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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Key ingredients for a perfect bedroom

If somebody asked you what your dream bedroom would look like, what would you say? What kind of vision do you have? I know exactly what I want my own bedroom to look like – in fact, I’ve already started decorating it; check out my flooring blog post with step-by-step GIF of my progress! The trouble is, I can’t really put into words the style that I like. It’s kind of minimalist but not at all stark. Does that make sense? Sometimes, it can be really hard to convert mental images into the real deal. So if this conundrum sounds familiar to you too, today’s blog post should come in handy. Here’s a list of key ingredients and some useful tips to help you design the perfect bedroom.

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The bed

For most of us, the bed is the most important part of any bedroom design. Beds come in all shapes and sizes, and there are styles to suit all tastes and budgets. Some people long for luxury hotel style leather headboards or dramatic four-posters while others dream of a rustic log cabin vibe with solid wood headboards and a sturdy frame. Whatever your style, don’t rush into making a decision when it comes to finding the right bed. You’ll need to find a mattress that you struggle to part with (like I did) and a frame that matches your vision and complements your theme. My bed frame is taking 45 days to be delivered but it’ll be worth the wait to get the right one. Take a tour of some bed stores, try some mattresses for size, and search online for inspiration. If you have an idea in mind, and it’s a little avant-garde, you may also find it easier to source what you want on the Internet.

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Where to find bedding in mid-century colours

Hurrah! We finally have some new bedding for our new bedroom. After weeks spent stripping off wallpaper, days painting layers and layers of while emulsion to cover up bright peach walls, and even more hours spent laying beautiful laminate flooring, I think it was about time that we got a little reward for all our hard work. And what do you want when you’ve just turned a room into a perfect white cube? Colour, that’s what! Looking back over my last few home blog posts, I think you can tell the direction in which I’m heading with my interior decor. In fact, it’s no secret that I love mid-century modern design – I’ve had teak furniture and geometric patterns in my home for years. But this time, I’m taking the OTT garishness down a touch. I’m pairing simple white walls with natural textures, so that my mid-century design pieces really stand out and take centre stage. The bedroom is no exception. Where we previously had an eye-catching DIY feature wall made from the pages of old books, I’ve now decided that the bed itself should be the feature in the room. I’ve bought a sleek Hygena bed from Argos (which will take another month to arrive) and it’s undeniably mid-century in design. So I already had this in mind when it came to choosing some new bedding.

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Why a new bedroom deserves a new mattress

There’s one thing that people tend to overlook when they’re remodelling their home but it’s also one of the most important pieces of kit in the house. Sure, you want a lovely power-shower plumbed in and brand new flooring fitted. Yes, you’ve had a new oven professionally installed and you’re carpets are freshly laid. But when the time comes to move into your newly renovated home, you’re probably going to take all your old furniture with you (and so you should!) but that might include your old mattress and that’s where I come in.I’m currently doing up my new house and one of the items on my ‘must-get’ list was a new mattress. Alongside a list of tiles, radiators and a new kitchen sink was a mattress. It may seem odd to you that I’ve prioritised this ‘luxury’ item when I still have plumbing to do and new doors to install but honestly my bed is SO important to me that it easily made the list.A bad night’s sleep ruins the following day for me and considering that I spend 8 hours of my day in it, I want it to be comfortable. I often struggle when staying away from home; a night in a hotel might be fun for most people but the mattresses tend to be hit and miss. It’s the same with pillows. My dodgy whiplash neck can be easily upset by sleeping on the wrong type of pillow. And I’m no fun to be around when I haven’t slept well…

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Sleep better & feel better this winter

The average person will spend approximately 25 years sleeping, and with good reason. Whoever said ‘sleep is for the weak’ certainly hasn’t experienced the joys of being horizontal on a Sunday morning.  I wonder if there’s a stat out there for the amount of time people daydream of their bed whilst at work? I can only imagine that would be immeasurable. And how many times have you had that late night social media craving? You’ve scrolled on Instagram for an extra 5 minutes, which morphs into an hour (and a half) and then feel completely rubbish in the morning when you’re pressing snooze for the too-manyieth time.cat-sleep-comfortable-bed-pixabay-1 Well, they do say you only know what you’ve got when it’s gone, and I think sleep is SO important to make sure I’m happy for the day! It’s time to focus on waking up in the morning feeling refreshed, not wanting to sleep for 5 minutes longer, and certainly not relying on your good friend coffee to pick up all the pieces. The positive effects that a great night’s sleep can have on your well-being are hard to ignore, so here are my top 5 tips for sleeping like a baby…cat-sleep-comfortable-bed-pixabay-2Tea and coffee curfews

You may think curfews are for children, but it never hurts to have a little self discipline, especially when it comes to caffeine. If you’re anything like me, you really love a good brew tucked up in bed— sorry friends, this has to stop. It turns out that while coffee is our primary suspect for caffeine consumption,  that crafty hug in a mug we know as tea can contain over half as much. Try and decide a suitable time to have your last sip, for me, tea is prohibited after 6pm. Well, I’m sure I could have a hot chocolate instead..!bed-coffee-laptop-pixabay

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Enjoy breakfast-in-bed this Valentine’s Day… & all year round!

Whether you’re loved up or single, why don’t you treat yourself to a lovely lie-in this Valentine’s Day? Seeing as V-day falls on a Sunday this year, it’s the ideal day of the week to spend some time chilling out at home and lounging around in bed for just a little longer than you usually would.DIY romantic breakfast in bed valentines day ideas inspiration-14 DIY romantic breakfast in bed valentines day ideas inspirationOne of my favourite stress-free activities is having breakfast in bed. Okay, it doesn’t happen very often in the Fairy household because we’re always so busy working. But that’s precisely the point; breakfast in bed should be something special. A treat. Something that tells you it’s time to relax and that you’re not getting out of that comfy bed anytime soon!DIY romantic breakfast in bed valentines day ideas inspiration-10 DIY romantic breakfast in bed valentines day ideas inspiration-9It puts me in mind of Mother’s Days past, and I remember trying to make mum a tea-and-toast breakfast in bed while I was still in the single-figures age bracket. I even do it now as an adult, and occasionally hubby will get a tray brought to his lap with a coffee and cereal. Okay, that’s usually on his birthday, but that’s what I mean about breakfast in bed; it’s a special event. It’s completely out of the ordinary, yet it would be a lovely start to any day.DIY romantic breakfast in bed valentines day ideas inspiration-17Even if you’re going to be making breakfast for yourself and taking it back to bed, it’s the fact that it symbolises the non-rushed nature of your morning that makes it so enjoyable. You’ll probably even Continue reading “Enjoy breakfast-in-bed this Valentine’s Day… & all year round!” »


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Interior design inspiration for cosy winter bedrooms

At this time of year I want to make my bedroom feel as cosy as possible. But I’m not quite ready to go all-out with a Christmas duvet cover. So what’s the compromise? How do you create a warm, festive atmosphere in your bedroom without turning it into Santa’s grotto? The solution is low-cost, making use of soft-furnishings you already have at home, and creates a snuggly bed that you won’t want to leave all Winter. Here’s how I did it…winter interior design - cosy autumn bedroom styling idea inspiration interior design - cosy autumn winter bedroom styling idea inspiration festivewinter interior design - cosy autumn bedroom styling idea inspiration-3The key to getting a cosy atmosphere at home is layers. During the summer, the bedroom is all about fresh linens, clean lines and lightweight cotton sheets. But, at this time of year, this type of bedding can feel cold and leave you shivering. So, just as we do with our winter wardrobes, layering up bedding and blankets adds warmth to the bed and gives the impression of a cosy atmosphere in the room.winter interior design - cosy autumn bedroom styling idea inspiration festive interior design - cosy autumn winter bedroom styling idea inspiration festive-14 interior design - cosy autumn winter bedroom styling idea inspiration festive-9interior design - cosy autumn winter bedroom styling idea inspiration festive-16A couple of throws, blankets and even scarves (my blue and grey checked blanket is actually a pashmina from Next!) will add bulk to the bed, and warmth as you pull them up at night. Extra pillows and cushions make the bed look super-cosy and inviting. Add more textures with the pillowcases too; I’ve used all my usual summer bedding here but have added a low-cost pair of flannelette pillowcases in a blue tartan pattern. It feels lovely to rest my head on brushed cotton during cold winter nights.interior design - cosy autumn winter bedroom styling idea inspiration festive-6interior design - cosy autumn winter bedroom styling idea inspiration festive-13 interior design - cosy autumn winter bedroom styling idea inspiration festive-15 interior design - cosy autumn winter bedroom styling idea inspiration festive-12 Continue reading “Interior design inspiration for cosy winter bedrooms” »


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Why quality bedding can help you get a good night’s sleep

When it comes to relaxation, the key is ensuring you get a night of quality sleep consistently. So how is this possible? Well, to put it simply, it’s always best to seek out the best quality bedding you can. This is really where it all starts…Bed-linen-bedding-interior-design-bedroom

Do mattress protectors make a difference to my sleep? Frankly, yes, a protector can help you sleep a little better at night. As unhygienic as it sounds, the average sleeper sweats 1-2 pints of sweat every night. This is a very beneficial environment for dust mites; a common source of allergies. An anti-allergen mattress protector creates an obstacle between sleeper and mattress, thereby reducing the likeliness of them developing new allergies. Naturally the hygienic benefits of this are huge! And of course, mattress protectors help a mattress last longer. A waterproof and anti-allergen protector will protect against fluids and dust mites, making it a valuable, cost effective purchase and, importantly, my cats love it too!mattress-topper

Is cotton or a polycotton blend the best option for bed linen? The highest quality bedding is usually 100% cotton, having the advantage of making it breathable; meaning you will definitely sleep well during both winter and summer months. Thread count is certainly a vital element here as a product with high thread count on low quality material will not necessarily produce the finest results. Instead a 100% cotton sheet is the best option, especially if matched with a thread count of around 300-400. I’ve really noticed a difference in comfort since investing in better quality bedding and now I simply cannot wait to get into bed at the end of the day!

Synthetic fibres are added to polycotton blends. While these fibres are stronger than cotton, the fabric will not be as breathable. But of course, if you select coloured sheets and bedspreads then this option proves perfect as blends have a propensity to hold the brightness of the colour perfectly.bedroom interior design decorating with grey bedding-5What sort of cotton should I be choosing?

Cotton can have different weaves as it derives from different sources. It is often stated that the best option for comfort is bed linen that has a sateen finish as it offers another layer of luxury and comes complete with a silky-smooth touch. I’ve even heard that sateen or silky bedding can actually help minimise skin wrinkles and prevent split-ends because your face and hair glides over the pillows without friction. I don’t know if there’s any truth in this, but it can’t hurt to try it out, right?!

How do I choose pillows with the right support?

Another essential criteria in getting a comfortable night’s sleep is selecting pillows that will most likely reduce aches and pains. A great option for this is feather and down filled pillows which are very lavish, with some pillow styles consisting of a double layer – one down and the other duck feather. This dual fabric design plays an essential role in providing sleep support to the head and neck.Bed-linen-bedding-interior-design-bedroom-white

Certainly allergies can be worrying. A great solution to this is to choose a hypo-allergenic pillow instead. Siliconised ball fibre pillows are great for those with allergies as they are gentle and demonstrate all the features of a great down pillow. All the ideas mentioned here can also be applied when selecting a duvet too and I love getting out my down duvet in the autumn and snuggling up in a warm bed throughout the winter.

What other items of bedding will help?

In addition to protecting your mattress, a mattress topper will compliment your bedding to generate ultimate comfort. Why not splash out and treat yourself? The selections on offer often consist of the same filling as pillows and duvets. Silky, plump down/feather toppers (which I have on my bed at the moment!) will give you a sumptuous sleeping experience.

Investing in a range of these items for your bedrooms will result in improved sleep and protect your mattress – not to mention yourself! – proving to be a cost effective purchase. Let me know if you currently use any of the above in your home and whether it makes a difference to the quality of your sleep; leave me a comment below or tweet me @Cassiefairy.


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Create a restful bedroom

Modern life has never been so stressful with the demands of longer working hours, domestic tasks and busy social lives leaving us drained and exhausted. It’s the fast-paced nature of contemporary living that is wearing us out every day so it’s more important than ever that the bedroom is designed with a little extra thought, as  a place where you can truly unwind and relax in the evening. After the half-term holidays and the clocks going back I’ve found it really difficult to get into a regular sleep routine, which has made waking up in the mornings more difficult than ever! So I’ve been looking at ways that I can turn my bedroom into a calming sanctuary. Here are a few simple ways to create the most restful and aesthetically pleasing bedroom possible. girly bedside table to create a french bedroom look Multiple Sources of Light It’s important to have several different sources of light in a room to create a calm space. Ideally the light sources would be on different levels to avoid too much harsh glare and a soothing ambience can be created using lamps, candles and different levels of light-bulb wattage. Recessed lighting will cast a more even glow across the room without brightness from a direct light, so opt for this instead of a fluorescent lighting fixture or bare lightbulb – at the very least, choose a lamp shade which covers the bulb for diffused rather than direct light. Small bedside lamps will create a warm and cosy atmosphere in the evenings and are essential for those who like to read before bedtime so that the light isn’t glaring into your eyes. The whole mood of the room can be controlled by simply installing a dimmer switch and can change the atmosphere from bright and energetic in the morning to sleepy or romantic at night – just remember that some dimmer fittings require a specific strength of light bulb and may not work with energy-saving bulbs. how to ge the french bedroom look

A dreamy bedroom

Invest in Your Sleep I place a high value on getting a restful night’s sleep, so equally I am always willing to splash out just a little bit more when it comes to investing in a bed, mattress and bed linen. I already have a very comfortable antique bed which has been handed down through my husband’s family and so I’ve been sure to invest in a new mattress. Mattress firmness or softness is definitely a matter of personal taste so my only advice is to make sure that you try it out in the shop before purchasing! Your comfort is the number one priority in the bedroom, so spare no expense when it comes to these important bits. Use the best sheets you can afford with a thread count as high as possible to add a touch of luxury and prepare to sleep better every single night. Pile the bed with feather and down pillows and add a fluffy blanket to finish – here are my new crochet edged ribbon cushions and tasselled blanket from The French Bedroom Company which are the most luxurious bedding I’ve ever owned!

ways to create a comfortable relaxing bedroom cushions from the french bedroom company

Soothing Sounds, Scents and Colours A difficult part of designing a relaxing bedroom is choosing a colour scheme that will invoke a sense of calm. Avoid bright colours and stick with shades inspired by nature, such as mink, tans, and freshwater blues along with crisp whites and soft greys. By adding natural colours, your bedroom will immediately feel like a more restful retreat or expensive hotel room – I always sleep better in hotels! In order to create relaxation, use all your senses and identify your favourite relaxing scent. Introducing this fragrance to your bedroom in the form of oils, incense and scented candles, along with regularly airing the room will help create a cosy sleep-inducing atmosphere as fresh scents are often attributed to good sleeping habits. Finally, use your sense of sound to help you relax by playing soft classical music or some people find the sea, rain or a running stream of water to be a very relaxing experience, particularly when they’re attempting to unwind before bed so use an App such as Calm.com to stimulate your senses.

ways to create a comfortable relaxing bedroom textures from the french bedroom company

Textures and colours from The French Bedroom Company

Let me know if you decide to use any of these tips in your own bedroom and please message me if you have any more suggestions – what do you do to unwind and get a good night’s sleep? Please leave me a comment below or tweet me @Cassiefairy.


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Dream a little dream… cosy sheets and cuddles

I have a little weekend ritual that I wanted to share with you today. Every Friday afternoon, I clean the bedroom; I throw the windows wide open, I air the mattress and duvet and I change the bedding. It’s become a habit over the past couple of  months since I decorated the bedroom. I take pride in the space and it’s now one of my favourite rooms in the house. My Friday afternoon preparations really get me in the mood for the weekend, and I think that my plumping of pillows and dusting of shelves is my attempt to make the bedroom as hotel-like as possible! I feel like having a clean, fresh, cosy bedroom sets the tone for the weekend; there’s no more tidying to do, just relaxing! natural textures and colours in this bedroom makeover-2 natural textures and colours in this bedroom makeover-4

Apparently I’m not alone in this weekly ritual, with a survey on NetMums showing that 40% of us change our sheets every week and another 36% change them every fortnight. Only a 5th of people leave it a month before changing the bedding and a rather icky 1% only do it once a year. That said, I’m not really changing my bedding because they are dirty and could probably leave it a little longer between washes, but I’m doing it for the reasons I mentioned above, to freshen up the room and get ready for the weekend.natural textures and colours in this bedroom makeover My absolute favourite luxury is getting new bed linen and although I love my rose-design bedding (which I’ve had since hubby and I got married 11 years ago) it’s an extra special treat when I find some new sheets that coordinate well with my books-in-the-bedroom theme and I can really up the hotel-factor in the bedroom for the weekend. I love, love, love the striped sheets I got from House of Fraser  this week because they are the same crispness as proper hotel sheets and they feel both cool and cosy at the same time. The minute I shook the duvet out and tucked it around the bed, I felt the urge to dive into it and never get up again. I wanted to take a whole day off work, just to enjoy lying in bed. I think it was the noise that the sheets made that had me mesmerised; the rustle of linen that you only hear in hotels – a sound similar to walking on fresh snow. Sigh.

natural textures and colours in this bedroom makeover-5 natural textures and colours in this bedroom makeover-7I’d previously got some white sheets back in the winter when my bedroom makeover started, and I really don’t know what I was thinking. As someone who is a notorious tea-spiller, a push-over of a cat owner, and married to someone who likes to make breakfast in bed, it really wasn’t practical to have bright white sheets. Put it this way; they didn’t stay bright white for long! Before every wash I painstakingly pre-treated paw prints and I even bought ‘back to white’ miracle laundry sachets but to no avail. I’d definitely call them off white now, and although I still love the feel of them and will continue to use them, I am really pleased that I now have sheets that are clean and fresh, and that will be less likely to show tea drips and make-up smudges.

By the way, you may have spotted that I’m reading Charlotte Street by Danny Wallace, I always find his books laugh-out-loud funny and I’ve got Friends Like These lined up to read next. Have you read either of these and what do you think of them? Any opinions and recommendations of  future books of a similar comedic ilk would be gratefully received.natural textures and colours in this bedroom makeover-3

Okay, I admit it. I’m in bed right now as I write this blog post. I’m basically never leaving the bed again and snuggling under the new duvet is about as good as it gets on a Saturday morning. And I can see myself doing more and more of this as the days get darker and the temperature drops as we head into autumn. Time for a nap I think… natural textures and colours in this bedroom makeover-9 natural textures and colours in this bedroom makeover-8


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Let sleeping dogs lie… and cats too!

Last week I introduced you to my cats, Cookie and Muffin in a blog post all about how they came to join our family. Well, this week I want to share more photos of the fluffy little critters because they’ve been very cheeky and have been hogging the bed all week long.

cats on bed

I’ve only really noticed how much the cats like to snuggle up on our bed during this week because it’s the summer holidays and we’ve been waking up a little later and are at home more. So I now realise just how keen Cookie and Muffin are for us to leave the house and go to work in the morning because they immediately take over the whole bed.

Firstly, they are becoming more and more persistent about waking us up in the morning. They have become accustomed to us waking at 6am and feeding them breakfast before 6:30, so that extra hour of sleep that we’ve been enjoying during the holidays has been bugging them. They’ve been coming into the bedroom, nudging us, purring loudly and even clawing at the duvet to pull the sheets off us so that we wake up. It’s likely that they are simply getting hungry but, in my mind, I think it’s because they want us out of the bed so that they can hop up and take over the comfortable duvet.

cats cookie and muffin sleeping

cats stealing the bed

This week I’ve also found out about a competition that Carpetright are running to win an upgrade to a king-size bed for pet owners whose cats, dogs (or even rabbits!) have taken over their beds – and it’s the perfect opportunity for Cookie and Muffin to earn their keep! I’m going to enter the photo below into the competition by tweeting the pic and including the hashtag #PetStoleMyBed and keep my fingers crossed that they win the giveaway so that there will be room in the bed for all of us this summer!

cookie and muffin sleeping

Check out the competition details if you too have pet that has been hogging the bed. The closing date is the 13th August so get tweeting your photos now.

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