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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Bathroom makeover ~ My seascape photowall

I’ve been talking about doing a bathroom makeover for a while now, and I’ve been very keen to include a tromploi-esque photowall in my design, but this week I have actually gone ahead and DONE IT! Yes, I have pasted my bathroom wall with a massive fly-poster of a photo that my husband took at the seaside earlier this summer. And it looks amazing!

After a lot of help from the design team at StressFreePrint - who got the measurements and dimensions of the image exactly right so that two horizontal posters could be joined to make one massive image – I received my poster by special delivery and set to work putting it up. It was definitely a two-person job, so my husband and I got out the wallpaper paste (we used an ultra-strong solvite paste which was around £2) and decided to paste the wall first, before pasting the back of the poster. Because my image was printed on fly-poster paper, it’s intended job is for pasting up advertisements (imagine a huge billboard and you’ve got it) so it was easy to paste and when we pressed it onto the wall, the paper was easy to smooth out, didn’t wrinkle and, in fact, had less trouble with bubbles than any other wallpaper that I’ve ever used!

We decided to overlap the poster at the join and there was a worrying moment while it was wet, because the paper was slightly see-through and I could easily see the image on the poster behind, leaving a darker blue stripe across the middle of the image. Thankfully, when the paste dried, the stripe disappeared and join couldn’t be seen at all, phew! We left it a couple of days to fully dry out before varnishing the poster with a layer of clear satin yacht varnish in order to make the photowall waterproof so that it would be suitable for use in a bathroom. This step probably wouldn’t be necessary if you were using a photowall in a living room, bedroom or office, but for moisture-prone rooms such as the bathroom or kitchen, I thought this was a good precaution. Now that I’ve got finally my photowall up, I definitely want to keep it looking nice for as long as possible.

Now I am simply head-over-heels for my photowall and I can’t get enough of being in my bathroom - baths take twice as long, and I am still surprised every time I go into the bathroom that the sea-view is there! I was worried that adding an image to the wall might make the small bathroom feel even smaller, but the opposite has happened. The room feels larger now, as you eye is drawn to the pier in the distance of the photograph, which gives the impression of added depth to the room.

create a custom made photo wall in your home-7

create a custom made photo wall in your home-8


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Interior design inspirations ~ 1920s a decade of decadence

With my bathroom makeover in progress, I’ve started researching interior design looks from decades past. It’s interesting how just a few inexpensive details can really change the look of your home and I wanted to share some images of 20s-style bathrooms with you for a little design inspiration today.

Thanks to the luxurious styling of last year’s hit film adaptation of The Great Gatsby, black and gold instantly spring to mind when you think of the 1920s. This balance of a deep, dark moody shade with opulent gold accents has a lot to offer your home, but it’s particularly suited to bathrooms. Think decadent gold fixtures, fittings and accessories – from taps and lighting to mirror frames and towel embroidery – all set against ebony walls.

Don’t feel restricted to black if you have a smaller-sized room, however: as you can see above a white, high-shine floor tiles add a certain lightness to the room without detracting from the twenties-inspired drama. Get the look with hammered pearl, brown and gold mixed mosaic tiles (above) ‘Oriente’ gold floor tiles, and ‘Onix black’ floor tiles with anti-slip.

I’m still in the process of choosing the finish for my bathroom and although the dark shades might detract from my photowall, I’ve been inspired to use lots of reflective surfaces and I love the idea of monogrammed towels! I’ll be reporting back on the progress of my bathroom project soon, so watch this space!

 


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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 bathroom makeover ~ Chosing the biggest photo ever

I was very inspired by my visit to the Hollister store in Cambridge last month and wrote all about the tropical beach hut theme and how I wanted to recreate this within my own home. The most impressive design element for me was the coastal projection ‘windows’ all around the store and I really wanted to copy this idea by installing a huge photowall at home.

It is definitely time to decorate my bathroom because the paint is flaking off the walls and the floor tiles are so old, so I’ve decided that this will be the room to get the coastal makeover. It was easy enough to decide on a room to decorate, but what I didn’t consider was just how difficult it would be to decide on a photo for the wall.

When an image is going to be printed that big it will completely change the look of the space so the composition, colours and scale needs to be right. The wrong angle will be imposing and make the room look smaller, but a sweeping coastal view might create the illusion of depth and lend a more spacious feeling to the smallest room in the house. So I took lots of photos at many different coastal locations, often returning at different times of day and in different weather so that I could get a good variety of images to choose from. I took shots from the pier, looking back towards land. I took photos down the promenade. And I took photos lying on the beach with the sea crashing towards me. One of them would be right, but now I had to make that final decision.

And this is the photo I eventually chose for my bathroom photowall:

coast

I sent the photo off to be printed by StressFreePrint who can do large scale poster printing and they have divided the image in half so that it can be hung like wallpaper in two sections. I wonder how it will look when it arrives?!


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Interior design inspiration ~ photowalls

When I wrote about the interior décor of Hollister stores last week it was pretty clear that I was really inspired by the design. Ever since my visit to the Cambridge shop, I’ve been trying to work out a way that I could inject a bit of Californian holiday atmosphere into my own home and I think I’ve come up with a plan…

The design element that most impressed me was the ocean view windows above. The ‘windows’ were made from screens which projected a wrap-around view of the ocean and coastline, giving the impression that you really were shopping in a tropical hut, possibly on a pier out in the sea. I loved the immersive atmosphere this created and I want to do something similar at home. Okay, I’m not considering installing a TV wall but I AM researching the possibility of including a photowall in my bathroom design.

I’ve gathered design inspiration and have researched companies that can print large-scale posters and I’ve decided to order from StressFreePrint. They are able to take a photo and divide it into posters which can over-lap and be pasted together to create an image the size of any wall up to 8m high! So my little 1.8m x 1.4m space above the bath should be no trouble at all ;) It’s basically like having wallpaper custom-made but without a hefty price tag.

There are different grades of paper quality available and the photos are printed with dry toner inks which are waterproof and UV stable so the image won’t run or fade - pretty good, huh? I’m still planning to varnish the wall after the posters have been hung, just to be certain that the moist bathroom environment won’t damage the image. Here are some interior spaces that have used a photo-wall effect to add a false window or to change the atmosphere of the room:

poster wall art ideas

So now all I need to do is choose an image. I want to use a photo of my favourite coastline, with beach huts and a gorgeous blue sky – but I’ll have to be there on the right day and at the right time to get the perfect weather conditions. I’d rather spend a bit of time creating an image that I’ll enjoy looking at, because it’ll be pretty hard to ignore once it’s pasted onto the bathroom wall! I’m hoping to create the illusion of looking into the distance so that the wall adds depth to the bathroom, rather than over-powering it. It’s a tough decision to make but I’ll share my chosen photos with you as soon as I send it to print!