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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Minimalist mid-century modern window dressing

There’s a lovely big window in our living room. It lets in so much natural daylight and offers a lovely view over the garden. In fact, it’s pretty-much the only feature of the room at the moment, so I want to make the most of it. I wanted to give it a sleek, contemporary window-dressing but still wanted make sure that I can still get the maximum amount of light into the room. Here’s what I decided to do…I’ve always hung curtains in the past.

But this time, covering up the window with heavy curtains didn’t seem like such a good idea. As a blogger I’m always on the hunt for natural light to help me take photos so it wouldn’t be sensible to cover up the main source of daylight in the house, would it?! And as much as I love my bumble-bee curtains, I don’t think they are even the right size for the window. I decided that my old curtains will get a new home in the guest bedroom and I’ve invested in a blind for the living room.Pinterest has changed my style.

I used to quite like fussy window dressings. Y’know, blousey roman blinds with floaty voiles over the top. Or blackout roller blinds with thickly lined curtains in the winter. But since I started planning my new home on Pinterest, things have changed. I found myself drawn to minimalist interiors, white walls and rooms with lots of natural light. I started pinning images of shutters, chunky wooden venetians and long, sleek vertical blinds.I wanted maximum versatility.

I wanted to cover my windows in order to enjoy some privacy in my home, but I didn’t want to block out the outside world completely. And I wanted to control the amount of light coming into the room; sometimes too much sunshine is as bad as too little light. So the idea of shutters went out of the window (excuse the pun). Even though the angles of the shutter could be tilted, a solid frame would inevitably block out more light than I wanted. That said, curtains were too ‘open or closed’ for me too, and even voiles seem to make a room darker.

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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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4 living room layouts that make the most of your space

The difficulty with moving house is finding space for all your existing furniture. It’s likely that your rooms will be a different size and shape from your previous home and that may affect what pieces you can and can’t bring with you to the new location. When I move house I’m pretty sure that my trusty old sofa won’t fit into the layout of the new living room, but I’m intrigued to know just what would work. I’ve been doing some research into living room layouts to try to make the most of awkward spaces and I thought I would share my findings with you.

Image source: Blomma London. Creating a ‘false wall’ effect with a sofa.

Long, open-plan rooms

When you’ve got a space that needs to be used for a variety of purposes, it’s a good idea to use furniture to create ‘zones’ within the room. Placing a sofa across the room can act as a wall, dividing the living area from a dining space, for example. In long rooms or open plan homes, where you have to walk through the room to get to the hallway or kitchen, this also creates a natural corridor space along the side of the room. Keeping this area clear of furniture will accentuate the zones you’ve created in the room.

Image source: CottageandVine.net. The perfect layout for conversations.

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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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All-white interiors + why a room is not complete without texture

With a new home on the horizon I have, of course, been doing extensive decor research on Pinterest. Yes, research. Honest. Okay, I’ve been pinning plenty of pretty homes and tons of gorgeous homewares over the past couple of months (ahem… years) in order to be well-prepared for my imminent house move. Today I’m sharing some of my interior inspirations and some ideas for making an all-white theme work in your own home.Sunny-Living-room white decor interior design stylizimo blog

I can’t get enough of the interior design inspiration at Stylizimo Blog

You see, my new home is a bit of a wreck and it’s going to need decorating. Or maybe the correct word to use is ‘modernised’ seeing as it probably hasn’t been touched since it was first built in the 1950s. Whatever way I look at it, it’s going to be a big project and I’ve come up with a sensible way to tackle it; go all-white.textured white-cushion-throw

Textured cushions and throws like these from Julian Charles are essential in making an all-white interior look inviting.

As with everything in my thrifty life, I don’t want to splash the cash too much in order to make the house livable, so why not just get a huge tub of white paint and splash it around until the whole house is neutral and fresh? Having seen SO many all-white interiors on Pinterest, I’m sure it would be a great start and would allow my existing furniture to take centre stage. stylizimo blog white interior design texture painting cushion throw

A painting can add texture to white walls, like this gallery-esque room by Stylizimo Blog.

One of the things I’ve discovered during my ‘research’ is that all-white interiors have the potential to look really stark. They can sometimes to be too bright (is that possible?) and look too bare. I’m all for a clutter-free, minimalist environment but I still want my house to feel like a home. It’s the finishing touches that make all the difference and that’s where texture comes in.Texture white shelves minimalist home interior design stephanie sterjovski

Even Stephanie Sterjovski’s minimalist shelves look more personal thanks to the textured blanket, wire basket and pot plants 

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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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4 quick makeover tips to spruce up your home before Christmas

Redecorating your home may mean a lot of effort, time, and money spent, but I’ve found that it is still absolutely worth it! Once it’s finished (like my home almost is!) the result is so satisfying and you can create a beautiful interior space for you and your family to enjoy. I always look around for little projects to do at this time of year, to make the house look extra-pretty for guests that visit over Christmas but I think I’ve actually done everything I can!christmas inspiration and ideas bedroom

Cosy festive bedroom with fairy lights

I’m kind of disappointed that my house is ‘finished’ because I really do enjoy giving rooms a makeover. It’s amazing what a huge difference just a lick of paint can make to a space. Just make sure you research the things you will need to do before you get started; I’ve often needed to nip out to the DIY store for extra bits ‘n’ pieces half way through a job! I find that this slows me down and puts me off my stride so I tend to look for a lot of design inspiration online before I get started.

But you don’t need to go all-out with a huge redecoration project, especially if you’re feeling particularly busy and rushed with the upcoming festive season. There are lots of ways to revamp your home by incorporate just a few things to beautify your space, and here are just few ideas:christmas inspiration and ideas

Bring the outdoors in

1. Going green Simply adding some plants to your interiors, will give you a feeling of relaxation. As everyone knows, plants provide endless benefits to humans. They are not just great for accessorizing a space, they also to balance humidity, clear the air, and reduce actually stress. Adding plants such as miniature Christmas trees and poinsettia at this time of year can actually form part of your festive décor, or chose something that you’d be happy to live with all year round.decorative mirrors bright home inspiration

Decorative mirrors make rooms lighter all year round

2. Mixing it up These days, mixing and matching your home furnishings is becoming a trend. You can mix up textures, colours, patterns or even go as far as mixing pricey antiques with low-cost furniture to make it more personalized. One of the greatest things that make your home unique is because it reflects who you are. Your own style and personality can come across in the way that you decorate your space so start combining your favourite things today! Add a couple of festive cushions or snuggly throws to a room to give it a cosy Christmassy feeling at this time of year.

3. Adding decorative mirrors In order to instantly add more light in your home, you could use decorative mirrors to bounce the light around. Mirrors which are hung across the room from the window helps make the room look brighter and feel more spacious.  Additionally, mirrors will reflect the fairy lights on your Christmas tree and look great with a string of twinkling lights around the mirror frame itself.christmas room inspiration

Pale, neutral colours can make a room look bigger

4. Painting in neutral tones The colours of your walls are essential to the look of your interiors and can significantly alter the feeling of a room. Choose light and neutral colours, such as grey or beige, will give your rooms a more spacious feeling. Also, by painting your walls with light colours, you can be more flexible with the other features you include, such as soft furnishing colours – and Christmas decorations!

Overall, renovating your home is not an easy task but adding a few of the ideas above would make a big difference without too much cost or effort. All you need is patience and creativity to achieve a home design you will definitely love. For more great design inspiration like this have a look at Lend Lease’s display homes in Gold Coast – it’s a great starting point for any project! Let me know what you think of these ideas and share your own in the comments section below.


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Styling a coffee table three ways

Coffee tables tend to be rather simple, there’s not much more to them than a certain shape at a certain height, so you can really go to town on the accessories in order bring the room together for a unified look. The place where you can be really daring is the rug you use beneath the coffee table. A brightly coloured rug or a strong pattern will draw the eye to the centre of the room and towards your beautifully styled coffee table. I found my retro-inspired rug in the rug category at Habitat and used the grey and yellow colours as the starting point for my coffee table creations. I decided to create three looks for my nest of coffee tables for three different occasions; work, a cuppa with friends and a romantic evening.coffee table styling for work tea and romantic evening-7 coffee table styling for work tea and romantic evening-11 coffee table styling for work tea and romantic evening-3The first look is my relaxed working coffee table. It’s for those Saturday mornings where I want to get ahead with my work, check a few emails and make some plans for the coming week. So I’ve got out my laptop, planner, stationary and styled up the coffee table with this useful wood veneer tray and metal pen pot in yellow (both from Habitat) to keep everything neat. I need everything to hand if I’m going to be productive – I can’t stand settling down to work and then realising that I need to get up again for a calculator or notepad. I’ve also included a ‘working breakfast’ on my coffee table, with a cool glass of fresh orange juice and a big bowl of fruit. I used a clear acrylic box from Habitat to display my fruit because I’m more likely to eat it if I can see it!coffee table styling for work tea and romantic evening-10 coffee table styling for work tea and romantic evening-8coffee table styling for work tea and romantic evening-16 coffee table styling for work tea and romantic evening-9 The second look is a casual cuppa with a friend. Of course I needed a couple of funky mugs to serve up my tea and coffee so I picked out a couple that coordinate with my retro serving tray from Habitat. I added homemade biscuits and custard creams on my grey ceramic tray (originally a bathroom tray!) that matches my small milk jug perfectly. I wanted to include fresh flowers in this look to make the occasion feel a little more special so I picked some hydrangea heads from the bush in my garden and arranged them in a clear glass storage pot. coffee table styling for work tea and romantic evening-13 coffee table styling for work tea and romantic evening-15 coffee table styling for work tea and romantic evening-17coffee table styling for work tea and romantic evening-12The final look is for a romantic evening in with a film. It’s mainly styled for serving up food and drinks so I picked out my favourite retro wine glasses with copper films that sparkle in the candle light. I dished up nachos and popcorn for evening snacking in my oven-proof bowls with funky hand-painted patterns. To protect the coffee table I put down a gold placemat. In order to create a romantic atmosphere I dotted around some tealights in sparkling gold holders. coffee table styling for work tea and romantic evening-2 coffee table styling for work tea and romantic evening-4 coffee table styling for work tea and romantic evening coffee table styling for work tea and romantic evening-3

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Interior inspiration from real homes

It’s easy to swoon over the beautiful rooms in interior design magazines, dribble over perfectly styled images by designers on Instagram, and fall in love with professional decorating projects on Pinterest. However, recreating even the most simple interior design project can be difficult to achieve in your own home; you’ll have room layout challenges to deal with, be possibly working in smaller-sized rooms and even the light in your home will be different and make that gorgeous paint colour you’ve been coveting appear too dark for your space. So I’ve been checking out ‘real homes’ this week for my interior design inspiration and here’s what I’ve come up with…

loft-islay-installA bright and spacious loft-style room

This stunning work space has inspired me this week. This room resembles a loft-style gallery, with the white walls and clean lines, but it is actually an art supplies shop. Even through the room is relatively small, it feels much larger and that’s down to three factors; firstly, the bright white walls bounces light around the space; secondly, keeping furniture to a minimum maximises the floor space; and finally, laying the flooring on the diagonal gives the impression of a wider space. I’d love to recreate this look for an office or studio room as I love how much light comes into this small space and having lots of storage where ‘everything has its place’ keeps the room uncluttered and clean. This lack of mess and distractions, combined with the gorgeous artwork on the walls, makes this a work room where ideas can flow and inspiration can strike!Castello-Beach-Home

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