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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How to give your bedroom a bohemian makeover

The bedroom is a place we spend a lot of our time in, therefore it’s normal to feel a bit uninspired by the decor and in need of a change every now and then. When it comes to home inspiration, the bohemian style is a great choice for a bedroom as it creates a relaxing, care-free vibe. It allows for lots of cosy textiles, making it easy to create the perfect space to unwind in. If you’re looking to add some personality and quirkiness to your room but don’t know where to start, unleash your free spirited side with this guide to the perfect boho bedroom!

Love this bohemian bedroom from Decoholic

Be creative with colour

The first place to start when updating your room is to think about the colour palette. With popular interior trends such as minimalism, there’s often strict rules to follow in terms of colour, with shades of white or grey being the norm. If your style is more on the bold side, then bohemian decor is right up your street! Feel free to paint your walls whatever colour you’d like, and don’t be afraid of clashing colours.

Mix and match patterns

Have a quick search of bohemian interiors inspiration on Pinterest and you’re likely to come across lots of clashing patterns. A great way to do this is by accessorising your room with a range of tapestries and textiles. Floral rugs are a great option for adding an eye catching element to the room, and make sure you also hunt down some quirky cushions, throws and wall hangings for that fun finishing touch.

Fantastic boho inspiration in this Huffington Post article

Source second hand

Sometimes some of the best pieces of furniture or accessories can be found in second hand shops or car boot sales, and if you’re looking for pieces with that shabby chic look, then this is definitely the way to go. Look for old wooden furniture like cabinets, rustic wardrobes and chunky coffee tables to add some vintage flair to the room.

Fill the room with art

With so many amazing artists such as Frida Kahlo paving the way in bohemian style, it’s only right to honor them by decorating your bedroom with an array of beautiful artwork. Visit a local independent gallery and choose a few pieces that stand out to you, or better yet, get creative and paint some canvases yourself. You don’t need to be a professional artist to pull this off – just grab a paintbrush, mix some colours, put on your favourite fleetwood mac song and splatter some paint on your canvas à la Jackson Pollock!

Plenty of pattern in this bedroom from InMyInterior.com

Work some DIY magic

If all that painting has you inspired to unleash your creative side even further, get busy making some DIY decorations for your room. Dream catchers are a staple boho bedroom accessory, and can be easier to make than you’d think – just check out this DIY guide from SheKnows.com. Another way to add a homemade touch is by up-cycling your old furniture by painting it in new bright colours. Top tip: try using chalk paint for this for a truly arty feel.

Add some greenery

Plants are a lovely addition to any room. Not only do they look great, but they can also purify the air, making your bedroom a truly tranquil space. Opt for large, leafy plants which will look great in a corner of the room, and don’t underestimate the power of a cheap bouquet of flowers in a vase for an easy botanical fix.

I hope that these tips have given you some ideas for getting that bohemian look on a budget. I love art and will definitely be adding some more textures and colour in my own home to brighten up my ‘blank canvas’ interiors. Please do leave me a comment to share any other ideas you have to bring boho back to the bedroom, it would be fab to hear your tips and inspirations.


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Putting the MINI into minimalism…

Minimalist designs are taking over. From interior décor to your favourite watch, everything is minimal and highly functional. Simple and effective use of space is what makes minimalism a hit and I love the airiness that these rooms possess. When minimalism is used in home décor, it becomes chic, sophisticated and smart – yet somehow it still feels inviting and unclinical to me. After a life of living in small spaces full of clutter, it’s difficult to resist such an appealing trend! So what is the secret of bringing minimalism into your life? It’s MINI.

minimalism at work in a monochrome wardrobe

M for Minimal Distraction

What makes a minimalist design, at home or elsewhere, work so well is that it doesn’t create any distractions. It comes as no surprise that all minimalist designs are primarily monochrome, whether they are focused on one object or an entire interior décor. While the minimalist’s favourite colour used to be white, you can now find grey, pale purple and beige interior décors that radiate the same sense of simple elegance. When it comes to high-tech design, take a look at the latest smartphones on the market, they tend to be black, white and metallic, so these are the hues you should look for when shopping for a minimalist home and wardrobe.

A monochrome kitchen with invisible lighting

I for Invisible Light

Whether it’s the latest technological gadget or a redecorated living room, the minimalist effect is achieved with a sharp and clear light. At home, this is often produced with a mix of natural light – windows are key in a minimalist décor – and soft artificial light. In opposition to maximalist décor that requires a dramatic lighting solution – such as a huge chandelier in the style of the 1930s – a minimalist décor needs invisible light solutions, such as ceiling LED spotlights, or lighting strips beneath kitchen cabinets, for example. Placed to strategically illuminate the room, a subtle lighting system places the focus on the rest of the room rather than drawing attention to itself.

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Bedroom progress – a retro-style bed & snuggly new duvet

Today I wanted to update you on our bedroom decorating project and share a quick review of my new duvet. You may remember that I’ve been waiting for my bed to be delivered and it has finally arrived! I spent the weekend with a screwdriver in my hand, assembling my new bed. What do you think of it?

It’s a Hygena bed and we got it from Argos using a 20% discount code so I’m really chuffed that we could get such a well-designed retro-style bed at an absolutely bargain price. I chose the frame after selecting my new mattress from eve, because everyone knows that the mattress is what makes the bed, and not the other way around!I’d been sleeping on my eve mattress on the floor and it was already super-comfortable, but adding it to the frame created a whole new level of comfort. Just FYI, one of the main things that I enjoy about my eve mattress is that my husband can flip over in the night and I feel no movement whatsoever on my side of the bed. I don’t know what the science is behind this, but the memory foam keeps me perfectly still while he moves around. I’ve never had such a peaceful night’s sleep!Anyway, seeing as I was so happy with the mattress, eve seemed to be the natural choice when it came to buying a new duvet too. My old duvet was a double size, so it didn’t fit our kingsize mattress and I wanted to feel super-cosy in my new bedroom. After committing a few years to my limp old duvet (how long are they supposed to last? Is it gross that I’ve used the same duvet for years?!) it was time to upgrade.

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Updating my bathroom – a much-needed DIY renovation project

Guess where I’ve spent this week? I’ve had a week off and did I spend it in the sunshine? By the sea? In a beer garden? Nope, I’ve spent it indoors, ripping out my old, dated and leaky bathroom. What else would I do with a week off than more DIY?! Yes, the house renovation project is in full swing, and now we have no bathroom. No water and, worryingly enough, no loo. Eek – time to crack on with the DIYing!With that in mind, I thought it would be a fun idea to show you what kind of look I’m going for in the bathroom. If you can imagine a spa with dark colours and clean lines, that’s the kind of style I like. I had already bought our bathroom suite in the January sale (I know, it’s taken me a while to get started on this DIY project – I’ve been putting it off for months) so I knew what type of bath I was going for.I chose the Voss range from Betta Bathrooms and managed to get the bath, loo, sink, all taps, wastes and plumbing supplies for under £300, can you believe it?! That’s precisely why I ordered it in the January sales, it was too much of a bargain to pass up. The order arrived in February but I’ve only just got the chance to take a ‘holiday’ from my writing work to get started on the renovation this week. You can imagine how excited I am to finally get to work on it.

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3 Tips for living with wooden floors

As you can probably tell from my past few DIY blog posts, flooring at been at the forefront of my mind. Firstly, I picked out the perfect white-washed colour for my bedroom floor, and last week I shared a step-by-step guide to installing laminate flooring. The next step is finding some hard-wearing flooring for the kitchen of my 50s house, tiles for the bathroom and carpets for the bedrooms – so there’ll be more blog posts to follow, I’m sure! 

The question I’m answering today is: how do you maintain and protect your new flooring from general mishaps/wear and tear? Whilst hardwood flooring is a fantastic upgrade and can add value to your home it does require regular maintenance, so I’ve made a handy list to make sure all scenarios are covered!1. On a day to day basis:

It’s inevitable that your floor will take some stick, after all, that’s what it’s there for, but it IS possible to protect it from avoidable scratches and scuffs. For example, if you have installed wooden flooring in your kitchen/dining area then why not consider using felt protectors under the legs of tables and chairs? This simple but effective method can prevent minor scratches from occurring, or a rug beneath the table can also work in the same way. It also pays to remove your shoes, especially spiky-heeled ones, before walking over the floor. This can stop any scratches from occurring and prevents dirt from being dragged onto the surface.

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What’s wrong with your curtains?

The right curtains can immediately improve a room’s comfort and aesthetics. But did you know that it’s possible to hang curtains incorrectly? It may seem unlikely, but I’ve been in a room this week where the curtains were the wrong length and it was literally the only thing I could look at! Even minor mistakes can make a big impact so, before I invest in any curtains for my new home, I’ve been doing some research into what not to buy. I thought I’d share this advice with you so that you can take a look around your home and make sure your curtains don’t suffer from the four common problems I discovered…

I made my own caravan curtains & blinds – read the blog post here!

1. Too-long curtains 

Off-the-peg curtains can sometimes be a little too long for your room and you’ll end up with extra fabric that bunches up on the floor. If the curtains are really long they can look like a pile of laundry that’s been neglected for weeks! Raising your curtain rod is the easiest way to make long curtains fit your room. Just make sure you raise the rod high enough so the curtains don’t touch your floor. If you’re handy with a sewing machine, the alternative is to shorten the hem of the curtains. I shortened some curtains for my own home and now they are perfect for the space.

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2 essentials for a workspace that sparks creativity

I’m just about to start planning my office (did you catch my blog post on the ergonomics of working from home?) so I’ve been doing my research into what makes a good workspace. Earlier this week I shared some photos of the offices of my favourite bloggers and now I’m taking inspiration from creative professionals in order to identify what I need (and don’t need!) to make my home studio a productive space to work.

A 2014 report commissioned by the Nordic Council of Ministers found that our physical surroundings can have a huge impact on how much work we get done. And this was the same in all four countries assessed (Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway if you were curious). Consequently, it is fair to say that our working environment can have a dramatic effect on our mood. In order to ensure that your own office area sparks your creativity, here are the two things you need for a beautiful workspace.

Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner’s home office

1. Natural light and plants

Whether you’re looking to create the grandeur of a Victorian study or to relax in a sleek, modern home office, studies suggest that a workspace should always have natural light and plants. Plants increase the level of oxygen in a workspace whilst natural light is instrumental in allowing people to think with a clear head. An example of a workspace that makes excellent use of natural light comes from the creator of cult show Mad Men (above).

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Why I didn’t buy my dream home

You know when you have an idea of your perfect home in your mind – go on, picture yours now… You’d hope to one day be able to buy that house and move in with a perfect blush pink sofa and two fluffy cats, right? Or maybe that’s just me. But anyway, you know what style you like, the type of building you’d choose and the location you’d love. So why, when I was searching for a property to buy, didn’t I buy my dream house?

The dream cottage from House and Garden

It’s not as simple as ‘I couldn’t afford dolls-house-esque Georgian mansion I wanted”. I found plenty of beautiful homes within my budget (though I wanted to get a good deal, naturally – I’m a thrifty gal after all) but none of them quite came up to scratch. I wasn’t being picky – they we’re all homes that only two years ago I could never have dreamed of owning – but for a whole year, every house I viewed or came close to buying ended up not being ‘the one’. Here’s why:

It was too small. I quickly found out that the trouble with picturesque cottages is that they’re too small. I’ve stayed in SO many lovely holiday homes that are small but perfect-formed, so I thought that this was the style of house I wanted to buy. But when I started looking at them with the reality of actually living there, I realised it would be a struggle. The rooms in cottages are so cosy, but tiny. Even the windows were too small, meaning that most rooms were dark even in the midday sun – no good for a full-time blogger, eh?! I can’t even remember how many times my husband banged his head on the low beams! Sorry quaint holiday cottage, you’re not the house for me.

Beautiful home and garden by photographer Rachel Warne

The road was too close. A couple of the perfect cottages we looked at were just too close to the road. Some were main ‘A’ roads, while others were tiny village roads. Either way, the proximity of the road always seemed to cause a problem. It could be that there was no nearby parking, it was sometimes a noisy truck-route and in other places it was difficult to even get out of the driveway onto the main road. Sorry ‘excellent road links’ house, I won’t be parking in front of you.

It was listed. And even though this means the building is packed full of beautiful original features, gorgeous inglenook fireplaces and beamed ceilings, I didn’t want to take on this responsibility. As you know, I like to do a lot of DIY work myself and I couldn’t imagine being restricted by the listing requirements. The listings often covered things like the colour of the front door (that’s conservation areas for ya!), the style of windows (cold non-double glazed, for a start) and the roof tiles. Considering that I love to learn new skills and DIY as I go, it seemed unlikely that I’d want to stick to the listing restrictions and keep things exactly as they are. Sorry ancient house, you’re no home of mine.

The dream garden from Sequin Gardens

There was no garden. Okay, not true – they all had gardens. But the trouble was the tiny size of the garden. Or the overlooked nature of the garden. Or the neighbour who was sitting in their garden, which backed onto our kitchen window. Odd configurations of the plot was a big factor in the decision not to buy most of the houses we saw. Considering that we like to work in our garden and host gatherings around a BBQ it was important that we had a usable outdoor space. And even the most perfect ‘how does your garden grow’ plots were too small to put up a shed. Having space to build a workshop was one of our ‘essentials’ so that my artist husband and I can work together, so if there was no room for a sizable shed, we walked away. Sorry cottage garden, I won’t be mowing your lawn.

The good news is that, in the end, I actually DID buy my dream home. I just didn’t know that this house was what I was looking for when I started my property search. It’s about twice the size of any other houses we saw and has a garden that we can grow into. We can park easily and the no-through road rarely sees any traffic. Other houses in the area have been altered and updated without any problems with planning and I love that I can DIY everything myself. Hi happy home, I think I’d like to move in.

The moral of my story is to keep an open mind when house-hunting. After countless viewings, I said to my husband “let’s just look at ANYTHING within our budget” even if it doesn’t seem right. The very next day a square 1950s house came onto the market and I booked a viewing with this new ethos in mind. I very nearly cancelled that appointment a few times because I was sure this house wasn’t the right one for us. But when we arrived at the quiet location and walked up the long garden into a house with more rooms than we knew what to do with, I was so pleased that we’d given it a chance.

Good luck with your house hunting guys!


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4 ways with windows to create a bright & airy home

One of the things that I’m trying to achieve in my home is a feeling of brightness and airiness. I’ve been painting dark walls in fresh white paint, and have positioned mirrors at suitable points around the house to reflect the light. But I’m sure that there’s more I can do to achieve a home filled with bright natural daylight. And I’m sure I’m not the only person to want this kind of effect in my home. Today I’m sharing my ideas for increasing light levels in the home, without resorting to daylight bulbs..!

image source

1. Goodbye Curtains

Firstly, let’s look at the ways to maximise the amount of light coming in through your existing windows. If you’ve got heavy curtains hanging at your windows, lets take them down. Either replace them with floaty-light voiles or consider whether you can go without curtains altogether. If the window isn’t overlooked, or is already frosted, maybe those curtains aren’t necessary. This will ensure that the maximum amount of light possible enters through these windows.

image source

2. Hello blinds

If you do need to cover the windows for privacy or at night, a practical option is to install blinds inside the window recess. Go for blinds that fold or roll right away, such as venetian blinds or roller blinds. I chose vertical blinds for my living room and they open from the centre so can be pulled back to expose the entire window. Any of these types of blinds will allow loads of light into the room but still allow you to maintain your privacy at night. And you’re able to control the amount of light coming in through the window by angling the slats to direct the daylight away from your laptop screen.

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How to reinvent a second-hand kitchen

Buying a kitchen second-hand may seem unheard of, but it can be a great way to update your home on a budget. So many people think that their only option is a basic store-bought kitchen, but there are alternatives out there – purchasing a designer kitchen second-hand is the future. You can get great quality at a fraction of the original custom-made price. However, when a kitchen has been designed for a different home, how do you personalise it to suit yours? Here are some tips:Paint is Your Best Friend

When you buy a second-hand kitchen, paint becomes your best friend. You can use it to transform the entire room, from the cabinets to the walls. You will be surprised how much painting your cabinets can lift the entire room, making it brighter and much more pleasant.

Change Up the Cabinets

With cabinets making up such an important part of the kitchen, changing them can have a big impact on the design. You could paint them, as we mentioned above, or replace the doors with glass. If you’re feeling brave (and you keep your cupboards tidy!) you could take the doors off completely. Is that too much commitment? Just replace the handles – chrome handles instantly update a kitchen, or you could find quirky vintage ones.Replace the Worktops

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