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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Dream a little dream… big boys beds

You may remember that I shared a blog post about cushions with you and promised that I’d be having a go at sewing my own accessories over the weekend? However, it’s now Wednesday and my cushions are still not completely finished. They are in progress though – I’ve cut the fabric, chosen a suitable backing fabric for the cushions and have decided on a simple pillowcase opening at the back of the cushions. The only thing left to do now is to actually sit at the sewing machine and stitch them together. It’s just that I’ve struggled with motivation this week and would really rather be playing around on Pinterest! Oh well, the cushions are coming soon – I promise! Here’s a photo of my striped fabric and the red-rose cushions are the ones that will be re-covered (although I will keep the red rose covers to use in  my caravan!) – see how close I am to getting them done?!

dream a little dream cushions for bedroom makeover

In the meantime, another special person in my life is having a bedroom makeover – my nephew. He has finally grown out of his cot and a new big boys bed has been bought for him. I wondered how he would handle the transition into a big bed, but his parents have been excellent at introducing the bed slowly – putting him in it when he has fallen asleep for his afternoon nap and then he’s been waking up in the bed so he’ll slowly get used to it. My nephew even took me to his bedroom to show me the new bed and I was so impressed when he hopped into bed and pulled the duvet up over him – now I think that’s a good sign and hopefully he’ll be a child who won’t have any trouble moving into his big boys bed!

steens for kids midsleeper bed from childrensbedshop

Steens midsleeper beds for girls and boys

I’m already thinking about the next step and what my lovely nephew will be sleeping in next and I think these Steens for kids high sleeper beds are excellent for growing boy and girls. A small bed turns into a cabin bed as he gets older and will certainly make the most of the space in his little bedroom by allowing room for storage and playspace underneath the bed. Pretty cool, huh? See, I told you I was spending too much time ‘researching’ bedrooms online rather than finishing off my own bedroom makeover! But I will get back to it soon, honest ;) In the meantime, here are links to my other bedroom makeover articles so you can catch up with any you’ve missed:


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Dream a little dream… Light my fire

Please cast your mind back to just before Christmas when I was telling you all about my bedroom makeover and it was going surprisingly well. Then Christmas hit and it kind of grinded to a halt – although I did put up ‘themed’ decorations in the bedroom during the festive period (below)! So now that we’re into the new year and now that I’m in full-on ‘sort out the house’ mode, I’ve gone back into the bedroom and have taken a look at what needs doing. As you know, I’ve talked about the new cushions that I intended to make over the weekend, but I kind of ran out of time, what with all the decluttering I’ve been doing, so my sewing project will continue into this week and I’ll share my updates with you soon! In the meantime, I’ve managed to add a feature to the bedroom that looks cute and quaint and I couldn’t wait to share it with you…

Bedroom makeover DIY new hotel chelsea white sheets sleep challenge christmas decorations

I love houses with fireplaces in the bedroom and have coveted that cute victorian style for years. Ok, I know my little bungalow isn’t as classy as that, but there’s no reason why I too can’t have a feature fireplace in the bedroom, albeit a little one! Back in history there had previously been a fireplace in the bedroom, and the chimney stack is still there but there’s no sign of a mantle or hearth etc. But surely that means there’s potential to install a fire place, doesn’t it?

modern balanced flue gas fireplaces

Modern balanced flue gas fires

I’ve been doing my research and there are a variety of fireplace styles that I like and would to have something like the fireplaces above fitted in my house, but I think that might be a bigger job that my husband had in mind for the start of the year, so I’ve settled for something smaller and ‘just for show’ rather than for heating the room. While we were wandering around a vintage yard, hubby spotted a cast iron fire surround and even though we haven’t opened up the fireplace yet, we decided to go ahead and fit it on the chimney-breast wall  to give the impression of a small fireplace. This brings a bit of a heritage feature into the room and it immediately feels much more grand and glamourous. It’s amazing what a difference a fireplace can make to a space, even when it’s not a functioning fire!

bedroom makeover small cast iron feature fireplace

Let me know what you think of my tiny little fireplace and have you done anything similar in your own home to create a feature fireplace? :)

Related articles


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Dream a little dream… Re-do your bedroom with cushions

If you’ve been following my series of blog posts about my bedroom makeover before Christmas you’ll know that I’m trying to decorate my bedroom and make it into a tranquil, restful space on a budget. So far, I’ve used book pages to wallpaper a feature wall and plain white bedding for a ‘hotel’ look. It’s not always practical to completely re-decorate your bedroom but if you have the urge to re-do your bedroom to get a fresh theme or to spice it up a bit for the new year, cushions can really help. With a little thought and research you could use cushions to infuse a breath of fresh air into what is probably the most important room in your home!
 
Be inspired & dare to be different
Take inspiration by looking online, when you visit a hotel, by browsing through home decor magazines or catalogues, researching websites and walking past shop displays and shop windows. Basically, I’m saying  we should let experienced interior designers do the work! Get ideas from them, then take those ideas home with you and use them for inspiration.

 

Continue reading


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Dream a little dream… of a great night sleep

Today is the end of my month-long challenge to improve the quality of my sleep. Hopefully you’ll have already read all about my sleep challenge and how it got me thinking about making some changes to my bedroom decor. If you’re interested to read up on all of my past articles the links are below :)

First I dealt with the amount of light that was coming into the room and disrupting our sleep by installing blackout blinds. These blinds also has thermal qualities so kept the warmth in the room and improved the condensation issue I wrote about last month.

I then decided to decorate my bedroom to create a ‘sanctuary’ and I used old books to wallpaper my walls – here’s the inspiration moodboard and another post about the finished room.

Bedroom makeover DIY new hotel 400 thread count white sheets sleep challenge

As the focus of the bedroom, the bed got a massive makeover, with a mattress topper which was a soft as sleeping on a cloud, memory foam pillows that protected and improved my dodgy whip-lashed neck, and lovely crisp new white hotel-esque bedding.

I also followed 30 excellent tips from Dunelm on the practical things you can do to get a better night’s sleep. Alongside the improvements that I made to my bed and environment, t he best ideas were banning technology from the bedroom and taking time to unwind for a while before bed. Here are their final tips for improving sleep:

  1. Try relaxing scents like Lavender or Peppermint to help calm you down before bed, try burning scented candles to help you relax in the bath before you go to bed. Don’t forget to blow them out! http://www.dunelm-mill.com/shop/dorma-lavender-and-chamomile-wax-filled-glass-candle-324630
  2. Increase the amount of natural light that you are exposed to during the day, this will keep you awake and alert and make the night time difference more effective
  3. Practice breathing through your nose, rather than your mouth. It reduces snoring and allows you to take deeper breaths
  4. Take a test to establish your sleep profile so that you can identify what might help you sleep more soundly: http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/humanbody/sleep/profiler/
  5. If you haven’t fallen asleep after 30 minutes, try reading a real book under low light until you start to feel tired again

Bedroom makeover DIY new hotel chelsea white sheets sleep challenge christmas decorations

So how did I get on? Has my sleep been significantly improved? I can confidently say yes! The room feels cosier, darker and warmer so is more a relaxing environment to sleep in. The bed itself is considerably more comforable now that I am sleeping on top of a soft mattress topper and uing memory foam pillows, and the bedding makes it a delight to slip into bed every night. Over the years, both my husband and I have struggled with getting to sleep but the tips I’ve been following have been very useful and we will continue to follow these relaxation tips to wind-down and maintain a calm bedtime routine.

I am very glad to have taken part in the sleep challenge and (with the exception of Christmas Eve when I always struggle to get to sleep because Santa is coming!) I am confident that I will continue to enjoy a great night’s sleep from now on!

I am pleased to tell you all that I have been entered into the National Blog awards! It would absolutely make my whole Christmas if you would stop by the voting site and choose Cassiefairy.com – and as an extra treat, you’ll receive a FREE Blogging Ebook just for casting your vote :) Please use this link to vote for me in the lifestyle and fashion categories  http://www.blogawardsuk.co.uk/vote/ (the blog awards site is working on-and-off at the moment because there are so many people trying to vote, so if it doesn’t work straight away, please pop back later!) Thanks so much, you’re the best! :D


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Be careful which door you choose; it may not be the exit!

This afternoon I’m pleased to share with you an article from a guest writer, US designer Oliver Milo Davis – an interior designer who loves to play with spatial designs. He likes being practical in his concepts and at the same time, he likes things that are pleasing to the eyes. He grew up rearranging his home’s furniture and accessories. He likes writing too as a way of expressing and sharing his many ideas. Here’s his post on furnishing studio apartments – enjoy!

First there were sofas, then sofa beds and now storage sofas; not the kind that you dismantle when your guests leave only to have to reassemble them when your next guests arrive. No, I’m talking about storage sofas – saving space for condo living.

Studio Flat

I once had to design what used to be called a condo – short for condominium – but which I now refer to as a studio flat because there was no bedroom, thus no bed as such but it was still a home. The price I paid for it which was the main reason for buying it I have to admit, was such that it could never be a one bed flat but I did not let that put me off.

Firstly I drew up a list of the key essentials and the first unit on the list was a bed. Without a bedroom, I still needed somewhere to lay my head down, complete with a mattress and pillows. What options did I have without a bedroom?

Sofa Bed

studio apartment by Kevin Krejci via flickr
Image by Kevin Krejci via flickr

Well, of course, there was the ubiquitous sofa bed so loved of designers throughout the 60’s and 70’s because of its dual purpose usage and space saving usability. With flexible and easily foldable mattresses, sofa beds were one of the most popular ways of providing comfortable seating in the living room while doubling up as a bed when guests retired for the night. Leather sofa beds were by far the most popular as not only did they not increase substantially in price but they also provided the smartest unit of furniture in the home and were equally adaptable when expanded into a full sized bed.

Even sofa beds did not seem to be an option since it would have added to the number of units in the room, taking up space, which I did not really have since the key thing to remember was that I had to save space not add to it with different units of furniture.

Then I came up with the idea – well I say I came up with it but if the truth be told I had actually first seen the idea – on the stage in a production of Streetcar Named Desire, even though I did not have the best view in the house. Much of the play took place in the bedroom but because of the scene changing, they had to store the bed somewhere when the stage became the kitchen. Some stages revolve in order to make scene changes but this stage was static and the props all had dual purpose uses.

Out of sight

The answer was quite ingeniously to have the bed collapse upwards into a cupboard, complete with a proper door where it could be stored out of sight and no one was any the wiser that the door was anything but another room. Thus the sofa bed was safely stored out of sight while the actors portrayed the next scene in the living room. Ingenious eh!

Well not quite as this, of course, has led to several slapstick moments in music halls and theatres throughout the world with several plays – or perhaps we should call them farces – featuring the stored away sofa bed collapsing and reassembling at inopportune moments; the main protagonists exiting through what they thought was the way out; errant husbands/wives slipping unseen out of the room when their other halves returned unexpectedly or just hiding while their other halves were exited stage left.

But in design terms, sofa beds are the answer to saving space for studio living.

Thanks for this interesting interior design post Oliver! Check out his author profile here Oliver Milo Davis


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Dream a little dream ~ bedtime reading

I hope you’ve been following my sleep challenge during which I’ve been trying get a better night sleep than ever before. I’ve been following some top tips for creating a restful atmosphere in my bedroom, and I’ve added a few new additions to my bedroom to make it even more conducive to sleep – including a blackout blind and mattress topper. Spending so long hanging out in my bedroom, making improvements and all that extra sleep has got me thinking about a whole bedroom makeover – and having lived in my home for 18 months, I think it’s about time that I got round to decorating the bedroom.

DIY using sheet music as a floor covering

Over the past year, I’ve been taking interior design inspiration photos wherever I go and have seen sheet music used to decorate a couple of places – as a wall-covering in a charity shop (in my photo below) and even as an alternative flooring in a vintage shop (snapped above). Back in June, I had lunch in a London restaurant which had been wallpapered using old newspapers (below) and loved the effect, so I must have been subconsciously thinking about using this technique for a while!

diy newspaper and sheet music to decorate walls

I love to read and do most of my reading in bed, so it made sense to me to feature books in my bedroom somewhere and I think that some old book pages would look great on my wall.  I conducted a little research on Pinterest and discovered that it is possible to buy book calligraphy wallpaper from Lewis & Wood and even postcard wallpaper from B&Q:

postcards and book pages wallpaper from B and Q and Lewis and wood

Check out my “Books in the bedroom” Pinterest board for all the image credits

 I also spotted the use of book wallpaper in these fashion shoots below and although I like the look of wallpaper, it seems too ‘neat’ however, the book pages arranged at angles is too messy for me – picky, huh?! So I think the only way to get the look I want is to do it myself and I have gathered together some old books from the charity shop with the intention of pasting them to my bedroom wall. I will let you know how I get on – in the meantime, check out some more sleep tips from Dunelm‘s 30 Days of Sleep Challenge below!

using book pages wallpaper to decorate

 Check out my “Books in the bedroom” Pinterest board for all the image credits

  1. Stop night time worries by writing your next day’s to-do list before you go to bed, this should stop you from running through everything while you are trying to drift off
  2. If you haven’t fallen asleep after 30 minutes, try reading a real book under low light until you start to feel tired again
  3. If you find that you often wake in the night to go to the bathroom, rather than turning on the lights try using a torch to light your way (if it’s safe to do so) as exposing yourself to less light should make it easier to go back to sleep
  4. Avoid exercising within 3 hours of trying to sleep as it will keep you awake


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Festive framed artwork decorations

I’ve spotted a trend for festive interior decor this year – framed Christmas prints. I’ve seen them popping up in interior design magazines and DIY hacks are all over Pinterest so I’m certainly going to be following this trend and creating my own festive artwork this year. I love this idea for Christmas decorating because it takes up no room, just a little wall space, plus it’s thrifty – you can use frames that you already have hung in your home and simply replace the images for the month of December with your favourite festive quotes or photos.

festive christmas posters DIY art print

Image courtesy of www.landeeseelandeedo.com

There are plenty of ready-made and ready-framed artworks out there to buy, but I think it’s even more special if you make your own. I love the idea of printing quotes over the top of sheet music – an idea that I might use myself to decorate my bedroom for Christmas, which will tie in with the makeover ideas I’m planning. And this is the perfect opportunity to design a piece of artwork yourself, simply hop on the computer, type out your favourite festive quotes and send them off to be printed ‘poster size’ online using a service such as Pixel2Print. Make like a graphic designer and use different colours, fonts and text sizes to add interest to your prints. Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing and check out my Chirstmas board on Pinterest for all the image credits:

 DIY festive christmas posters artwork prints

You don’t only have to stick to quotes – images from Christmas films, vintage christmas cards and your own festive family photos can be collaged together on the computer to create a unique artwork that is personal to you and your family – maybe get a copy printed out for each family member and you can all hang your festive artwork each Christmas from now on.

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