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Design Q&A - Thrifty interiors with Cassie Fairy 

Posted 11 April 2017 by Helen Christie

Cassie Fairy is a lifestyle and interiors blogger, who has recently been crowned the UK’s ‘Best Homes and Interiors Blogger’ by Tile Trader…

Being able to put your own stamp on your own home is one of the most exciting parts of becoming a homeowner, but it doesn’t have to cost you the earth. WhatHouse? chatted to Cassie to find out more about her and her blog…

How long have you been blogging for and what inspired you?

I’ve been blogging for about 10 years now and I started doing daily posts on Cassiefairy.com about 5 years ago. I wanted to develop my writing skills so I used it to practice writing articles in much the same way as an artist uses a sketchbook. I was delighted when more people started reading my blog and interacting with the content – we’ve got quite a little community going! When I started my blog, it was simply a reflection of my own life as a thrifty student, and the money-saving aspect now runs throughout every post I write, whether it’s low-cost recipes, budget home makeovers or sew-your-own fashion.

What are your current favourite interiors trends?

I love soft minimalism. I’ve always favoured mid-century modern style in my home, so I’ve been surrounded by teak furniture, floral patterns and bright colours – the more garish the better! Soft minimalism is almost the opposite to my usual style but I can’t help being drawn to the clean lines and natural textures. I’m remodelling my home at the moment and have noticed that I’m favouring a more scandi style, but I’ll still be incorporating my orange G-Plan arm chair and teak Ladderax into the design; I’m a mid-century girl at heart and it IS a 1950s house, after all!

Your blog focusses a lot on being thrifty and eco-conscious, is this something achievable when it comes to interiors?

Absolutely! When I spot a trend that I like, or a piece of furniture that I’m just itching to buy, I always stop to think whether I could DIY the look for less. Sometimes the thrifty thing to do is to buy an accessory ‘off the peg’ from a budget store, but quite often I find that I can save a substantial amount of money by making something myself. I’d rather ‘have a go’, using whatever materials I can find (I upcycled my bathroom with wood found in a skip!) and if it works out it’s a great feeling, because I’ve saved money and stopped something unwanted from going into landfill.

What would be your top tips for getting great interiors results on a budget?

Involve other people! If you’re on the look-out for something in particular tell as many people as possible so that they can be your eyes too. I’ve often found exactly what I’m looking for on the recommendation of a friend. This goes for DIY materials, paint and fabric as well as furniture. Who knows? Maybe they have a spare tin of paint in the shed that you could use to upcycle someone else’s unwanted old dining chair. That’s a completely free project that you might never have been able to do without the help of other people. And other peoples’ DIY skills are invaluable too; could your brother help to plane down that reclaimed door in exchange for a lovely homecooked Sunday lunch?

What advice would you give to someone moving into their new home?

My advice is to take your time. It’s a good idea to live in a space before making any design decisions. This gives you the opportunity to see how the light changes, what areas you’ll use the most and will give you a better understanding about how you will actually live in the space. Then you can plan your storage, paint colours, lighting and furniture around your own needs in order to create a home that works for you. 

Find out more about the Tile Trader Blogger Awards here.

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