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 with windows to create a bright & airy home

One of the things that I’m trying to achieve in my home is a feeling of brightness and airiness. I’ve been painting dark walls in fresh white paint, and have positioned mirrors at suitable points around the house to reflect the light. But I’m sure that there’s more I can do to achieve a home filled with bright natural daylight. And I’m sure I’m not the only person to want this kind of effect in my home. Today I’m sharing my ideas for increasing light levels in the home, without resorting to daylight bulbs..!

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1. Goodbye Curtains

Firstly, let’s look at the ways to maximise the amount of light coming in through your existing windows. If you’ve got heavy curtains hanging at your windows, lets take them down. Either replace them with floaty-light voiles or consider whether you can go without curtains altogether. If the window isn’t overlooked, or is already frosted, maybe those curtains aren’t necessary. This will ensure that the maximum amount of light possible enters through these windows.

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2. Hello blinds

If you do need to cover the windows for privacy or at night, a practical option is to install blinds inside the window recess. Go for blinds that fold or roll right away, such as venetian blinds or roller blinds. I chose vertical blinds for my living room and they open from the centre so can be pulled back to expose the entire window. Any of these types of blinds will allow loads of light into the room but still allow you to maintain your privacy at night. And you’re able to control the amount of light coming in through the window by angling the slats to direct the daylight away from your laptop screen.

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My little vintage caravan project ~ I’ve got the power!

Ever since reading Vintage Caravan Style when it was released last month (here’s my book review) I’ve been bursting to get on with my own caravan renovation project. Last week I shared details of my new bookcase and I’m hoping to be able to spend more time out there working. At this moment, this is proving difficult because I don’t have a proper power supply in the caravan so I’m relying on a long extension lead that runs from the house to the caravan at the end of the garden. It’s not ideal but at the moment it’s the only way that I can get on with any projects that require power tools or a sewing machine – I’ve tried sewing with a hand-powered Singer and the novelty wore off pretty quickly! So this week I’ve been investigating ways of getting power out to the caravan on a more permanent basis.

Vintage caravan project - ideas for power supply-1

When the caravan first arrived it had all the electrical components fitted for the external vehicle lights to work so that it was safe on the roads, but internally the caravan had a gas stove and even gas lights. Yes, it really was an old caravan and hadn’t ever been upgraded to run on electric. So now that I want to use the space as a workshop rather than somewhere to camp I definitely will need a plug socket or two. I checked out the Critical Power Supplies website to investigate the options for installing electricity and found out that I had a couple of options; running a proper outdoor supply cable to the caravan so that I could have plug sockets etc inside, or installing a solar-powered unit to charge big campervan batteries. I’m very keen on the idea of renewable energy and it would mean that I could actually use my caravan for camping if I ever wanted to go away in it in the future! It’s an easy way to get power for the tools I want to use and doesn’t involve running a cable across the garden, which I prefer. I’m happy to use lamps and don’t need a whole circuit of over-head lighting fitted so that makes the whole process much more simple and the solar-powered battery becomes a lot more feasible! I’m still having a think about it so I’ll let you know what I decide 🙂

Vintage caravan project - ideas for power supply-2

The second thing that really needs addressing in the caravan is the window hinges. After changing the window trims and getting a nice tight seal around the windows, I realised that one of the windows couldn’t be opened anymore. This was because the glass has slipped out from the hinges at the top of the window so it’s being supported by the windowsill and the hinges are simply keeping it flat against the side of the caravan. So when I open the window outwards, nothing is supporting the glass and it slides out. This happened a few times while we were fitting the window seals and I’m lucky that the glass didn’t drop to the floor and smash – what an expensive mistake that would have been!! So I’m planning to order a couple of replacement glass hinges from Barrier Components in order to fix the problem. It will be lovely to have an opening side window again so I can’t wait to get this in place. Watch this space for updates!


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Time for a spring clean – in the summer…

When the sun comes out, my thoughts turn to the outside of my house. I love my garden, but don’t really like getting dirty – so I’m more than happy to sit outside and watch while hubby gets to work digging over the borders! But while I was sitting outside recently, I spotted that my windows and doors are in a right state!

I’ve been living in my new home for just over a year now and I deep cleaned everything when we moved in. I don’t know why, but I scrub everything when I move – I guess I’m making a fresh start – so my home was definitely sparkling-clean only a year ago. But now, as I sat on my lawn, I realised how grubby the windows and doors have become. Another thing about the sun is that it shines in through the windows and highlights any marks on the glass there too. So there was no getting away from it – I was going to have to clean them all again.

cassiefairy's spring cleaning windows dunelm mill click n clean

I got this collection of cleaning tools from Dunelm Mill and I pretty much had everything I needed to give my house the once-over. I started by scrubbing the windows (yes, I’m little and there’s no way I can reach those top windows!) so it’s a good thing that my scrubbing brush has interchangeable poles that can be lengthened and that the head can be changed for any of the other squeegee/mop heads in the Click ‘n’ Clean range. I only used washing-up liquid to clean the windows and after a quick scrub and squeegee, they were looking sparkling clean! Obviously, hubby helped out with some of the windows while I went inside and cleaned the inner panes of glass with the second squeegee head. There was a bit of a ‘discussion’ about who had left a couple of smears on the windows – was it inside or out? (definitely outside!) as we stood back to admire our handiwork. Does anyone have any tips for smears on glass? I’ve heard rumours about vinegar and newspaper etc but would like to know if it works, so please get in touch if you’ve tried it!

cassiefairy's spring cleaning door dunelm mill click n clean

I cleaned all of my external doors too (yes, I could reach them!) and you’ll be impressed with this door to our outhouse above –  a proper before-and-after achievement! I really don’t know how it got so bad but now it looks like it has been repainted – I have even impressed myself! And really, it was so easy to do that I wondered why I’ve not bothered to clean everything sooner. I’m just a bit lazy I suppose! At least now that everything is clean, I can leave it a whole year before having to do it all again!

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