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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4 Ways to add extra value to your property

Whether you’re looking to sell your home, or simply want to make the most out of the space you have available, remodelling is a great way of adding value to the property and giving your home a unique touch. There are elements of your home that you can’t change, such as the location, but there are so many features that you can change which will really help when it comes to the selling process.

Add value with bright & airy spaces – Image source A Sweet Afternoon via Nyde

But you don’t have to be selling before investing in your home and that’s certainly not what I’m planning. We’ve been doing work our the house over the past few months and are hoping to increase the value of our home before we renegotiate the mortgage. A higher valuation will mean that our Loan To Value (LTV) is better, and will help us to get a lower interest rate going forward. Plus, we’ll have a house that we’ll enjoy living in for longer! Here are a few popular renovation ideas that are guaranteed to add some extra ££s to your home.

1.Create an extension

If you’re fortunate enough to have a property with a decent-sized garden you may find you have just enough room to extend your house and create more living space. Whist gardens are a great feature to have when selling your home, if you can get away with extending out and still have some garden space you’ll certainly be adding value to your property. If you’re working to a budget, a single-storey extension is great for opening up your kitchen area, adding a dining room or even introducing a conservatory or dayroom to your home.

An amazing glass extension – Image by Rise Design Studio

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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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The next big thing in space saving design

Space-saving design is incredibly popular as it helps people get more out of their home. If you save space, then each room has more room to breathe and looks far less cluttered and compact. Not only does this improve a room’s functionality, but it also improves its aesthetic appeal. When space is tight – as it has been in so many of my previous homes – making the most of the space you have is extremely important. No wonder Ikea does so well!

This folding table turns into a storage cabinet

In this blog post, I’m discussing the next big thing in space-saving design. What’s the growing trend right now that everyone’s crazy about? For many, it’s this idea of transformable furniture. Furniture that looks like one thing, and then transforms into another thing to serve a different function. Yes, it’s the “robots in disguise” of the 21st century! This saves so much space in the home, as you get one object that can do two or three different things. As such, instead of having two or three pieces of furniture, you only need one. Transformers rock!

If you’ve been following my blog for a while you may have seen one of these space-saving cabinets in action because I gave one a thrifty makeover as a ‘baking station’ in my own kitchen. It’s kitchen cabinet that folds downwards to become a table for someone to sit at and eat their breakfast in the morning. A genius space-saving design that’s ideal for someone in a small studio apartment. There’s no doubt that transforming furniture is the next big thing in space-saving design. All of these examples are so smart, and it’s exciting to think what other things we’ll see in the near future.

Dining Room Coffee Table

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DIY shopping – for the first time in my life!

Plumbing, heating, bathrooms and kitchens. It’s amazing how different my internet browsing history is these days. No longer am I visiting of pet sites and shoe stores, oh no. I’ve got a whole different kind of shopping to be getting on with now that I’m planning to buy a house and it’s all very DIY-focussed. I figured it would be useful to make a list of the things I would need when we start work on our new home, and where better to do that than on my blog??

Heating

I’ve literally just discovered that there’s more than one type of boiler in the world, and now I’ve got to consider radiators and pipework too. Thank goodness for YouTube, otherwise I’d never know how the hot water flows around my bathroom! At the moment, my research is focussed on heated towel rails for the bathroom and I’ve been investigating super-stylish radiators. I’m completely fascinated with pinning photos of loft apartments with Victorian cast iron radiators – dream on, eh? Even so, I’d love to get have that kind of detail in my home in the future.

For the bathroom I specifially want a heater that can keep the bathroom cosy all the time, look really lovely and still be used to warm my towels. I love that cosy feeling when you’re wrapped in a warm towel straight out of the bath, can’t wait. Just give me a heating catalogue and I’ll be happy for hours!

Hot water

On the subject of bathrooms, I never knew that choosing plumbing supplies could be so much fun. Okay, the pipework itself might be a little bit confusing at the moment but at least I’m learning something new with all my household DIY research! The bathroom sale adverts that have been running on the TV throughout January have been luring me in and the Tile Trader website is a permanently open tab on my iPad. Yes, I’ve even found myself browsing the local branch of Wickes. That is SO not like me. But things like mixer taps and fixed shower heads are just so beautiful and sculptural that I just can’t help getting carried away. And who doesn’t want to have a rain effect shower head, eh??

Even the kitchen sink

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Household goals – keeping my home neat & organised

Starting the new year with the intention of keeping my home clean and organised has been very motivating goal for 2017 so far. A jolly good tidy-up at the start of January really helped, as did finding a home for all the lovely gifts I received over Christmas. However, I’ve found that after just a few weeks of trying to keep up with all the mess, it has become difficult to do and I often ‘forget’ about it. Then I find that even more stuff has piled up on top of the original pile. Uhoh! The trouble is that I haven’t really got round to sorting out any specific strategies or routines for organising my stuff. I can’t fight it any more. I need new storage, and that’s all there is to it. There are a whole range of different products that I could buy, systems that I can put in place and even new routines that will help me to have an organised and tidy home, yet I’ve resisted so far. But not any longer – so today I’m sharing a few ideas on how to can introduce certain things to your home to help clear the clutter!

The Kitchen

I’ve found it’s best to focus on one room at a time, as different rooms will require different processes and organising strategies. That sounds so official, doesn’t it?! The kitchen is a great room to start with, as it can often be the one room that needs the most work when it comes to getting organised. My kitchen is one of the most used rooms within the home; not just for preparing and cooking meals, but dining, socialising and even working too. One of the best ways to start a kitchen de-clutter is to give your fridge and cupboards a deep clean. Throw away any items that are past their use-by date, wipe the surfaces clean and add some kind of sorting system. Having certain cupboards for specific foods or products will make your life much easier (eg, pans in the cupboard nearest the oven), as well as making the kitchen look much neater.Recycling is another task you can incorporate into your kitchen to keep your home organised. We go through so many plastic, glass and cardboard items every week, and having a recycling system in place will help you filter through these items neatly, whilst keeping the kitchen organised too. There’s nothing worse than a build-up of glass bottle on the side, waiting for that fortnightly trip to the tip!

DIY Peg bag sewing project + carrier bag dispenser

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How to add festive decorations in every room of the house

Christmas is here again, bringing with it the dark nights, frosty mornings and frozen noses. Have you already decorated your home for Christmas? I bet your tree is up and the fairy lights are sparkling, am I right? But what about the other rooms in your home? Why not cultivate a cosy festive feeling in every room of your house? Don’t worry that Christmas is fast approaching, there’s still plenty of time! Here’s how to quickly transform every room to add a touch of winter cheer and welcome in readiness for the party season.christmas-living-roomThe Living Room

The staple of every home is the living room, the place where family come together and relax after a hard day out in the cold. This season, nothing’s more important than spending time with family and friends, sharing memories, and making plans to create new ones. Turn your living room into a cosy winter wonderland just like the photo above by Lindsay Marcella by shutting off your main light and instead adding lamps and candles to create a warm, cosy winter hue. Add a touch of character and colour with sparkling fairy lights; drape them around door frames and windows. Scatter cushions are usually reserved for the bedroom, but a host of new, mismatched cushions on the sofa can make it feel all the more snuggly. Festive scented candles are a must-have for any winter living room too.christmas-kitchen-decor

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DIY Christmas decor – Candy cane chair project

This month I’ve been busier than an elf in Santas workshop – yes, I’ve been DIYing lots of festive projects ready to share with you on the blog this December. And what better way to kick off the celebrations than with the ultimate festive makeover: a candy cane chair.diy-video-youtube-tutorial-christmas-decor-decoration-festive-candy-cane-chair-step-by-step-project-spray-painting-guide-7When I bought this retro chair from a second-hand furniture shop for just £2 I didn’t really know what I was going to do with it. I don’t really have space for another chair, but I knew that it was too much of a bargain to pass up. So I handed over my cash and spent the next five minutes trying to manoeuvre the chair into my teeny tiny car.

Needless to say, the chair sat in my garage for a couple of months before I decided what should be done with it. And during that time we inched closer and closer to Christmas. I began feeling more and more festive, and soon the thought came to me – I was going to make a candy cane chair.

But where do you start when you want to turn an old dining chair into Santa’s favourite seat? Well, with primer of course! A roll of masking tape and couple of coats of red spray paint later, my Christmas chair was complete. Okay, maybe it wasn’t as quick as that but it was easy enough to do – the only thing that took a bit of time was waiting for the paint to dry between coats.

Luckily, I captured the whole process on my camera and I’ve made this little DIY video to show you exactly how to do it for yourself at home. Have a quick watch below or open the video in YouTube to leave me a comment or a thumbs up. And please give me a subscribe while you’re there – I know there’s not many videos on my Cassiefairy channel yet but I promise there will be more crafty DIY videos coming soon, honest!

What do you think of my candy cane chair design? Will you be giving any of your furniture a festive makeover this winter? Let me know if you’ve made any OTT decorations yourself by leaving me a comment below or tweeting me with photos of your xmas décor @Cassiefairy.


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Hi-tech touches to modernise your kitchen

If you’re planning a new kitchen – or simply want to renovate your old units with some snazzy new updates – this is the blog post for you. I’ve spent hours trawling Pinterest on your behalf (yes, I am that selfless) to spot some of the latest trends in kitchen design so that you can be well-informed about what’s hot and what’s not in the world of kitchens. And it’s not just about the latest designs and hottest colours, I’ve also investigated those essentials that will lift your kitchen from drab to WOW.kitchen-design-inspiration-trends-2016-navy-blueIn fact, sinks and taps are often overlooked as design features, but really they are the stars of the kitchen. Let’s be honest, no matter how pretty your marble work-surface is, or how brightly coloured your glossy cabinet doors are, you wouldn’t have a well-functioning kitchen without a sink and tap, would you? So it’s important to give these key pieces plenty of thought before you invest. This is one part of the kitchen where the latest design and technology improvements will actually have a big impact on your kitchen, as sinks and taps can now perform efficiently as well as look great in terms of design.2016-trend-inspiration-in-kitchen-design-sinks-and-taps-small-apartmentThe style of your kitchen design and the size of the space you’re kitting out will probably influence your choice of hardware. But no matter whether you’ve a ‘cosy’ city apartment or a totally-covetable farmhouse kitchen, you’re going to need to get water into the kitchen somehow. Interestingly enough, the design of the humble tap has evolved rapidly over the past decade, with a bigger variety than ever available to choose from. The latest innovations include filter taps for fresh filtered drinking water, boiling water taps so that you can make your morning cuppa at the sink without boiling the kettle, and now you can even fit sparkling water taps in your home – just like the carbonated taps in bars. Adding features like pull-out sprays, LEDs that indicate water temperature and water-saving/ flow regulation taps means you’ll have the whizziest tap technology available. Impressive, huh?kitchen-design-inspiration-trends-2016

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Pieday Friday – Kitchen mishaps

Over the years I’ve come realise that I’m quite a clumsy person. I trip over on flat pavements and I bruise myself almost daily by bumping into things. I’m a bit of a calamity but thankfully I’ve never seriously hurt myself or anyone around me. The worrying thing is when someone with a tendency to be slightly clumsy gets into the kitchen. Expect trouble, and lots of it! And that’s what I’m blogging about today: the mishaps and mistakes I’ve made in my kitchen and the reasons why it makes sense to stay focussed when you’re baking…pans-419249_1920Grills. Many a time I have turned on a grill to ‘pre heat’ without opening the grill door, or checking whether there’s already something under there. This is how my mum’s favourite frying pan (the one she’d owned for longer than she’s had me) ended up with its wooden handle on fire. Okay, I didn’t put it in there in the first place, but I did turn on the grill without checking that it was empty. Another frying pan handle met its doom in my grill recently when I was trying to brown the top of a Spanish omelette. It was all going great, with a crispy golden cheesy layer forming nicely, until the (not heat-proof, it turns out) handle started bubbling. Oops.muffins-480513_1920Hobs. Hobs are my worst enemy. They stay hot for far too long, and I regularly get scolded on the rim of hot pans. But the main problem I have with hobs is that they are not a work surface. Let me explain. In my home (in fact, in all of my previous homes) I have a small kitchen with not much work space. I therefore tend to use the back two hobs of the oven as an extra surface, which is where my kettle etc live when they are not in use. The trouble is when I turn on the front hob to cook a dish and start to wonder why my onions aren’t sizzling away. The smell of melting plastic soon helps me to realise that I’ve turned on the back hob by mistake. And chiseling the base of a molten coffee machine off the back hob made me realise that I’m always just a couple of minutes away from disaster when I cook.kettle-653673

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Interior design trend – Colourful kitchens & bathrooms

I’ve spotted a new trend in interior design for Summer 2016 and it’s one that really pleases me; bright bold colour. We all have a favourite colour – a shade that we seem to choose time and again – for our clothing, our décor and even our cars. It can therefore be frustrating when you have a colour preference for your home but find it impossible to find your favourite hue in the materials you want from DIY stores. Rather than creating just another cookie-cutter interior I want something different. Something that makes me smile when I enter a room, and something that even impresses guests when they visit my house. I therefore started to research colourful kitchen and bathroom options and here’s what I found:bright Colours bathroom shower splashbackNo longer do our ‘functional’ rooms such as the kitchen and bathroom have to be limited to a palette of white tiles, wooden cabinets and stone surfaces. While this ‘holiday home’ look certain IS popular, it doesn’t really do much to demonstrate your own personality or fit in with the character of the property. Shouldn’t a home someway reflect the individuality of the people who live there? Well, I think that’s where colour comes in.British-Standard-Colour-Chart bathroom green bath splashbackThankfully, we’re no longer limited to the colours of tiles we can find at the DIY store. For a seamless colour scheme it is now possible to have glass splashbacks colour-matched to the paint you used on the walls or woodwork. Colour matching Farrow and Ball, Laura Ashley, Dulux, Ral and many more paint brands helps you to achieve an extremely luxurious look in your bathroom or kitchen. It can be used anywhere that you want to waterproof – the shower cubicle, around the bath, kitchen splashbacks, window sills, behind the hob, kitchen worktops, behind the bathroom sink and all around the downstairs loo, if you really want to!RAL-Colour-Chart-red kitchen splashback

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