TV presenter Maddie Moate was dubious about how cheap her first home was

When Bafta-winning TV presenter and YouTuber Maddie Moate found her first home, she nearly walked away – because it was too cheap.

But after some thought, she took the plunge on the ex-council flat, and transformed it into her dream first property.

Maddie has partnered with Childs Farm to launch their brand new 100% plastic-free shampoo and body wash bars, which are also made with natural ingredients that are soothing to sensitive skin.

She’s also told us all about purchasing her first property, from that first suspicious viewing to turning it into a haven for working.

When did you buy your first home?

I bought my first home in Forest Hill, south-east London way back in 2014.

What attracted you to it?

I found it online having spent months trawling the internet looking for anything I could afford. I remember that it was shockingly cheap in comparison to other places in the area.

So, even though I was suspicious, I arranged to see it on the same day. It turned out that 20 other potential buyers thought the same thing. We were queuing around the corner to view it.

Why was it so cheap?

It was a tiny ex-council flat. One bedroom, one bathroom with a small kitchen and lounge.

The place was a mess. It needed gutting, new electrics, a new heating system, and floor-to-ceiling redecorating.

It was a lot of work, but so worth it. Despite being small and dated the flat had huge windows and loads of storage, which was extremely rare and I was excited to transform it.

Was it important to you to go for something eco-friendly in those days?

At the time I didn’t have the luxury to be thinking ‘eco’ in the way that I do now.

I no longer own that flat in London, but if I were in the market in 2022 I would be looking for a home with space to add an electric car charge point and solar panels, and a garden for composting and growing veg and wildflowers.

What work did you do to transform it?

There isn’t much I didn’t do to it as it needed a complete overhaul. The biggest job was knocking down a wall that separated the kitchen and living room.

It had a tiny little hatch in it to serve food through and although it was very 1970s – I love retro-inspired interiors – it was completely impractical. Taking that wall out and adding a breakfast bar totally changed the space.

I was short on funds after renovating so I furnished the place with hand-me-downs and things I could find from second-hand shops.

It was great to reuse unwanted items but the vintage pieces also looked really cool against the new, modern backdrop.

What did you love most about the place?

I just loved that it was mine. It was amazing to look around and know that I had played a part in everything I could see and touch.

Do you work from home?

I’ve worked from home for years. In fact, one of the reasons I eventually left the flat in London was because it became too small for my partner and me to live and work in.

As science presenters and YouTubers we have a lot of props and kit. That being said, post-lockdown I’ve found a space to work outside of the house.

I’ve come to realise that being surrounded by other people actually helps me to focus.

Tips for keeping your home plastic-free?

Make simple swaps when you can. Switching plastic bottles of liquid shampoo and soap for Childs Farm bars is a great place to start. Also, look for refillable options.

It’s bonkers that we buy brand new plastic bottles of cleaning products weekly when we could just buy refillable packs instead.

Find out more about Maddie’s work with Child’s Farm on their website.

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