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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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 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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Dream a little dream – 50 sheets of grey

Please excuse the predictable title, but what else would I name a blog post about grey bedding?? As you may have noticed from my previous blog post about choosing a new paint colour, I’m giving my bedroom a bit of an overhaul and picking out some much-needed new bedding is the next step in that process.bedroom interior design decorating with grey bedding

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Dream a little dream… of a cosy Christmas

Hello and happy Christmas eve! Just a quick blog post today because I have lots of gift wrapping and cooking to be getting on with but I wanted to show you a couple of snaps of my festive bedroom.

Mum treated us to this reindeer Christmas bedding (I think it was from B&M) and I really love the seasonal pattern. It’s inspired a whole festive theme for the room, including a small stag-print heart decoration that we bought at a village fair earlier this month and a candle in a similar design. I’ve hung my letter to Father Christmas on the bed and we even have our morning cuppas in matching reindeer mugs (another gift from mum!).

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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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Dream a little dream ~ Kiss from a rose

In honour of Valentines day last week, I thought I’d share the recent addition I made to the “book wall” in my bedroom – I added a few pages with drawings of roses. Although I liked the feature wall as it already was, wallpapered with the pages of three books and some sheet music, some of the pages were much darker than the others and was making the room look a little dark. I therefore wanted to cover up some of the dark brown pages (which turned out to be the Marilyn Monroe book) so I looked through one of the other books we’d used which was a book on growing roses. I really liked the drawings of the different rose species and even though these pages were much paler than all the others I thought I would give it a ago.

DIY bedroom makeover with old book pages

 

I mixed up some wallpaper paste and started sticking the picture pages onto the wall, but half way though I had a crisis of confidence. Maybe I didn’t like the rose pictures as much as I thought? Does it look too much like wallpaper with pictures on rather than the wall of text that I’d intended it to be? I tried peeling a couple of pages back off, but the wallpaper paste was a particularly quick-drying kind and the pages didn’t want to come away from the wall easily. So I carried on and figured that I could simply add more book pages over the top if I really didn’t like the effect once it was finished. Half an hour later I stood back and took a look at the wall as a whole. And thankfully, I liked it! The paler pages really made the room look much lighter and the roses did look cute and kinda romantic.

DIY bedroom makeover with old book pages and roses

Plus this reminded me that I already had some bedding with a rose design on which we had been given as a wedding gift 10 years ago but had long-since stopped using on a regular basis. So I tried it on the bed and it worked great with the new roses on the feature wall. I’m happy with how the whole design has turned out and I guess there’s no harm in having a slightly more girly pattern on the wall!


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Dream a little dream… of a great night sleep

Today is the end of my month-long challenge to improve the quality of my sleep. Hopefully you’ll have already read all about my sleep challenge and how it got me thinking about making some changes to my bedroom decor. If you’re interested to read up on all of my past articles the links are below 🙂

First I dealt with the amount of light that was coming into the room and disrupting our sleep by installing blackout blinds. These blinds also has thermal qualities so kept the warmth in the room and improved the condensation issue I wrote about last month.

I then decided to decorate my bedroom to create a ‘sanctuary’ and I used old books to wallpaper my walls – here’s the inspiration moodboard and another post about the finished room.

Bedroom makeover DIY new hotel 400 thread count white sheets sleep challenge

As the focus of the bedroom, the bed got a massive makeover, with a mattress topper which was a soft as sleeping on a cloud, memory foam pillows that protected and improved my dodgy whip-lashed neck, and lovely crisp new white hotel-esque bedding.

I also followed 30 excellent tips from Dunelm on the practical things you can do to get a better night’s sleep. Alongside the improvements that I made to my bed and environment, t he best ideas were banning technology from the bedroom and taking time to unwind for a while before bed. Here are their final tips for improving sleep:

  1. Try relaxing scents like Lavender or Peppermint to help calm you down before bed, try burning scented candles to help you relax in the bath before you go to bed. Don’t forget to blow them out! http://www.dunelm-mill.com/shop/dorma-lavender-and-chamomile-wax-filled-glass-candle-324630
  2. Increase the amount of natural light that you are exposed to during the day, this will keep you awake and alert and make the night time difference more effective
  3. Practice breathing through your nose, rather than your mouth. It reduces snoring and allows you to take deeper breaths
  4. Take a test to establish your sleep profile so that you can identify what might help you sleep more soundly: http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/humanbody/sleep/profiler/
  5. If you haven’t fallen asleep after 30 minutes, try reading a real book under low light until you start to feel tired again

Bedroom makeover DIY new hotel chelsea white sheets sleep challenge christmas decorations

So how did I get on? Has my sleep been significantly improved? I can confidently say yes! The room feels cosier, darker and warmer so is more a relaxing environment to sleep in. The bed itself is considerably more comforable now that I am sleeping on top of a soft mattress topper and uing memory foam pillows, and the bedding makes it a delight to slip into bed every night. Over the years, both my husband and I have struggled with getting to sleep but the tips I’ve been following have been very useful and we will continue to follow these relaxation tips to wind-down and maintain a calm bedtime routine.

I am very glad to have taken part in the sleep challenge and (with the exception of Christmas Eve when I always struggle to get to sleep because Santa is coming!) I am confident that I will continue to enjoy a great night’s sleep from now on!

I am pleased to tell you all that I have been entered into the National Blog awards! It would absolutely make my whole Christmas if you would stop by the voting site and choose Cassiefairy.com – and as an extra treat, you’ll receive a FREE Blogging Ebook just for casting your vote :) Please use this link to vote for me in the lifestyle and fashion categories  http://www.blogawardsuk.co.uk/vote/ (the blog awards site is working on-and-off at the moment because there are so many people trying to vote, so if it doesn’t work straight away, please pop back later!) Thanks so much, you’re the best! :D


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Dream a little dream ~ turn your bedroom into a hotel

If you’ve been following my sleep challenge you’ll know that my month-long quest to improve the quality of my sleep is drawing to a close. I’ve been following tips on getting a better night sleep and the challenge has even led to a massive bedroom makeover – I’ve even wallpapered my walls with books! The last thing I’m doing to try to improve my sleep is getting new sheets for my bed. I chose this bedding set from the Hotel Chelsea range at Dunelm – I figured where do you get a good relaxing night’s sleep? In a hotel!

Bedroom makeover DIY new hotel 400 thread count white sheets Dunelm

These crisp white sheets look lovely on the bed and are 400 thread count so are smooth and comfortable, just like genuine hotel bedding. For the last couple of days of the challenge I’ll be following more of these sleep tips and will let you know how I get on 🙂

  1. Getting comfortable in bed when pregnant can be difficult, using a bolster or a v-shaped pillow to support your bump can help women sleep more soundly
  2. You should feel comfortable and cosy in bed, upgrading to a new duvet can help you create a perfect sleep environment in your bed: http://www.dunelm-mill.com/info/duvets
  3. If you’re prone to drifting off on the sofa in front of the TV, resist the drowsiness by doing something like washing the dishes or sorting things out for the next day – or take yourself off to bed straight away if it’s nearly your bedtime. If you nod off you may find it harder to sleep all through the night
  4. Swap your mobile phone for an alarm clock if you need some help waking up in the morning, so that there is less likelihood of being disturbed in the night
  5. Try to regulate the temperature in your room to be between 18°C-24°C as this is optimum for sleeping comfortably


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Dream a little dream… Pillow talk

This week I’ve been putting memory foam pillows to the test to see whether I can get a better night sleep with a more supportive pillow. If you’ve been following my sleep challenge you’ll know that it has now turned into a massive bedroom makeover – I’ve even wallpapered my walls with books. Today, I’m going back to the root of the challenge, which is improving my sleep as a whole, and not just decorating!

sleep challenge memory foam pillows from dunelm

I’ve tried out these memory foam pillows from Dunelm and to begin with they felt really heavy and dense – much ‘sturdier’ than my old bounce-back pillows. I have to be pretty careful with the type of pillow that I sleep on – some pillows simply no good for my neck which has previously suffered from whiplash. Any pillow that isn’t ‘my’ pillow, such as hotels, or staying at friends’ houses results in a painful crick in the neck which can last for days. So I was skeptical about changing my pillows, especially to one that seemed harder and more likely to push my dodgy neck into an uncomfortable position.

dunelm sleep challenge memory foam pillows

Oh how wrong I was. I have had nothing but good nights’ sleep on these pillows and I wake up feeling as if I haven’t even got a neck, and definitely no pain. The memory foam supports my neck in exactly the right position and my head feels practically weightless. I find that I move around less during the night and the pillows bounce right back into their puffed-up shape in the morning. So no problems to report and definitely a better, deeper sleep – plus less pain than I’ve ever experience to date, so that can only be a good thing and I’ll be taking these pillows with me wherever I sleep from now on!

Here are some more of the top tips I’ve been following by Dunelm to make the most of my sleep routine:

  1. Make sure that you have the right pillow for how you sleep. For example, people who sleep on their front usually need a softer pillow than people who sleep on their side. Here’s our guide to picking the right pillow for you: http://www.dunelm-mill.com/info/pillows
  2. Help increase your melatonin production by wearing a sleep mask to block out extra light
  3. If you find yourself awake, try to focus on relaxing as your goal, rather than falling back to sleep. Remind yourself that deep relaxation can still help rejuvenate the body
  4. If you’re prone to drifting off on the sofa in front of the TV, resist the drowsiness by doing something like washing the dishes or sorting things out for the next day – or take yourself off to bed straight away if it’s nearly your bedtime. If you nod off you may find it harder to sleep all through the night
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