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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Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside ~ bathing beauty

My new bath has arrived! This week I took delivery of a new bath and I am so pleased with the product that arrived. I know that I needed to replace my old enamel bath because it was chipped and cracked and parts of it were rusting, but I also didn’t want to spend a small fortune on a new bath – especially when all the other elements of my thrifty bathroom makeover have been found in skips or eco-friendly options. I therefore decided to shop online at Bella Bathrooms where I found out that I could get exactly the right bath for my needs for a fraction of the cost, phew!

new bath and taps from bella bathrooms

I chose a low price acrylic bath and hoped that it would be sturdy enough when it arrived. I was not disappointed! Gone are the days of flimsy wobbly acrylic baths – this one is reinforced with fibreglass and seems to be just as strong as my old enamel bath. The benefit of choosing an acrylic bath is that it is easy to clean, will keep the bath water warmer for longer as it’s not coming into contact with a cold metal bath, and it won’t chip and rust like the old one did. I was also able to find a slightly smaller bath that fit the exact dimensions of the space – while measuring up I found out that the width I have for my bath is 10cm shorter than any ‘standard’ bath – but luckily it only cost a couple of pounds more to get this non-standard size.

new bath and taps from bella bathrooms-2 new bath and taps from bella bathrooms-3

I also chose a more narrow bath than my old one, so it fills up with water more quickly and uses less water to get a good depth of bath water – another eco-friendly feature in my bathroom! In terms of taps I went for a set of taps with a shower mixer attachment as we don’t have an electric shower in out home and it would be much more convenient than the ‘push-over-the-taps’ shower head from Poundland that we’ve been using until now!

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Bath taps with shower mixer from Bella Bathrooms

Today is that day that we’ll be fitting it in the bathroom so I’m looking forward to seeing the finished result and taking a relaxing soak in my new bath. I don’t quite know how the installation will go – we’ve got the get the old bath out first, eek! – but I will be sure to let you know how I get on and share photos of the finished room soon!


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Loud living room decor

I love a bit of colour in my life, so for today’s post, I thought I would show you all some Pinterest worthy living rooms that introduce some colour into the area without being too out there. Combining neutral tones like browns and greys with some liveliness really can take an area to the next level. Here are a few of my favourite finds:

grey living room with yellow

via Renters Pages

This one isn’t so much loud in colour, but more loud in design, if that makes sense. This one combines a pretty neutral colour palette, with some pretty interesting design elements. A few bright and cheerful yellow throw pillows alongside black and white damask and cow print? Sign me up!

living room decor

via Flickr

The neutral colour palette with bright accents is pretty much the easiest way to bring a bit of colour into your living space, and is turning out to be the main theme of this post! Here we have an old-fashion looking Chesterfield (I think!), with some gorgeous 60s-inspired throw pillows. The clash of colours really works out well for the look!

bright modern living room

via Decoist

Even with the pillows and bright red chair, the colour palette in this living room remains quite muted. But the thing that makes the area really pop with originality is the large print on the wall. The pillows on the sofa take their cue from the colours within the painting, while still allowing the artwork to be the main attraction in this living room.

yellow living room colours

via Digs Digs

This one is admittedly the loudest of the lot – but those yellow curtains are to die for! Something bright and cheerful like those beauties would be the perfect fit for any sort of room. If you wanted to do a monochromatic look with greys, whites and blacks, this would be the perfect pop of colour, or if you wanted to, you could do something like the image above with bright accessories thrown into the mix

What do you think? Are you into the bright look or would you rather something more muted?

 

DIY country floral bedroom ideas from House to Home


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Just how house-proud are you?

If you’re anything like me, your home is your hobby. People like us have been flicking through homewares catalogues since our teens, planning out our ideal bedroom (yes, I did this – it was all black ash and hot pink in those days!), and browsing interior design magazines whilst daydreaming about our ‘dream home’ (“I’ll have that rustic bedroom but with a four-poster bed” etc). Nowadays it’s even easier to find home inspirations – you can barely go online without a gorgeous interiors photoshoot or DIY blog post jumping out at you! We’re interested in interiors, cookery, crafting and getting the look for less so we wander down the homewares aisle at the supermarket and always end up bringing home another candle or vase. If this sounds like you – read on! coastal seaside house inspiration moodboard

One of my many ‘dream home’ mood boards!

I found out about a fun survey that Carpetright are running on their website until the 13th November which gives you the chance to win a £250 Virgin Experience voucher so of course I entered the competition and took the survey. As I progressed through the survey I was a little surprised by my own answers and it turns out that I’m not quite the clean freak that I thought I was! The survey asked a lot of cheeky and funny questions about dust on your plug cables (guilty), pets (yes, mine ‘rule the house’!) and even how often you clean the toilet! I’ve previously written about a survey on Netmums about how often people change their bed sheets and I thought that I had a rather clean routine but not according to these results, haha!

DIY country floral bedroom ideas from House to Home

It turns out that I am a ‘Nester'; somewhere between fairly house proud and clean but without much time to do it so I prioritise other things. The survey results hit the head on the nail when it told me that I spend a lot of my time searching for inspirational home updates – have they been watching me on Pinterest every evening?!

So what level of house-proud do you think you are? Would you dare shove your hand down the side of the sofa?! What do the treats you buy for yourself say about you? Take the fun survey to find out and don’t forget to enter to win the Virgin vouchers at the end!

rustic bedroom interior decor


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Interior design inspiration ~ The rustic trend

At this time of year, as the seasons change from hot summer to cool autumn, I really get the urge to snuggle down at home and feather my nest, getting ready for the cold winter ahead. I start thinking about hot drinks, casseroles and blankets, and the design inspirations that I’m continuously pinning on Pinterest shift towards warmer colours, natural textures and tonal pallettes. I don’t know what it is about autumn that makes me want to surround myself with wood and wool, but it has at least influence this interior design trend blog post, so that can only be a good thing! Today I’m looking a rustic and natural interiors and have shared some of my favourite pins too.

Rustic homes possess a charming coarseness that is growing ever more popular and (like me at this time of year!) are chiefly influenced by nature. The style is inspired by French, English and Swedish country looks and is undeniably rugged – full of texture and natural materials. This trend incorporates sun-washed shades and muted tones reminiscent of earth and wood, and if you want to create your own rustic hide-away, here are some ideas to help you:

Walls – Walls should appear textured. Rough, bare stone and wood both help to enhance rustic décor, bringing the outdoors inside. Plaster walls should be painted. Roll the paint on lightly and unevenly to create an aged look and feel. Traditional hunting lodges – the absolute epitome of rustic style – traditionally feature animal hide rugs and wall mountings, so if you really want to go the whole hog, mount faux animal heads, or search your local antique store for the real thing. As you’ve probably already seen from my recent bathroom makeover blog posts, I’ve been adding more wood into by using cheap shuttering to clad my bathroom and I’ve been white-washing floors and walls for a neutral finish.

 image 1 / image 2

Floor – Your floor should be timber or stone for a natural, earthy feel. I’ve glued cheap wood to my bathroom floor to create a rustic beach-hut inspired look, which feels warmer underfoot than tiles or vinyl. If you want to soften the space in a bedroom to make it a little cosier, pick up some woven rugs from a second-hand shop or have a go at making your own. Use vivid contrasting colours or pattern to really highlight the patina of wooden floorboards and furniture.

Colour Scheme – A rustic colour scheme should be natural and earthy so look for tones of dark slate, warm tan, brown, green, watery blues, and grey. To make the room feel warmer and look brighter incorporate caramel tones and shades of cream, which I chose to do in my own bedroom. This palette should be used for all furnishings – and any walls which are not stone or wood should be painted a light colour, with perhaps one accent wall in a shade taken from your colour scheme.

Wood Burner – A wood-burner instantly adds a rustic look to a living room, and can save you a lot of money on your heating bills in winter. During the colder months, your home will feel warm and cosy, and the firelight will lend a rich reddish shade to your wooden features. I would love to have a woodburner, but at the moment the old fireplace is still boarded up, so in the meantime I’ve added an iron fire surround on the fireplace wall to give the impression of a rustic fireplace.

 

Décor – In a rustic-style home, the key element should be wood, so absolutely fill your space with wooden furnishings. If you know someone who’s good at DIY, save money by buying some logs and having them transformed into tables or seating. Pine is probably the best timber to use for your décor, stained with a mid to dark tone to really enhance the rustic beauty of your home. The rustic look should be layered through with rough timber accessories, fur or woollen fabrics, and soft lighting evocative of the cosy feeling of firelight playing on the walls should be used.

image 1 / image 2

You can add a further interesting twist with metal worked furniture. Try having metal seats at a wooden table, softened with cushions which match the rest of your colour palette. The materials work together to enhance the wood in the rest of your home, and their deviation really draws the eye, making them fantastic centre pieces. Make sure that the metal is a subtle tone, as the neutral shades will complement each other and provide a harmonious feel to the space.

DIY sewing bias binding project for bathroom towels-12


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Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside! DIY sewing project: towels for the bathroom

Yes, I do know that it’s possible to buy towels and I’m honestly not buying towelling fabric and making my own. But what I have been doing is sewing a little extra trim onto my old towels to make them fit in better with the whole look of the new bathroom. In truth, I had some fabric left over from making the blinds and I wanted to use it up rather than throw it away. I did a couple of sewing projects for the kitchen with it (I’ll share these soon) but I still had a few lengths left and wanted to include them in the bathroom. There’s not much call for soft furnishings in a bathroom, so apart from the blind I was a little stumped about how to use this fabric. Then my eye settled on my old beige towels. The ones we’ve had for years and that I’d earmarked for throwing out to make way for new towels that would match the beach hut theme.

It’s absolutely not like me to throw anything away and of course, these old towels would have probably been turned into kitchen rags or polishing cloths rather than being chucked out, but now I was looking at them with a glint in my eye. Could I make them into something suitable for my new bathroom? The beige colour was starting to look like sand to me, and the leftover lighthouse fabric was just screaming out to be used. So I spent an hour at my ironing board, making a thick bias binding from the lighthouse fabric and I stitched it onto the ends of the old towels. I’d previously learnt how to make bias binding from a tutorial online so how I did it in case you want to stitch a towel makeover for yourself:

Cutting: Cut a length of fabric which is three times the width that you want the finished trim to be and a little longer than the width of your towel. I chose to make a 3 inch trim so I measured 9 inches of fabric and cut out this strip. DIY sewing bias binding project for bathroom towels

Ironing: I then folded it in half with wrong sides facing and ironed a crease into the middle of the strip. Then, to turn it into a bias binding, I turned 1.5 inches over at the top of each side and ironed these edges too.

Sewing: I placed the edge crease 3 inches from the hem of the towel and pinned the binding strip to the towel with wrong side facing up. I straight stitched with a sewing matching along the crease. DIY sewing bias binding project for bathroom towels-5Folding: I then folded the binding strip over the edge of the towel so that the right sides are out and pinned the folded edge crease to the towel before sewing along this edge with straight stitch to seal the binding.

Finishing: At the ends of the strip, I folded the excess under the binding and then hand stitched the opening closed.DIY sewing bias binding project for bathroom towels-8

I repeated these steps for the second towel and after only an hour and a half I had ‘new’ custom-made towels that matched my blind and fitted in with my new seaside bathroom theme perfectly! I am so pleased that these towels were saved from the brink of the bin and have now been upcycled into something that I won’t find anywhere else.

The trouble with doing a makeover in your home is that no sooner than you have fixed one problem – the wall, the floor, the storage – another essential DIY project raises its head. Maybe it just because the whole bathroom is looking so fresh and new that I’m now looking at the other problems with more critical eyes. Whatever the reason, I have noticed how bad my bath actually is and that I could definitely do with a more efficient ventilation solution from Rocburn to remove the damp and steamy air from the room - the existing vent goes into the loft and does nothing! In terms of the bath, I think it’ll have to be a replacement rather because I don’t think I’ll be able to repair it.

It’s an old steel bath that was already here when we moved in and to be honest it had already seen better days back then; it has cracks in the enamel and some chips are actually rusting through. It’s been a battle of the bleach to keep it clean and no amount of scrubbing has brought those tarnished taps back to life. So I’m going to do some research and see whether it is even possible to get a replacement bath on my tiny budget. To be fair, it’s only a tiny bath too – we have less space than the standard 1700mm bath – so surely that’ll mean a cheaper bath, right? At the very least, I would like to replace the taps because not only are they really badly corroded, but at the moment the paddle-handle means that our cats sometimes turn the tap on by themselves. I don’t know how they do it, but sometimes the tap is mysteriously running after our cats casually saunter out of the bathroom. Plus, we have no shower so we’re currently using the old pound-shop solution of a push-on-the-taps-and-hope-it-doesn’t-leak shower head. And yes, it sprays everywhere! So a mixer tap with shower head attached would be a dream.

I will be sure to keep you updated on my progress and post all about any new projects for my bathroom soon.