Cassiefairy – My Thrifty Life

Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog – Saving money every day with DIY crafts, sewing projets, low-cost recipes & shppping tips


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DIY shopping – for the first time in my life!

Plumbing, heating, bathrooms and kitchens. It’s amazing how different my internet browsing history is these days. No longer am I visiting of pet sites and shoe stores, oh no. I’ve got a whole different kind of shopping to be getting on with now that I’m planning to buy a house and it’s all very DIY-focussed. I figured it would be useful to make a list of the things I would need when we start work on our new home, and where better to do that than on my blog??

Heating

I’ve literally just discovered that there’s more than one type of boiler in the world, and now I’ve got to consider radiators and pipework too. Thank goodness for YouTube, otherwise I’d never know how the hot water flows around my bathroom! At the moment, my research is focussed on heated towel rails for the bathroom and I’ve been investigating super-stylish radiators. I’m completely fascinated with pinning photos of loft apartments with Victorian cast iron radiators – dream on, eh? Even so, I’d love to get have that kind of detail in my home in the future.

For the bathroom I specifially want a heater that can keep the bathroom cosy all the time, look really lovely and still be used to warm my towels. I love that cosy feeling when you’re wrapped in a warm towel straight out of the bath, can’t wait. Just give me a heating catalogue and I’ll be happy for hours!

Hot water

On the subject of bathrooms, I never knew that choosing plumbing supplies could be so much fun. Okay, the pipework itself might be a little bit confusing at the moment but at least I’m learning something new with all my household DIY research! The bathroom sale adverts that have been running on the TV throughout January have been luring me in and the Tile Trader website is a permanently open tab on my iPad. Yes, I’ve even found myself browsing the local branch of Wickes. That is SO not like me. But things like mixer taps and fixed shower heads are just so beautiful and sculptural that I just can’t help getting carried away. And who doesn’t want to have a rain effect shower head, eh??

Even the kitchen sink

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Household goals – keeping my home neat & organised

Starting the new year with the intention of keeping my home clean and organised has been very motivating goal for 2017 so far. A jolly good tidy-up at the start of January really helped, as did finding a home for all the lovely gifts I received over Christmas. However, I’ve found that after just a few weeks of trying to keep up with all the mess, it has become difficult to do and I often ‘forget’ about it. Then I find that even more stuff has piled up on top of the original pile. Uhoh! The trouble is that I haven’t really got round to sorting out any specific strategies or routines for organising my stuff. I can’t fight it any more. I need new storage, and that’s all there is to it. There are a whole range of different products that I could buy, systems that I can put in place and even new routines that will help me to have an organised and tidy home, yet I’ve resisted so far. But not any longer – so today I’m sharing a few ideas on how to can introduce certain things to your home to help clear the clutter!

The Kitchen

I’ve found it’s best to focus on one room at a time, as different rooms will require different processes and organising strategies. That sounds so official, doesn’t it?! The kitchen is a great room to start with, as it can often be the one room that needs the most work when it comes to getting organised. My kitchen is one of the most used rooms within the home; not just for preparing and cooking meals, but dining, socialising and even working too. One of the best ways to start a kitchen de-clutter is to give your fridge and cupboards a deep clean. Throw away any items that are past their use-by date, wipe the surfaces clean and add some kind of sorting system. Having certain cupboards for specific foods or products will make your life much easier (eg, pans in the cupboard nearest the oven), as well as making the kitchen look much neater.Recycling is another task you can incorporate into your kitchen to keep your home organised. We go through so many plastic, glass and cardboard items every week, and having a recycling system in place will help you filter through these items neatly, whilst keeping the kitchen organised too. There’s nothing worse than a build-up of glass bottle on the side, waiting for that fortnightly trip to the tip!

DIY Peg bag sewing project + carrier bag dispenser

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Plumbing problems + how to find the answers online

One of the things that worries me most about renovating a home is the plumbing. Even though we’ve fitted a DIY ‘beach hut’ style bathroom in the past, I’ve never before needed to move a bath or toilet into a new position. But with limited space in our bathroom and a very dodgy layout where the sink is halfway over the bath, it really does need rejigging!

Check out my last bathroom makeover with a coastal theme

Even though I know it’ll look great in the end, the plumbing side of things is really confusing to me. I can connect taps, seal wastes and clean out pipes, but when it comes to fitting showers and moving water supplies I have no clue! So when is it best to call in a professional? What jobs can I do myself? I don’t want to create a health and safety nightmare in my own bathroom! 

I gave my old sink a facelift with just some new taps

So I’ve been doing my research by reading blogs and watching plumbing videos on YouTube and it’s certainly been a good start to my journey from amateur to pro. Okay, I exaggerate, but at least what my research has done has cleared up what I can and can’t do myself! I read some research on DIY by Slater & Gordon Lawyers and it showed that only 5% of women would be prepared to take on plumbing projects compared with 25% of men. Now, I’m happy having a go at some plumbing but there’s no way I’m doing any soldering of copper pipes. I wouldn’t want to buy all the kit for a start, and I’m not sure I’d do it particularly well – I’m quite slapdash at the best of times! So any kind of heating or hot water work is definitely not my bag! But plumbing using plastic pipes seems to be straightforward enough and I can get an idea of how water systems run around a room. 

I’ve even replaced a bath before – with Cookie’s help, obviously!

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How to add festive decorations in every room of the house

Christmas is here again, bringing with it the dark nights, frosty mornings and frozen noses. Have you already decorated your home for Christmas? I bet your tree is up and the fairy lights are sparkling, am I right? But what about the other rooms in your home? Why not cultivate a cosy festive feeling in every room of your house? Don’t worry that Christmas is fast approaching, there’s still plenty of time! Here’s how to quickly transform every room to add a touch of winter cheer and welcome in readiness for the party season.christmas-living-roomThe Living Room

The staple of every home is the living room, the place where family come together and relax after a hard day out in the cold. This season, nothing’s more important than spending time with family and friends, sharing memories, and making plans to create new ones. Turn your living room into a cosy winter wonderland just like the photo above by Lindsay Marcella by shutting off your main light and instead adding lamps and candles to create a warm, cosy winter hue. Add a touch of character and colour with sparkling fairy lights; drape them around door frames and windows. Scatter cushions are usually reserved for the bedroom, but a host of new, mismatched cushions on the sofa can make it feel all the more snuggly. Festive scented candles are a must-have for any winter living room too.christmas-kitchen-decor

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Easy ways to add a touch of hygge to your home

It’s that time of year again. The clocks have gone back an hour to remind us that winter is almost here and Christmas is very much around the corner. For many people, this means rushing around the shops trying to find the perfect Christmas gifts, but for others it means hosting parties and get-togethers. What better way to welcome your guests this year than by giving your home a seasonal makeover, adding some much-needed warmth to the chilly months? I love the Danish concept of hygge and tips on how to achieve this everywhere this year so why not embrace the trend and cosy up? I hope the tips in this post help to get you in the festive mood, even though it is only November..!scandinavian-christmas-cosy-room

Take inspiration from Scandinavia and embrace hygge to create welcoming home

cosy-living-room-warm-home-decor-christmas-winter-hyggeThe Living Room

The trend I see in every interior design magazine and every homewares shop window these days is the Scandinavian trend. Think simple, rustic, cosy log cabins for this look; add some colour-coordinated fur throws and lavish rugs to your living area, and then swap your sleek metal and glass for some natural wood furnishings instead. This trend came about from embracing hygge, so it’s all about comfort and creating that tranquil, relaxed atmosphere that people crave from a holiday in the Alps this time of year. Hygge is about appreciating the good things in life with great company, in a warm and relaxed environment. Get the ambience right in your home and any guests who enter will never want to leave!festive bathroom touches accessories towels-5 festive bathroom touches accessories towels-10

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Guest Post – 6 basic tips for designing your bathroom

Is it your first time designing a full-on renovation for your bathroom? It’s easy to get bewildered by the many design combinations that you can choose for your bathroom. Here are some professional design pointers that can serve as guidelines to help make your bathroom renovation project less overwhelming (and help you stick to a budget too!).DIY fitting new taps to makeover a bathroom sink-2using recycled wood from a skip to make a beach hut bathroom floor and storage-11

  1. Get an estimate on how much you’re willing to invest for revamping

Coming up with the overall theme and arrangement for your bathroom may seem difficult due with so many options to choose from, but this is actually the easiest part. Planning the budget is far more time-consuming and complicated, as it will determine which design options you can actually afford! This is why you must be honest to yourself on how much money you want to invest for the renovation. Monetary groundwork will also help you easily adjust on purchasing certain parts for the bathroom, for example – if you make savings on a shower unit by buying at a discount online, you can add this surplus money to your budget for the bath.

  1. Keep vintage finishes if possible

Old or ancestral houses have floor tiles made of coats and slabs of concrete that are very difficult to extract. If you really want to remove these tiles then you need to spend more cash. However, if the tiles are not badly damaged and still look great then you might consider not taking them out. You could just use the money and effort in improving the other parts of the bathroom. Continue reading “Guest Post – 6 basic tips for designing your bathroom” »


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Bathroom design mistakes (and how to avoid them)

Refitting or redesigning your bathroom can be quite an exciting process and is something that can add a great deal of value to your property. However, bathroom fitting and design mistakes can be costly – and tricky to rectify. I’ve researched a list of the most common bathroom design mistakes so I’ve had a look through this and have added my own ideas too. Hopefully this will help me to avoid making similar mistakes when I’m decorating my own home in the future, and will save us all money in the long run. Right, let’s get into that list now, shall we? black-and-white-bathroom-design-inspiration

Bathroom flooring inspiration on PinkPeppermintDesign.com

Mistake 1: Not sticking to a budget.

This is the first and most essential point to consider when arranging your fitted bathroom. Your budget should dictate everything else, so you don’t end up overspending or unable to finish the project. Make sure you spec out all of the costs, including:

  • Cost of design
  • All fixtures and fittings
  • The cost of installation
  • Any plumbing work, including water pressure, waterproofing and drainage

You should have enough budget to cover everything you need – and a little spare in case any unforeseen issues come to light.

Mistake 2: Failing to consider your lifestyle

Once you’ve got your budget, you really need to think about how you are planning to use the bathroom –  you don’t want something slick and modern if you’ve got to wash the dog every week! Ask yourself – and anyone else who lives there – how you want to use the space, including how much time you’ll spend in there and what you want to have access to. You also need to think about how you might use the space in the future. If you’re planning on having children, you may want to include features such as baths now to avoid additional work further down the line.bathroom-storage-home-decor-inspiration

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A beach bathroom makeover on a budget

With more sunny days than not in recent weeks, my thoughts have turned to summer holidays. While I’m not actually planning to jet off anywhere luxurious for a beach holiday, I DO want to inject a little holiday fun into my life. But how can I do it when I’m having a staycation, I hear you ask? Well, I’ll tell you. I’m giving my tiny bathroom a mini-makeover and in a few short hours it’ll be a bathroom fit for a holiday. Here’s how I did it without so much as a lick of paint..!

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How to spot a future-proof house

When searching for a property, it’s important to consider the future. I’ve learnt this after viewing countless properties and each of them being just not quite right for us. Sure, plenty of the houses we’ve seen have been fine, more than fine, and would work perfectly well for us right now. But I don’t want this to be a ‘for now’ move, I want to find a home that I can grow into and stay in one place for the first time in years. After moving a whopping 11 times during our 15 years together, my husband and I want to stay put for once! We’d quite like to find a house that will work great for us right now, and still be a good investment in future years. So here’s what we’re considering when viewing properties – hope it helps:blogger writer home office inspiration

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Work proof

You know where you’re working right now, but things can certainly change in the future. You may be offered a position abroad, and would want to rent out your home while you’re working away. So is it rentable? Could it be a holiday home for a period of time? And if your role changes, or you become self-employed, is there space for you to be able to have an office and work from home? We are certainly looking for a house with an office space for me!family room home house buying inspiration ideas

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Family proof

If you can manage to get a slightly larger house than strictly necessary at this stage, it means you won’t need to move again in a hurry if your family grows in the future. It could be that you’re planning to have children in many, many years time but just having that option to fit in a growing family means that you won’t need to give up the home you love just to fit in the little ones. We’re looking at it from the point of view of having nieces and nephews to stay in the future, and living nearby to our family so that we can help out as they grow up. All of these factors should be considered as it may influence the type of house you buy and the location you choose.house buying future proof house dining room downstairs bedroom

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Retirement proof

Okay, I’m talking many, many years into the future now, but we may still be living in the house we buy when we retire. If so, that probably means we’ve been happy living in our home for all these years and wouldn’t want to move in the future. So how upsetting would it be to have to move out when mobility becomes as issue later in life? Sure you can install stairlifts for the home so that it’s still possible to go upstairs, but having the option to use a downstairs room as a bedroom can eliminate the need to move house when you’re less mobile in the future. So we’re keeping an eye out for houses with dining rooms or office spaces that could be a bedroom and, rather unusually, we think that a downstairs bathroom is a bonus!

What do you think is an important thing to consider when you’re buying a first home? Should you try to get everything you need in one house or do you think that moving again in the future is inevitable? Let me know your thoughts and house-buying tips by leaving me a comment below or tweeting me @Cassiefairy.


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Interior design trend – Colourful kitchens & bathrooms

I’ve spotted a new trend in interior design for Summer 2016 and it’s one that really pleases me; bright bold colour. We all have a favourite colour – a shade that we seem to choose time and again – for our clothing, our décor and even our cars. It can therefore be frustrating when you have a colour preference for your home but find it impossible to find your favourite hue in the materials you want from DIY stores. Rather than creating just another cookie-cutter interior I want something different. Something that makes me smile when I enter a room, and something that even impresses guests when they visit my house. I therefore started to research colourful kitchen and bathroom options and here’s what I found:bright Colours bathroom shower splashbackNo longer do our ‘functional’ rooms such as the kitchen and bathroom have to be limited to a palette of white tiles, wooden cabinets and stone surfaces. While this ‘holiday home’ look certain IS popular, it doesn’t really do much to demonstrate your own personality or fit in with the character of the property. Shouldn’t a home someway reflect the individuality of the people who live there? Well, I think that’s where colour comes in.British-Standard-Colour-Chart bathroom green bath splashbackThankfully, we’re no longer limited to the colours of tiles we can find at the DIY store. For a seamless colour scheme it is now possible to have glass splashbacks colour-matched to the paint you used on the walls or woodwork. Colour matching Farrow and Ball, Laura Ashley, Dulux, Ral and many more paint brands helps you to achieve an extremely luxurious look in your bathroom or kitchen. It can be used anywhere that you want to waterproof – the shower cubicle, around the bath, kitchen splashbacks, window sills, behind the hob, kitchen worktops, behind the bathroom sink and all around the downstairs loo, if you really want to!RAL-Colour-Chart-red kitchen splashback

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