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Interiorssneak peeks

A DIY Lover’s Tastefully Designed & Ever-Evolving Victorian

by Sofia Tuovinen

A DIY Lover's Tastefully Designed and Ever-Evolving Victorian
Eleven years ago, when Bianca Hall and her husband Ed were expecting their first child, Edie, they felt it was time to find something bigger for their growing family. They didn’t move far — just a couple of blocks down in Stoke Newington, a neighborhood in north-east London that they’re proud to call home. Bianca tells us, “It’s a lovely community atmosphere (helped by lack of tube line) with good local independent shops, cafes and restaurants, and a huge local park with two skate bowls that my husband takes full advantage of whenever he can as he’s been a skateboarder since he was a kid.” Bianca and Ed knew the 1870s Victorian, located on a quiet street and boasting a big garden and plenty of space, was the one, as it reminded them of the beloved house that was too small for them.

Since moving in, the family’s home has seen many a facelift — so much so that Bianca has turned it into her job! After working in the television industry like Ed, she now writes the interior blog French for Pineapple, which chronicles her many decorating adventures, stunning DIYs and favorite products. Bianca calls herself “an interiors obsessive, and compulsive redecorator,” but her husband, Edie and the couple’s youngest, Baxter, don’t seem to mind. “No one bats an eyelid when I announce my next plan for a room — they’re all so used to it. Not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing!” Bianca laughs.

When it comes to style and decorating, Bianca doesn’t feel that she has an end goal. “It will just keep evolving and changing with us as our needs change, or indeed as my mind does,” she says. Being a complete homebody, Bianca couldn’t be better suited for working her magic around the house on a daily basis. Although spaces in the family’s home get updates whenever Bianca comes up with a new idea that she wants to try out, there are a couple of bigger projects on the horizon — which will require plenty of design effort and attention to detail. “The top level of the house will probably become the kids’ zone next year sometime, which means both their existing bedrooms will be repurposed. I’m plotting that already,” Bianca shares. Another big project that she can’t wait to start is a complete bathroom gut job. “I’m hoping it’s something that will happen in the new year — that’s if the toilet and shower head don’t break completely first!” she adds. Scroll down for a peek into Bianca and her family’s cleverly and thoughtfully decorated home, and be sure not to miss all the amazing DIYs in almost every room — we can’t stop gushing over them! —Sofia

Photography by Bianca Hall@frenchforpineapple

Image above: After a recent makeover and stunning DIY project, the dining room has transformed into Bianca’s favorite space in the house. 

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The dining room sideboard is an IKEA hack, comprising of wall-hung kitchen cabinets and modified doors. The vintage Arkana mushroom chairs were a lucky find on eBay.

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“The sideboard is one of the things I get asked about most. And then people are disappointed that they can’t buy it!” Bianca says. “I direct them to the simple tutorial on my blog, but I find that generally speaking people are too scared to try. I love the huge impact the stepped panels on the doors have, and the shadow play.”

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As the dining room doesn’t get much natural light, Bianca opted for a large round mirror to help bounce it around.

A DIY Lover's Tastefully Designed and Ever-Evolving Victorian | Design*Sponge
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“The house was extremely lacking in storage when we moved in, so one of the first things we did was have this floor-to-ceiling bookshelf built so we could unpack all our books,” Bianca explains.

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Bianca recently hung several pieces of art in the family’s hall. “It really brings the hall to life and I love that you can see it from the dining room,” she says. 

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The living and dining rooms have a big double opening and almost serve as one space. “My husband keeps trying to convince me [that] some skateboards would work here but I’ve pulled rank and said no. He collects skateboard decks and has more than I care to count and there are several on the walls throughout the house — mainly in the halls and stairwells,” Bianca reveals.

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Bianca loves the living room for its serene and calming feel. Instead of a large piece of statement art, Bianca chose to create a monochrome gallery wall above the sofa.

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Bianca and Ed refitted the kitchen a year ago and did everything themselves except for plumbing, electrics and surface fittings. “It was a huge job and caused absolute mayhem, and a load of stress, but it was totally worth it,” Bianca says. 

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A brass tap and hardware add a sophisticated touch to the family’s new kitchen.

A DIY Lover's Tastefully Designed and Ever-Evolving Victorian | Design*Sponge
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“I’m such a homebody and I often only leave the house to get our son from school in the afternoons. It’s not unusual for me to not leave the house for days on end if I don’t need to,” Bianca shares.

I absolutely love being at home and I never get bored.

A DIY Lover's Tastefully Designed and Ever-Evolving Victorian | Design*Sponge
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Bianca made the tufted headboard after being inspired by Brady Tolbert’s DIY project on Emily Henderson’s blog. “It was a roaring success, if I do say so myself! Every room should have a standout piece and this is certainly it in this room,” Bianca shares. 

A DIY Lover's Tastefully Designed and Ever-Evolving Victorian | Design*Sponge
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I always forget that we have a gallery wall of nudes above our bed and people always comment. But it kind of works in a bedroom, right?” Bianca says jokingly. 

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A set of taupe velvet curtains adds a warm touch to the main bedroom and helps the space feel cozy and cocooning.

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Bianca chose a marble-effect linen fabric for the tufted headboard, ‘Torrent’ by Earthed Fabrics

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The plan is to gut the bathroom entirely next year. To give the space a quick facelift in the meantime, Bianca made new cupboard doors to replace the old, water-damaged ones. 

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Baxter’s bedroom features cheerful turquoise walls and matching wallpaper. As the plaster is uneven where the walls meet the ceiling, Bianca came up with the idea of adding decorative molding and only wallpapering within them.

A DIY Lover's Tastefully Designed and Ever-Evolving Victorian | Design*Sponge
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The dresser in Baxter’s room is from IKEA and painted an inky purple. The cacti and llama wallpaper is by Drop It Modern.

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As in Baxter’s room, Bianca added decorative molding on the walls in Edies’s room and wallpapered the inside areas only.

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I call Edie’s bedroom the ‘Drama Teen room’,” Bianca says. “She’s a lucky little lady and when I’d finished painting and wallpapering I wanted to move in myself!”

A DIY Lover's Tastefully Designed and Ever-Evolving Victorian | Design*Sponge
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The TV room is located on the top floor of the house, which is a recent extension that comprises of two rooms and one bathroom, soon to become the kids’ zone.

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Cleo the “tiny tiger” is the newest member of the family.

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The sideboard in the TV room is another IKEA hack — Bianca added molding to the doors and painted them green.

A DIY Lover's Tastefully Designed and Ever-Evolving Victorian | Design*Sponge
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“The yellow of the front door is going soon, but I have enjoyed it, I’m just ready for a change!”

SOURCE LIST

Exterior

Front Door Color – “Trumpet” by Little Greene Paint

Entryway

Alphabet Print – Ben Eine
‘Dog Save The Queen’ Print – D*Face
‘Diana Family Picnic’ – Stella Vine
‘Kiss Her’ – Bianca Hall
‘Up Is The New Down’ – Bob & Roberta Smith
Carpet – Light Taupe Sensation by Cormar Carpets
Floor – Amtico Brushed Oak Parquet
Black stool – La Redoute

Dining Room

Walls – Benjamin Moore “Navajo White”
Floor – Amtico Brushed Oak Parquet
Arkana Mushroom Dining Chairs – Vintage, eBay
Silhouette Brass and Marble Dining Table – West Elm
Sideboard – IKEA kitchen wall units with DIY hacked doors
Lamps – Industrial Outline, West Elm
Metal Framed Oversize Mirror – West Elm
Pendant Light – Junction, Heals
Candelabra on table/candles – Stoff Nagel, Trouva
Gold Frame with B&W photo – Made by Bianca’s father who was a photographer in the 60s of her mother who was a model
Brutalist Candlesticks – Vintage, eBay
Ceramic Zebra – Vintage, eBay
Gold rimmed coasters – West Elm
Cloche – H&M
Totem black and white vases – West Elm
Curved Vase – Jonathan Adler
Books – Andy Warhol Portraits and The Book Of Palms
Candles – Oyedo (on books) and Baies (under cloche) both Diqtyque
Parrot Ceramic Money Box – Liberty London
Tom Dixon Geometric Tea Light Holder – Amara
Overside Spot Art – Damien Hirst ‘Valium’ Bought at auction – Bonhams
Footed Plant Pot – La Redoute
Mongolian Sheepskin Stools were a DIY

Living Room

Walls – Benjamin Moore “Navajo White”
Black Metal Side Table – H&M
Clear Acrylic Lamp “Bourgie” by Kartell – Aria
Brass See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil Monkeys – Vintage
Amer Candle – Diptique
B&W Pom Pom Throw – H&M
Textured Silk Fringed Cushions in Gold Dust – West Elm
Leather Sloane Sofa – West Elm
Distressed Foliage Wool Rug – West Elm
Floor – Amtico Brushed Oak Parquet
Spot Prints (actually framed tea towels) – Scott King
Pink Linen and Velvet Chairs – Thea, West Elm
A Big Hunk o Love – Peter Blake (all white in the center, bottom)
Supermodel I – Keith Coventry (etching with circles top, second from left)
Debbie Harry (top left) – Kate Simon
Monstera – Bianca Hall (bottom left)
Candy – (my mother Candy Conway, by my father Lynton Butler, bottom, second from left)
La Luna – Brycen Horne (top center)
Debbie Harry – Photographer unknown
Mustard Lamp – Vintage, eBay

Kitchen

Walls – Earthborn Paints “Wood Smoke”
Ceramic Wall Lights – Dyke & Dean
Opera Extractor Fan – Smeg at ao.com
Angle Table in Walnut – Unto This Last
Ray Metal Stools – Maisons Du Monde
Velvet Fabric on banquette – Swaffer
Printed Cushions on banquette – Black Parrot Studio
Fridge Freezer – Smeg at ao.com
Units – IKEA Metod in Tingsryd Black
Handles – M Marcus Heritage Brass “Metro,” The Door Handle Company
Work Surfaces and splashbacks – Mistral “Mist” by Karonia Surfaces
Ledges on oven side – bespoke by Shelfbar
Black ledge with hooks next to french doors – IKEA ‘Falsterbo’
Tap – Bronze Cascata, Olif
Sink – Alevus Monarch in Anthracite, Olif
Black tray – Flying Tiger
Handwash – Aesop
Neon Pink Sponges – HAY
Wooden Dish Brush – Prep at Trouva
Brass Hexagon Pot – HAY
Pink Bowl – IKEA Dinera

Main Bedroom

Wall color – “Donkey Ride” by Earthborn Paints
Sofa – Vintage upholstered in Japanese Floral by Florence Broadhurst, Liberty
Grey linen throw on bed – La Redoute
White Cotton Linen – Marks & Spencer
Channel tufted wall to wall headboard is a DIY (inspired by Brady Tolbert)
Fabric – “Torrent” by Earthed Fabrics
Leopard Print Cushion – Ardmore
Pink Silk Cushions – West Elm
Lamps – Biba “Albany,” House of Fraser
Lucite Side Table/Trolley – Vintage
Taupe Velvet Curtains – Drop It Modern
Art above bed
‘Girl on a bear’ – Mel Ramos
Marylin – Bert Stern
Spanish Lady – vintage, eBay
Reclining Nude – Pietro Annigoni
Nude (next to window) – Leo Jansen

Bathroom

Gold Cross Cabinet – Dwell (customized with gold leaf, was red)
Cupboard doors – DIY project: MDF painted in Farrow & Ball “Ammonite”

Baxter’s Bedroom

Paint – Earthborn Paints “Milk Jug”
Wallpaper – Desert Llama by Drop It Modern
Drawers – IKEA Tarva
Drawers painted in – Earthborn Paints “Trumpet”
Pendant Shade  – IKEA Sinnerlig
Floor Book Holder – IKEA Botkyrka (meant as wall shelf)
Giant LEGO Brick Storage Boxes – A Place For Everything
Teddy Bear – Vintage
Lamp (on drawers) – Made.com, “Ozzy”
Italian Money Pot (on drawers) – Terramundi
Lion (on drawers) – Vintage
Batman Alarm Clock Figurine (on drawers) – Amazon
Tiger Mask (hung on drawers) – Molly Meg
Round Stepped Brass Knobs – The Door Handle Company

Edie’s Bedroom

Walls – Earthborn Paints “Donkey Ride”
Wallpaper – Drop It Modern, Kitten
Bed – Mood Collections, “Redford” in Sametti Velvet Taupe
Brass & Marble Side Table – Rockett St George
Glass & Brass Lamp – Made.com “Ewan”
Bedding – Soak & Sleep French Linen in Blush
Mongolian Sheepskin Cushions – La Redoute
Lilac Mohair Blanket – vintage
Velvet Drapes – Drop It Modern, “Biscuit”
Marble Console – La Redoute
Feather “Eos” Lamp and Tripod Base – Vita Copenhagen (now Umage)
Ball Fairy Lights – Cable & Cotton

TV Room

Paint – “Marbles” Earthborn Paints
Berber Wool Rug – Maisons du Monde
Colosseum Radiators – Soak.com
Galvanized Zinc Dolly Pot (with Fiddle Leaf Fig tree) – Bowley & Jackson
Sideboard – IKEA Best units with hacked doors and painted in Earthborn Paints “Secret Room”
Lamps ‘Liquid’ – David Hunt Lighting
Wallpaper – Capas, Harlequin / Style Librarary
Collins Sofa – Maisons du Monde
Catherine Round Mirror – The Cotswold Company
Letter Cushions – Jonathan Adler
Spun Brass Floor Lamp – French Connection Home
Svartan Coffee Table – IKEA
Concrete Pot on sideboard – La Redoute
Wooden Animal Figures – Vintage from French Flea
Gold Tray – West Elm
Horn Sculpture – Jonathan Adler
Cloche – IKEA
White Faceted Plant Pot – Urban Outfitters
Monstera Plant Pot – Local Nursery

 

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Comments

  • Holy SH!T!! This has completely caught me off guard today!! It’s been a while since I swore profusely and out loud from just looking at interior pics! It’s definitely a good thing! I don’t know about other folks but with Instagram it’s getting harder and harder to be blown away with spaces. Everything is predictable (UK and their black walls and flashy word prints, US with their white walls and bohemian vibes (I’m generalizing I know but there is a lot out there for our eyes to glaze over). Now the 80s trend with the bright, vivid colours and Memphis modern shapes which was mainly seen on Socialite with the French (I drooled for years), is starting to become mainstream. Plus the velvets, the poofs, the plants are all still going strong… I’m not complaining but there are patterns that just keep repeating so as much as I love them, they don’t surprise much. It’s like familiar recipes of our favourite cakes! :) We like them but we also know them well. Even here it’s been a while since a space blew my mind. It’s either very different but arts and crafts or a bit blend or typically trendy as an echo of Pinterest or Instagram. BUT THIS!!! THIS IS DIFFERENT!!!! A LOT!!! I’m not sure why… Sure there are white walls, plants, and pieces here and there that we see elsewhere and that I covet myself in far away Québec but the way she custom made this by putting her own touches with her DIY master skills and making it look professional?? It’s freaking glorious!!! Great job lady!! It reminds me a bit of the space of artist and design lover: Angela Chrusciaki Blehm. Check her out! I just went hardcore and flushed 300 accounts on IG that I don’t need to follow because they all felt the same but I’m definitely following Bianca’s blog and her IG account ASAP!! It’s just tastefully done!
    Thank you so much for sharing this great inspo!

    • A bit lost for words really! Thank YOU, for taking the time to leave such a lovely comment, which actually made me well up. I was NOT expecting that! You also made me laugh with your descriptions of U.K. homes (hit the nail on the head!). You totally get my home and comments like yours make all the effort worth while. Thank you. Xx

      • Haha! You are welcome but I’m still thanking you! :) I was trying to be descriptive and not offend anyone but the surprise effect was just too awesome. It’s what I miss the most in this day and age. My husband at the time said I was jacked on coffee and told me to slow down but even today (a week later), I can calmly say that this place rocks. It successfully holds its own unique look while having fun juggling trends and custom made beauties like the headboard and sideboard. Glad I found out about it! xoxo

  • Love all those DIY moments! I like it when pics get me thinking about projects, rather than shopping binges…

  • Wow, so many creatively beautiful ideas! The wallpaper enclosed in crown molding, the wall-to-wall channel tufted headboard with acrylic nightstand, the bookcase in dining room, all amazing details! I love a versatile dining room that works well for other uses besides dining, and this is such an inspiring example.

  • This is phenomenal… seriously the most inspired I’ve been in a while from interior photos!!! I love love looove the headboard situation and the fabric is beautiful, I went to the website where the fabric is from and I only see the option to order a sample. Any info on how to order larger sizes of the fabric would be greatly appreciated!!!

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