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From drab to fab – My office overhaul!

Hi all!

I have recently moved house and have been having the fun of doing all the rooms up to our taste. Having a three bedroom house with only one child meant that we had a spare box room. As I am a keen crafter/machinist I decided to take over the room as my craft room/office which will be useful when I start making baby clothing to sell! It’s good to have your own space and be able to leave work out and just close the door behind it.

The room was a mess when we first moved in. The walls had holes, there was a built in bed which was filled with rubbish, half a carpet and a badly boxed in staircase. This room initially became the dumping room whilst we sorted  the more important rooms out and so it got put on the back burner for a few weeks; however once we got the ball rolling with the room it came together pretty quickly.

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The first thing we had to do was remove the bed. The room is pretty tiny so it had previously been used as a child’s room with a bed built into the space. We removed the bed which came out in small chunks and unfortunately couldn’t be salvaged and given to somebody else like we’d hoped.

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When we removed the bed we found out that only half of the room had been carpeted and so we would have to think of something to do with the floor such as a new carpet, laminate or stripping back the floorboards. We also found a ton of old lego, toys, rubbish and general dirt. I got the lovely job of cleaning this up!

Once the bed was ripped out it left a huge hole in the wood that was boxing in the stairs. Adam decided he was going to rip the rest out and rebuild it so that it looked better and was bigger so I could use the area as a built in pattern cutting table/place for storage.

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Next, we decorated. I have an obsession with flamingos and knew I wanted flamingo wallpaper. I looked at a few different styles but settled on this amazing collaged flamingo blown vinyl paper by Albany from Wallpaper Direct. The Flamingos have all sorts of different peach, pink, grey and black tones running through the paper and it’s so gorgeous.

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I made the decision to just wallpaper one wall as it is such a busy pattern. The other walls we painted in a deep grey in a matte finish called Storm Cloud. I’m a huge fan of grey, I think it always looks really modern and always sets off other colours well. I have grey in almost every room in my house in various different shades to support the feature walls. I think grey looks nicer and Adam paints magnolia/white every day at work so wanted to steer away from those colours!

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The final really cosmetic decision to make was what to do with the floor. I was keen to sand and paint the floorboards but Adam wasn’t as keen on this idea as some of the floorboards were uneven/gappy, however they were fine after being sanded down and nailed in properly.

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Adam mixed the colour for the floor himself which is a very light grey and goes beautifully with the rest of the room. He made this from using white undercoat mixed with dark grey undercoat. Adam sanded down each floorboard, painted it and then sanded it again so it now has a super soft feeling to it and is lovely to walk on.

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I had most of the furniture for my office already but needed a few bits just to finish it off. I bought this chair from a massive warehouse charity shop called Daisy Chain which helps children and families affected by Autism. I paid £6 for this chair and at the time it was a pine colour. Adam found the paint in a bargain box in b & q for £6 and he upcycled the chair for me. He put around 3 coats on the chair and sanded it between coats and after. He finished the chair off by adding some felt pads to the bottom of the chair so that the floor won’t get marked.

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Another piece of furniture I bought from the charity shop was this vintage tea tray. I bought it for two reasons- one being that it’s beautiful, and one being that moveable storage is a great thing to have in such a small room. I’m using it to stack all my storage boxes and it’s working out great as I can have it right up against my desk, then put it back against the wall when I need space.InstagramCapture_f9a457af-a4dd-4cdb-947b-f1cfe2372325

These are my storage boxes. I recovered them in leftover wallpaper so that they would go with the room. I decided to do this after not being able to find anything at all online that I liked. It also saved me money not having to buy new ones! I’ll pop a tutorial on how to do these at a later date.

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I added some bits for decor such as this amazing flamingo light bought for me by my brothers lovely GF Verity!

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And a frame wall with a mix of photos, prints, handmade items and a few plaques.

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And here it is with my furniture in! My desk is of course from IKEA and has been with me since we moved into the flat in 2012! It was pretty cheap and has always been used as my sewing table so has taken quite a battering with pins/machines etc but it’s still in great quality. My record stand was actually built by Adam from some leftover spindles and offcuts of wood which he assembled together and then painted. I’ve always loved it – not only because it’s a super handy bit of furniture which fits records perfectly, but because it’s one of the first things Adam ever did/made for me and it reminds me of our early days.

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So that’s my office transformation! I think it’s a pretty dramatic change and I absolutely adore it. I just need a few finishing touches such as the right lamp shade and some touching up on the skirting boards, but i’m practically there! It’s so nice having my own little room I can keep all my crafts in and have to my taste. When you’re a mum you sometimes feel like you lose a bit of your identity and so it’s great that I can make sure I keep a little piece of myself.

Thanks for reading!

Hannah x

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Baby on a Budget – How I furnished our Nursery!

Hi all!

Some people think that it breaks the bank to have a baby and so far, it’s not been the case for us. I am a very frugal person who likes to find the best price for every purchase as the more I save, the more I can buy!

When we first looked into the nursery items we were a bit overwhelmed by the prices of some of the furniture sets and decided that we would see what other ways we could get the pieces we needed.

We’ve had two nursery’s now

Cot

We were lucky enough to be given a cot by a friend of mine. You’ll soon notice when you have a baby, people will give you allsorts!

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We decided that to make all the furniture we bought/were given match that we would paint them with a baby safe paint in a grey tone. We painted the cot after giving it a good sand down and it came out great. I then got this net from eBay for £2 to finish it off. The cot was originally from IKEA which was helpful as we could go online to find the instructions for assembly as it came to us in pieces.

Storage 

Babies have so many different things – bibs, vests, blankets, socks etc! We knew we were going to need loads of storage and started looking into ideas. We decided we liked the look of the IKEA Kallax units as they could be changed around so much with different inserts etc in the future. We went online but postage was quite a lot from IKEA (and I wasn’t sure if they’d fit in my car) so we looked at eBay and Gumtree and managed to grab two sets for less than the price of one new at the time – we paid £25.

Once we got them home we sanded them, painted them in the nursery colour, braced them together and then attached them to the wall with a bracket for safety. If you’re going to have big heavy furniture in your baby/child’s bedroom please anchor it to the wall as they can easily fall on-top of a wee explorer!

Finally we actually went to IKEA and grabbed the matching storage boxes in alternating colours for a fun look. I love how this turned out and it actually stores so much stuff.

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Another form of storage I used was actually spice rack holders – they’re only £3 each and can be used for so many things. They can be even used upside down as a cute way to hang baby clothes. We initially used these for holding little shoes but we later swapped this to books when we realised we had far too many shoes! After painting these too match we mounted these to the wall with small screws.

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I decided that in such a small room wardrobes would completely close off the room. Instead, I opted for an IKEA algot system to hang her clothes on which I don’t have a decent photo of here – however I have photos from her second nursery when we moved. Oh yeah, I failed to mention that we put all this effort into her bedroom and she never ever slept in it as we moved when she was around 4-5 months old. The algot system cost us around £60 – bargain compared to wardrobes.

Changing Table

You’re probably sick of me saying “I got it from IKEA” but….I got it from IKEA and painted it. It was cheap at £25 and some ones I was looking at were extortionate. I put a padded side mat on it to stop baby rolling, added a cover and mounted pots on the wall for my nappies/wipes/various ointments. I love the pots, they make life a lot easier and probably cost less than a tenner for all of them including the rail.

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Nursing Chair

The last real piece of furniture we got was this rocking chair from eBay but is originally from IKEA. It was originally over £200 but we paid just £15 to a wee old lady who had had it in storage for a while.

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The chair was a light brown with cream canvas seat. Adam quickly painted it to match and I dyed the covers. My mum finished it off by buying us some cushions (IKEA of course).

I know it’s a lot of IKEA stuff but it’s out go to place due to affordability and the stuff we’ve had over the years has lasted us well. We can’t afford to pay £200-£300 for a coffee table, not when we can pay£16 and have it serve the same purpose. We also love to buy second hand where possible and really love DIY projects to really make things our own. Including the algot system which isn’t pictured, we probably spent around £150 on all the furniture in her room. Some people spend that on a chest of drawers!

Nursery – Take Two!

As I mentioned above, we actually moved house before Eleanor could even use her room! Here’s how we arranged the same furniture in her new (and much larger) bedroom. We did away with the sage green and chose a ditsy print floral wallpaper which was a pain to get on but it so cute.

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The room isn’t quite finished here, we later put up her pots at the changing table and the bookshelves, but this was how it looked after one baby free night of hard work!

So yeah, it’s definitely not super expensive to sort out a nursery. Find out what you can get given, scour second hand services such as eBay,  gumtree and charity shops. Don’t be afraid of a bit of DIY – a lick of paint can really bring new life into an item and paint is a great way to tie a theme together.

Eleanor has since been sleeping in her bedroom after we moved into this house and sleeps soundly straight through the night so she must be a fan too!

Hannah x

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….And in with the new!

Hi all!

Welcome to my new blog – Fab Fat Mama!

For you who know me from my old blog, Fabulously Fat Fashion – thank you for following me to this new blog and this new chapter in my life as not just a fashion lover but also as a mum living on a shoestring.

For those who don’t know me and have just started following me, allow me to introduce myself.

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My name is Hannah, I’m a 25 year old mum to Eleanor Bridie Lister who was born on 13th October 2015! I’m also the fiancee to Adam Lister who I’ve been with since 27th January 2012! We all live together in Thornaby which is just next to Middlesbrough in the North East of England. I stay at home and look after Eleanor full time but I’m also launching a business making baby/children’s clothes from funky/vintage fabrics. I had toyed with what I wanted to do with my life after having Eleanor, and decided that I needed to do something which I could do at my own pace and from home. Adam is currently decorating our spare room so I have a proper base to work from and after that I’ll be making up some samples and seeing what’s popular and going from there! I’m quite excited about the prospect of using recycled fabrics and being as eco friendly as possible – it will give my company a bit of an edge too as it will be something different. So if you’d like to follow that side of me, you can find Turtle Togs (named after our nickname for Eleanor) on Facebook here!!

I have an amazing family and support network and I’m lucky enough to see them quite often. My biggest support of course is Adam who is my absolute soulmate. He is absolutely incredible and I wouldn’t be who I am without him. He goes out to work every day without the slightest grumble, then he comes home and cooks and cleans and is the most fantastic father – he’s so hands on with her and really tries her hardest with her (which isn’t easy at the moment whilst she’s teething). Most importantly though, he’s my best friend and can always pick me up when I’m down and always knows how to fix me when I’m broken.

As well as having Adam, I’m lucky that I’m incredibly close to my mum Helen. My mum is such a special, kind, giving and generous lady. She’s the most wonderful and hilarious nannie to Eleanor and is always running around after us and taking us out places. She has taught me patience and how to be a good mother.

I have two excellent brothers who I don’t see enough of due to one living in London and the other having a busy job but I love them all the same. We all have our own personalities and styles but all have a mutual love of music which I think stems from my mum.

I’m also lucky that I grew up with a ton of cousins so I always had somebody to play with growing up and we still all come together for family parties/occasions. My cousins are now close with my baby and it’s lovely to see how much she has brought us all back together after we’ve drifted apart slightly after growing off and going in our own directions.

As much as I have all these wonderful people in my life, my biggest support network has always and will always be other bloggers and people who read my blog. I get so many kind words given to me online and it is those words that I read when I’m down and I need a pick me up. It’s the people on Instagram/Twitter/Facebook page who always have a compliment or something supportive to say who keep me going and make me realise that actually – I’m fine as I am. I am a human being, and I do have those days where I hate how I look and nothing looks right on me and I have a bit of a melt down – but I know I can message other people just like myself who will be there for me and give me guidance and support. That’s why I love having fellow bloggers to lean on, fabulous other people who instead of dragging you down are there to hold you up.

I’ve been super excited to start this new blog. I have loads of posts written in my head and loads of things I want to share with you which didn’t really feel right on the other blog. I feel like here I will be able to be more honest and talk about more things happening in my life and my perspective as a parent too. I’m also happy to be crafting more and making more things which I can’t wait to show you!

So yeah! Give me a follow, join me on my journey as a mama/fat fashionista and keep up with me, Eleanor and Adam!

Hannah + Family

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