Cassiefairy – My Thrifty Life

Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog – Saving money every day with DIY crafts, sewing projets, low-cost recipes & shppping tips


Saving money with LED lighting

After much research for my own home renovation project, I’ve discovered that LED lighting is becoming more and more popular these days. Not only are we illuminating our homes with this type of light bulb, they are also popping up commercially in schools, hospitals and offices. I think that their popularity comes from their ability to save energy (and therefore money!) and with LED lighting, saving money doesn’t mean you have to compromise on quality or even on style – there are countless designs available so I’m sure I’ll find an eco-friendly lighting solution for my home. Here are few great things that you probably didn’t know about LED lighting and it will hopefully, if you haven’t already, inspire you to make the switch yourself!They run for hours (and hours and hours)

We all know how much of a pain changing a bulb can be. It seems once you have changed one, the others decide to follow suit, and before your know it you’re changing a bulb every other day somewhere in your home. LED bulbs have power for literally hours (around 30, 000 to be exact) and so it is very unlikely that you will even need to change one whilst they are installed (that works out at about 20 years). Standing on a chair and praying for dear life whilst attempting to unscrew the bulb without choking from lampshade dust exposure, is definitely a thing of the past. Continue reading “Saving money with LED lighting” »

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Interior design inspiration – A bright future for wall lights

Mood lighting, task lighting and full-on daylight illuminations. All types of lighting are important in interior design. Lighting can be the key element that turns a house into a home, and makes a space feel cosy and comfortable. I’ve spotted a shift in lighting trends over recent months towards a new type of light fitting – wall lights. If you associate wall lights with your grandparents’ house it may be time to think again. Where dated glass lamps and tasselled shades were once fitted, nowadays wall lights are pretty darn cool, and I want to prove it to you today..!wall lights angle poise lamps reading armchair library

Library lighting provides a reading nook in this room from House & Garden magazine

As homes evolved over the years, electric lights began to replace the old oil lamps and candle scones of days gone by. So, in later years, it became a rather outdated trend to see lights on walls rather than in ceilings. They seemed to scream ‘requires renovation’ and became something that homeowners were keen to rip out rather than put in. Even the 90s trend for painted uplighters (made popular by Linda Barker and co on Changing Rooms!) wasn’t enough to make wall lights cool – they were simply covering up something that no-one really wanted anyway. But all that has changed in 2016. Wall lights are making a comeback.wall light fitting home interior design globe outdoor lighting

Here an outdoor light fitting has been used to create a modern bathroom on A Beautiful Mess blog

You can see from all these images that interior designers are starting to embrace the wall light as an important part of home décor. Not only does it give rooms an ambience that the ‘big lights’ in the ceiling just can’t achieve (no matter how low the wattage) but it also provides great task lighting. Plus, the design of wall lamps has also moved on in recent years. You’re much more likely to find white glass globes (such as these above from A Beautiful Mess) in bathrooms than recessed LEDs. And industrial-inspired designs are everywhere, making wall lights a must-have item for the first time in years.wall lights angle poise lamps reading bedroom bed side

Continue reading “Interior design inspiration – A bright future for wall lights” »

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DIY festive fairies in snow-covered Kilner jars

The thing that I love most about Christmas is the lights. The twinkling fairy lights on the tree, homes lit up with sparkly displays and town centres adorned with colourful Christmas lights. It makes the whole festive season feel all the more magical to me and I especially love going Christmas shopping at dusk just after it has rained because the wet pavement reflects the lights, making the world sparkly and hazy. I love it and you can probably guess that I’ve already been shopping for more Christmas lights this year, because today I want to share a little DIY sideboard display with you using my brand new fairy lights from Homebase.

DIY fairy lights kilner jar display for christmas-7 DIY fairy lights kilner jar display for christmas-6I happened to be in Homebase on the day before the launch of their Christmas range and everything in store was 15% off, so even though I’d only popped in for some paint to finish off my bathroom makeover, I couldn’t help browsing the festive section and fell in love with these fairy lights. I’ve never chosen icicle lights before, but these ones had such tiny LED bulbs that they looked super-cute, like a flock (or should that be flight?) of fairies and the idea for this DIY project lightbulbed above my head.DIY fairy lights kilner jar display for christmas-3 DIY fairy lights kilner jar display for christmas-2 DIY fairy lights kilner jar display for christmas-4I gathered together a bunch of empty jam jars, Kilner jars and some decorated jars that I’ve saved from last years project (check out my snow/glitter tea-light jars project to get this look for yourself) and I arranged them along the length of my sideboard. I then tucked every other icicle strand into the jars and laid the remaining light strands around the base of the jars. I think the 120 twinkles of light look like fairies caught in jars – although they are free to fly away if they want to, there are no lids! This would work equally well down the centre of a dining table too or on a smaller-scale on your dressing table to bring a little festive sparkle into the bedroom.

DIY fairy lights kilner jar display for christmas DIY fairy lights kilner jar display for christmas-5These icicle lights have lots of different settings so although I’ve got them all on here, I prefer to set them to a candle-like flicker or a slow-wave and that now I barely notice when the lights change so they don’t become annoying in my peripheral vision. The warm white shade bathes the room in a cosy glow and is enough festive decoration for the room even without a Christmas tree, so might be a good display for a kitchen sideboard where you might night not have any other decorations. Here’s my little Instagram video of the lights in action, plus an early playing of White Christmas in the background to get me in the mood!

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Exterior Illuminations – that’s Christmas lights to you and me…

One of my favourite things about this time of year is driving around in the evenings and spotting all the houses who are celebrating the Christmas season with an abundance of fairy lights! My brother is the king of ‘exterior illuminations’ as he calls it; ever seen the film Deck The Halls? – yep, that’s him! 😉 He tells me that one day he’ll have led lights built into the window frames of his house! I think he’s aiming for something like these displays from who install amazing illuminations – follow them on Twitter @XmasDecorNepa:

Christmas lights house nepa

amazing christmas lights house nepa

christmas house fairy lights nepa

beautiful christmas display house nepa

I think it’s great when people make an effort to decorate the outside of their homes – it gives the impression of a happy, jolly family inside and makes the home look welcoming. As outdoor lights are pretty pricey, I only have a few twinkling lights outside my home, but I’ve made the effort to make my doorway and porch look pretty with warm white lights (from Dunelm Mill) wrapped around an artificial garland with pretty vintage roses tied on. I have also put cheaper indoor fairy lights around the inside of my windows – giving a matching warm white glow.

christmas lights around porch with rose garland

A small strand of flashing rainbow-coloured lights on our hydrangea bush completes my lights display and makes me happy when I’m driving down the driveway towards my festive home in the evening! Let me know if you like to decorate your house for Christmas – and send me a photo if you see any amazing christmas displays on your travels!

PS: How amazing is this lighthouse decorated by – simply amazing!

christmas lights display on lighthouse nepa


My local Christmas lights switch-on

This weekend I went to the Christmas Lights switch on event in our nearby town and this had become a bit of a festive tradition for our family in recent years. I happened to be shopping in the town when they were installing their Christmas lights this year so I got a sneaky peek at the decorations and even saw their massive tree being delivered (with a huge wooden ‘pot’ surround that I could actually live in!) 

I am always surprised that even the smallest of villages have a switch-on ceremony and there’s always a lovely festive atmosphere when the locals turn out in all weathers to kick-start the festive celebrations. Some of the bigger cities have celebrities turning on the lights and some events include performances from bands, panto sketches, real reindeer (which I saw last night!!) and Santa Claus himself.

I think the Christmas lights make even the smallest town appear to sparkle after dark and certainly gets me in the mood for the Christmas shopping and drinking hot chocolate in the snow! I’m glad that this tradition remains and that more and more locations are putting up fairy lights and trees to celebrate the season. Try to get along to a lights switch-on event this year; next weekend is a busy one for this kind of event – check your local “what’s on” guide in the newspaper or online and have a whole lotta festive fun!

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