Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog

Cassiefairy's thrifty little lifestyle blog – DIY crafts, sewing, food & fashion – what more does a girl need??

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My little vintage caravan ~ My patchwork mini desk

Last week I shared photos of my ‘new’ piece of furniture for the caravan. It was a tiny little desk unit, which I bought from the carboot sale. It had clearly been unloved for years, with peeling wood and scratches and stains all over it. I spent a lot of time sanding it down, cleaning it and spray painting – read all about the first stage of the makeover here. This week I’ve been spending a little more time on the project, adding the finishing touches and here’s how I got on…

Vintage caravan project - DIY painted cabinet furniture makeover-20

It looked like the drop-down desk had previously opened with a key, which had been lost long before I bought the cabinet, so the only way to open it was to prise it open with a screwdriver – not the most practical option for everyday use! So once the paint was completely dry, I added a ceramic knob onto the front of the desk. The colour of the roses matches the pink paint, and I love the fact that the design features a butterfly and will continue to remind me of the sleeping butterfly that came with my piece of furniture.

To finish off the project I pasted a patchwork of paper and fabric inside the unit using PVA glue. Initially I though that I would only use paper in the same way as my patchwork wall project but seeing as the desk will be in my sewing workshop, I thought it was only fitting to use scraps of fabric too!  So I’ve included lots of off cuts from other projects in there – such as my blue star curtains & my spotty cushion covers – which ties the whole space together. I pasted the cabinet itself, stuck down the fabric and paper squares and painted another layer of glue over the top to set it in place. I love the pretty, hand-crafted effect of this decoupaged patchwork and I couldn’t resist including a little square of Hello Kitty paper in the design!

DIY decoupage patchwork fabric to renovate an old desk-3

Overall I’m really pleased with how the unit has been transformed from a tired old cabinet (that may well have ended up in landfill or on a bonfire if I hadn’t bought it) into a perfectly usable mini desk for my workshop! I will get plenty of use out of it, and the size is just right for the space available in my little vintage caravan workshop.



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My renovation sensation project

When I first heard about the Renovation Sensation project my mind went into overdrive – so many ideas went whizzing around my mind and I was super-excited to get started. The challenge was set by Direct Blinds and I knew straightaway that it was right up my street: I love the thrifty nature of a makeover project to ‘get the look for less’ and I’m always keen to recycle and renovate old or unwanted items to keep them out of landfill. I headed to the car boot sale and kept my beady eye open for a suitable project to get started on.

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4 ways to save money in the bedroom

As you probably already know, I’ve been decorating my bedroom on a budget and have been trying to ‘get the look for less’ over the past few months. I hope that you’ve been inspired by some of the sewing and DIY projects I’ve shared and will be trying out some ideas in your own decorating plans. Not only have I felt a great sense of achievement by rolling up my sleeves and getting stuck into the DIY work  but also making my own versions of interior design features has saved me money in the long term. Saving money should be a priority for any homeowner, whether or not you’re a naturally thrifty type like me! Less money spent in the home means more to put aside for a rainy day, or to spend on other little luxuries for you and your family. Working out where to begin can be tricky, so here are some helpful hints for saving money in your bedroom that hopefully you can apply to the rest of your home.

Using books in the bedroom - DIY sewing and decorating project on Cassiefairy blog

My bedroom makeover so far – Thrifted bed, DIY feature wall & sew-your-own accessories

Second-Hand and Thrifting

Second-hand and thrifted furniture and bedroom accessories are, of course, the number one way to save money. So many people decide to get rid of their old furniture in favour of brand new, and this is where you come in. All of the furniture that I’ve sourced for my bedroom is secondhand! The best places to acquire low-priced furniture include:

  • Garage/yard sales
  • Auctions
  • eBay/online
  • Home clearances
  • Second-hand and junk shops

Continue reading “4 ways to save money in the bedroom” »

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Be careful which door you choose; it may not be the exit!

This afternoon I’m pleased to share with you an article from a guest writer, US designer Oliver Milo Davis – an interior designer who loves to play with spatial designs. He likes being practical in his concepts and at the same time, he likes things that are pleasing to the eyes. He grew up rearranging his home’s furniture and accessories. He likes writing too as a way of expressing and sharing his many ideas. Here’s his post on furnishing studio apartments – enjoy!

First there were sofas, then sofa beds and now storage sofas; not the kind that you dismantle when your guests leave only to have to reassemble them when your next guests arrive. No, I’m talking about storage sofas – saving space for condo living.

Studio Flat

I once had to design what used to be called a condo – short for condominium – but which I now refer to as a studio flat because there was no bedroom, thus no bed as such but it was still a home. The price I paid for it which was the main reason for buying it I have to admit, was such that it could never be a one bed flat but I did not let that put me off.

Firstly I drew up a list of the key essentials and the first unit on the list was a bed. Without a bedroom, I still needed somewhere to lay my head down, complete with a mattress and pillows. What options did I have without a bedroom?

Sofa Bed

studio apartment by Kevin Krejci via flickr
Image by Kevin Krejci via flickr

Well, of course, there was the ubiquitous sofa bed so loved of designers throughout the 60’s and 70’s because of its dual purpose usage and space saving usability. With flexible and easily foldable mattresses, sofa beds were one of the most popular ways of providing comfortable seating in the living room while doubling up as a bed when guests retired for the night. Leather sofa beds were by far the most popular as not only did they not increase substantially in price but they also provided the smartest unit of furniture in the home and were equally adaptable when expanded into a full sized bed.

Even sofa beds did not seem to be an option since it would have added to the number of units in the room, taking up space, which I did not really have since the key thing to remember was that I had to save space not add to it with different units of furniture.

Then I came up with the idea – well I say I came up with it but if the truth be told I had actually first seen the idea – on the stage in a production of Streetcar Named Desire, even though I did not have the best view in the house. Much of the play took place in the bedroom but because of the scene changing, they had to store the bed somewhere when the stage became the kitchen. Some stages revolve in order to make scene changes but this stage was static and the props all had dual purpose uses.

Out of sight

The answer was quite ingeniously to have the bed collapse upwards into a cupboard, complete with a proper door where it could be stored out of sight and no one was any the wiser that the door was anything but another room. Thus the sofa bed was safely stored out of sight while the actors portrayed the next scene in the living room. Ingenious eh!

Well not quite as this, of course, has led to several slapstick moments in music halls and theatres throughout the world with several plays – or perhaps we should call them farces – featuring the stored away sofa bed collapsing and reassembling at inopportune moments; the main protagonists exiting through what they thought was the way out; errant husbands/wives slipping unseen out of the room when their other halves returned unexpectedly or just hiding while their other halves were exited stage left.

But in design terms, sofa beds are the answer to saving space for studio living.

Thanks for this interesting interior design post Oliver! Check out his author profile here Oliver Milo Davis


Dream a little dream ~ for the little ones

With all the attention I’ve been lavishing on my bedroom during the sleep challenge combined with the interior design ideas I’ve been researching for bedrooms, I thought I would write a little blog post focusing on the cute decor ideas I’ve found for the little ones in your life. I’m a proud aunty with another little niece or nephew on the way, so I couldn’t help being drawn into the adorable design ideas that are out there for babies’ nurseries! Here’s my moodboard of miniature bedroom ideas:

Baby nursery bedroom design inspiration ideas from my crib rocks website

Images courtesy of My Crib Rocks

I love how these bedrooms from My Crib Rocks look like proper grown-up rooms, just with smaller furniture in them! It will be super-easy for the child to grow into the space without the need to redecorate or replace the furniture regularly. I especially love the plum-coloured walls: they are so classy and I’d be happy to have them in MY bedroom! A moses basket is always the cutest accessory and it’s so exciting when a family introduces a moses basket into their interior design, because that means a little bundle of joy has just arrived! My husband enjoyed my nephew’s moses basket so much that he considered buying cream waffle sheets for our own bed because it looked so cosy in my nephew’s crib!

baby bedroom desing babycrib01-dosfamily1

I also love the idea of DIY decorations for your baby’s bedroom, to make it even more unique. This DIY bedroom idea was shared by the Dos Family blog and it features a cool tree design over the crib cut from vinyl. The same vinyl has been used to make wildlife decals to decorate the furniture, and animal accessories complete the forest theme. This is great to inspire your child as they grow up, with stories coming to life around them – imagine reading them the Animals of Farthing Wood while they sleep in a bedroom like this – what amazing dreams they would have!

It’s lovely to make personalised things for your child’s bedroom, such as these hand-crafted mobiles and letter frames below. These items can be easily crafted as a gift to celebrate the new baby, and they will be likely to be kept as heirlooms, which can be passed down to the next child, or even to the next generation – imagine your baby hanging the same homemade mobile above his childs’ cot, how cute is that?! Check out my children’s Pinterest board for image links and more inspiration.

baby bedroom design handmade mobiles and artwork