’ll have it forever.

Mrs Love will ALWAYS love pineapples 🍍

First off, you’ll see from my home that pineapples are featured pretty much everywhere including my downstairs loo *still a work in progress. It’s just been wallpapered*screenshot_20170127-192131Now. If you’ve read my previous posts, you’ll have read that I don’t like to follow trends. And I “really” don’t. *Says the girl with the pineapple mad house.* But I have a legitimate pineapple story that completely vito’s me from being a part of this trend. Now who can say they have a legit pineapple story, huh? 😂😂😂

You must have been living in a cave or a padded cell to have missed out on the fact that in 2016 the world went bananas for pineapples. In fact, bananas did quite well too! As did flamingos. Palm trees. Cactus’s.  Basically the trend was all things TROPICAL. But it all stemmed from the pineapple ,which actually started to make an appearance in the summer of 2015.

On Christmas day 2014, Mr Love popped the question after a whopping 6 years of patiently waiting! On Boxing day I’d already decided that our table decorations were going to be Gold spray painted pineapples. We’d met whilst working on cruise ships in the Caribbean and I wanted a nod to that. Now, I’m the first to admit, my ideas usually start from something I’ve seen somewhere else, be it pinterest, instagram, magazines, etc but the gold pineapple thing was plucked from absolute obscurity. Fast foward 6 months and I had no idea that pineapples were going to become so huge. If I had’ve known, perhaps I would’ve spray painted model ships or something! But, we ran with pineapples. 55 to be precise. Gold eventually turned into multicoloured as the wedding planning evolved, because we wanted a really colourful wedding. So on the 24th of May, 2015 I officially became Mrs Love and my love for my husband and indeed of pineapples, grew. (Look up #thelovewedding2015 on IG for more pics)

So my home now features a lot of pineapples. They’re now so sentimental. They remind me of our wedding so how could I not still be utterly obsessed by them. And not just me, my friends often send me pineapple items that they’ve seen with the tag “saw this and thought of your wedding”. It’s sweet. And I love it.

I suppose, if I’m being honest, yes, it does bug me that it turned into such a huge trend. But looking at it from a different point of view, perhaps I have an eye for this stuff? Perhaps I knew somehow, that pineapples were going to be the next big thing? Wow, is this my super power??? Am I missing a career move? Should I be the next buyer for a trend setting high street shop? Am I ‘that’ ahead of the game? Well. Perhaps I’m getting a bit ahead of myself here! Ha ha.  But we can test the theory and I could make some predictions!

I think peg boards are the new pineapple. Well, actually, peg boards are the new light boxes but you catch my drift. You know, the old skool ones you used to get outside an old cinema with the listings on. Yep, them. They’re going to be huge in 2017. Everyone will have one in their kitchens and they’ll be snapping photos of their favourite song lyrics or funny quotes. I reckon they’ll feature in couples Weddings too. What a great way to inform guests about the order of service!

Hygge is also going to be huge. If you don’t know what that word is now, you will by the end of the year. Us Brits seem to love Scandinavian design and living, (another trend that I totes saw coming. Obvs!) And we’re taking it one step further. Hygge is the Danish word used for “living well”. It’s a bit more than just a state of mind, it’s translated as “Everything from the article of creating intimacy to cosiness of the soul to taking pleasure from the presence of soothing things”. It’s a feeling. It’s a way of living. It’s cuddles with your dog on the sofa at dusk while some candles burn, cosy under a knitted throw. It’s a hot chocolate with best friends at 11pm in your pj’s. Just use the hash tag #hygge on Instagram and you’ll see that it’s not just the Danes that are living by this philosophy. The little book of hygge by Meik Wiking is a book that’s going to be on everyone’s book shelves 👍

The tropical theme will continue but focusing less on fruit and more on plant life and nature. Cushions will adorn prints of leaves, palms and succulents. Since Pantone decided their colour of 2017 is Green, expect to see it everywhere.

If I’m right, well, probably nothing will happen or change. But, at least you’re following a blog of someone who can anticipate what might be next! That’s something, right? 😂😂😂 OK.  Got it.

Oh, here’s some pics of my pineapple centrepieces and confetti!

The dark side Vs colour

Ok. So, Im assuming now that you’re like me. You really like looking at other peoples homes. Not in a nosy way, in a “looking for inspiration” way. It’s why we all love Pinterest. So like me, I reckon you like looking at other people’s ideas and wondering if they would work in your house. Right? I guess that’s why I follow certain people. Or is it?

I follow a lot of Interior Design folk on Instagram. And when I say interior design folk, I just mean, folk like me. Folk that hashtag #interior design, simply because that’s their interest, not necessarily their profession, and their photos are their own, not pulled off the Internet.  I don’t really follow “the professionals”. Not “the proper ones”. Because they’re not like me. They don’t do ikea hacks or upcycle furniture and they certainly don’t go to carboot sales or shop off ebay. Well, I unashamedly do!  So I follow the folk who I can relate too and who I think are like me. The ones who have a mortgage, kids, job, car, normal life etc etc and they happen to love spending their free time on making their homes look lovely. Like me! And I reckon, that’s why you’re reading this blog. For exactly the same reason. It’s a little bit of harmless voyeurism and intreague.

But recently, I’ve noticed that it’s started getting me down a bit! It’s setting a bar that sometimes I feel as though I can’t reach.  I post pictures of my #shelfie or #myhomevibe as thousands of others ‘just like me’ do, but mine don’t look anything like theirs. Comparison. What an evil bitch she is. It’s got in my head recently and it sometimes stops me from posting anything for a couple of days. I think to myself, my house doesnt look like their house and they’ve got 50X’s more followers (or likes) than me, so people must think their house is lovely and my house must be rubbish. *Evil little head monkey*.

What im noticing is, there’s a common thread in their house compared to my house. It’s even been given a nickname; “the dark side”. Dark interiors. Black, grey or navy walls and ceilings. Dark woodwork. Dark. Dark. DARK.

EVERY THING DARK.

And, dont get me wrong, I love it! I am not, I REPEAT, NOT slagging off “the dark side”. It looks AMAZING! And I wouldn’t follow 30% of who I follow if I didn’t think so.

I love how confident they all are! You’ve gotta have some pretty big cahoonas to be painting 4 walls and your ceiling black or grey. We’ve been taught, no, we’ve had it drilled into us, from 90’s Changing Rooms and beyond, that light colours make a room look bigger, dark colours make a room look smaller and nobody would want a smaller looking room. WRONG! “Dark siders” are saying, “Bollocks to that, I want my room to look small and cosy” and you know what? They do look bloody cosy and SO inviting.

But, one things for damn sure, they certainly don’t look like my house. Not even close. My house is about as about as opposite to ‘the dark side’ as you can probably get! So if we’re moving towards a ‘dark trend’, I’m wondering, where does that leave me? (And you, if you like colour). Are we now out of date? Behind the times? Not forward thinking? Not ‘on point’? I wrote a post a couple of weeks ago about how I feel the opposite! So you can see where I am conflicted! I can see before my very eyes that more and more folk are turning to the dark side but I’m still quite happy and content waving my big, fat, multicoloured flag! And I’m noticing that not many others are with me. The colourful homes accounts I follow tend to be in America and Scandinavia. The UK? Not so much.

Pause for thought. *Me. Not you.*

Days after pondering these thoughts and letting comparison (the second most evil C word) get to me, I concluded by thinking that actually, it takes equally big balls for someone to paint a wall bright yellow or bright pink as it does to go dark. Yellow or black. They’re both bold as fuck and quite brave. They both make a statement. They both make someone walk into that particular room and say “wow”. Isn’t that what us “interior design folk” want? To just create a little bit of interest and an impression.

I also realised that I was concerning myself FAR too much in what other people were doing. Why was I seeking validation that my home was enough? Why was I equating that the popularity of a dark home meant that my bright home must then surely be unpopular? What nonsense goes on in my head! There is no right and wrong. There is no dark vs colour. It’s just people doing what they hek they like. How wonderful too! I love that the rule book has been thrown out the window. I love that we’re all doing what we like in our homes and not accepting that “it should be like this” or “it should be like that”. Yeh? Says who?

Social media can be utterly brilliant and it can be wickedly horrible. Our outlook and attitude determines that. I definitely must stop myself being jealous of an account because it got 300 likes and I only got 60. It DOES NOT MEAN THAT THEIR STYLE IS BETTER. I’m talking to myself as well as to whoever is reading this. Just do your thing. I’ll do my thing. They can do their thing. We’re not in competition. You don’t need to pick a side, dark or colour. Let’s just appreciate what each of us are doing and be thankful for the freedom and the outlet to be able to express ourselves however the fuck we want.

Going dark is definitely going to increase in popularity. There’s no doubt about it that it’s heading that way. And as a massive colour fan, it’s probably not a shock that I’m resisting it in someway and perhaps feeling slightly threatened by it. (Wow. This is quite deep, psychological stuff here! 😂)

Will I ever paint a whole room in battleship grey? Probably not to be honest, but then stranger things have happened so I’ll never say never! But what I mustn’t ever do again is compare my colourful, bright home to a fellow IG users dark home. It’s just ludicrous. It’s as insecure as a girl disliking her latest selfie because not many people commented on it or liked it. So, she deletes it, thinking “what’s wrong with me?” and completely over thinks the whole scenario. We all do it, perhaps not in exactly the same circumstances. Our hair, our home, our dress sense, our car, our fuckin eyebrows for God sake?! It can sometimes get a bit much can’t it? This ‘need’ to be “enough”. To be liked. To get approval. To be validated as good at something. We need to worry less about what others are doing and focus much more on what’s making us happy.

My multicoloured home makes me happy! Anyone else’s viewpoint on my home shouldn’t matter. They don’t live here, I do! It’s so fantastic that we don’t have stupid, judgemental DIY programmes on our tellys anymore showing us how to do it properly. That ship has thankfully sailed. We’re all given licence to do what we want. So, don’t follow trends. Explore the little crevices deep in your imagination that are perhaps closed because society has taught you that there is a blue print (or should that be a magnolia print) that you should be sticking to.

The dark vs colour title is actually completely wrong.  We’re not in competition with each other at all! We’re actually on the same team! We’re both saying “just go for it! It’s just a room!”. Be bold, be brave. Just do it. Make that statement. Wow your house guests. If they’re not wowed, who cares? (But seriously, what’s wrong with them 😞)

It’s your house. Do it for you. Do it for your inner child who was told to colour in the lines.

Sod that.