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The Room 4 Interior’s Blogger Desk Challenge

Anyone who has ever lived with me will know that I am both a hoarder and messy. Probably the worst combination. Being a hoarder breeds messiness but my magpie ways are a bit of a hangover from my art student days. I’ve got a little bit tidier as I’ve got older and got into a “grown up” relationship but I know I’m still messy by most people’s standards – especially my boyfriend’s who I’m eternally grateful to for putting up with me.

So when Room 4 Interiors, who sell stylish furniture solutions, got in touch with me and asked if I would like to take part in a Blogger desk challenge,  I thought, perfect. My desk could do with  a makeover and a good tidy as it’s constantly messy. It drives me mad. Plus, I thought I could combine some of the ideas I had from my Bedroom Storage Makeover upcycling competition.

The challenge

Here are the guidelines from Room 4 Interiors Desk Challenge:

“We would like to challenge bloggers and writers to a desk makeover. With just £20 could you find creative, stylish and modern ways to transform their desk? The possibilities are endless and we would like to see what you can do….take a picture of your desk before and after, post it onto your blog telling your readers what you did, how you did it and how much it came up too with a link to Room 4 Interiors as the challenger. Remember to share your before & after pic onto Twitter with hashtag #Room4DeskChallenge”.

Storing my cotton reels neatly is a really big problem I have right now. I use cotton often for my projects and so I decided to upcycle an object into a cotton reel holder.

As the challenge states, I need to share a before and after picture. This is my desk. Before I created the cotton reel holder. I can’t believe I’m sharing this picture, I’m so embarrassed at the state it’s in:

DESK BEFORE

My work space doubles up as many things: a make shift photography studio, hence the lights and the white paper, a place to make my RagnBow bow ties as well a holding space for any other projects I have going on. It’s needs organising!

Here’s how I made my cotton reel holder.

Step One: Source a Plank of Wood

I scavenged an old oak draw at a local junk shop and took the front panel off from the back box. It was heading for the fire so I saved it’s life :)

oak draw before

Step Two: Deer Stencil and Spray Paint

The oak panel is real solid piece of wood and I like the grain but I wanted to add some stencil detail to bring it back to life.

deer head stencil detail

Step Three: Add Nails to Hold the Cotton Reels

In between the Deers I plotted out where I wanted the nails to go to hold the cotton reels. nails for cotton reel holder

finished nails

Step four: Draw Handles

I wanted to keep some elements of the draw so I reattached some cute cat draw handles. I will use these to hang ribbons and other pieces of equipment from.

draw handles

Step five: Add the Cotton Reels and Voila, the Finished Product

Here’s what the upcycled draw looks like finished and in situ:

in situ draw

close up cotton reels finished draw

How much did it cost?

Here’s a breakdown of the costs:

  • Draw front: free
  • Draw handles: £7.99 including postage
  • Deer stencil: £7.59 including postage
  • Nails: £2.90 for 50

Total: £18.48

I’m just under budget but it would have probably been over budget if I had used a new oak draw to upcycle.

What do you think of my make? Have you ever upcycled anything to save space and help declutter?

*Room 4 Interiors gave me £20 as a budget for this project.

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Here’s To Fair Trade, Organic and Ethical Fashion: Nomads Review

Whilst I’m incredibly conscious about using cruelty free cosmetics and household goods, I could probably be a little bit better at choosing more ethical fashion pieces. So many of us shop on the high street, nab a bargain in the sales but really the huge mark up on the clothing (even at sale prices) is still a lot more than the minuscule wage someone is paid in a sweat shop.

For this reason, I started to shop more ethically and I now buy a lot of my items from charity shops or from made in Britain fashion houses and designers. But generally it can still be difficult to know where the clothing has come from. And I still get some things from the high street.

Luckily, there’s been an influx of fair trade fashion brands such as Nomads Clothing, who are a British brand with a uncompromising fair trade policy. They ensure all factories are up to their policy’s standard and even pump their profits back into their overseas charities. And the materials they use the most, like cotton, is sustainable fair trade certified which means it has little environmental impact and doesn’t touch a drop of pesticides or chemicals. They know exactly where their clothing has come from, their workers are paid a fair wage and we the consumer know what we’re buying.

Nomads kindly got in touch and offered me the chance to review some of their clothing  and as I was off on holiday I chose a couple of pieces from their summer collection. I picked their beautiful maxi peasant style dress from their beautiful fair trade dress collection and a printed waistcoat come scarf to style for a fashion shoot on the blog.

As an independent brand, they’re competitively priced with brands like TopShop and Urban Outfitters, but in my opinion better made. Which is obvious from the quality pf the materials and the way they’re put together.

I took them both with me on holiday and here’s how I styled them.

Nomad clothing

side profile

close up bel and waistcoat

beach steps

back with people tree bag

belt close up sandals close up tassle bag with elephant scarf

If you like what you see you can get yourself 20% off at the checkout using the code BLOG20

What did you take on your holidays with you?

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