Upcycling hacks by Brooke Styles


Talented photographer and DIY specialist, Brooke Styles, has an incredible eye to upcycle pre-loved items and create the most fantastic home décor. She loves all things creativity and DIY, and has flipped a number of items — from furniture to a van, to plant pots and garden beds. Her latest project was upcycling a wardrobe and adding a beautiful starburst door detail to it.

We asked Brooke for her secret to design masterpieces like those featured @brookestyless and she’s shared with us her top tips for upcycling and what is currently on her Gumtree wish list. Check them out and have a great time upcycling!

Brooke’s tips to upcycle:

  1. Materials: be aware of what material you are working with – some materials like MDF /chipboard need a little more attention when flipping.
  2. Use paint: Don’t be afraid of colour — it’s fun making statement pieces. If you are after a few different colours you can purchase a few tester pots of paints at your local hardware store.
  3. Prepare your furniture: Before you get stuck into painting, make sure you prepare your furniture by sanding and priming.  
  4. Details: Sometimes it’s the little details that make a huge difference. Replacing hardware such as table legs, door handles or adding door front details can make a huge impact.

Brooke’s wish list with her most searched for items on Gumtree

  1. Antique Victorian styled dining sets
  2. Cube Style Bookshelves
  3. Vintage Armchairs
  4. Farmhouse Kitchen sink
  5. Cubby Houses to turn into Chook houses
  6. Lamp shades – wedding decor
  7. Vintage tea cups and dinnerware

Brooke’s top tips and tricks for searching for items on Gumtree:

  1. Keywords: Don’t be broad on the search bar. When searching for unique and antique pieces I like to use keywords such as, vintage, antique, French, Victorian, cottage or Queen Anne
  2. Use the ‘Sort by’ filter: Sort from newest to oldest to ensure you don’t miss new listings or try the ‘Best Match’ filter with your specific keywords.
  3. Freebies section: My best ideas have come from browsing the freebies section for inspiration and one-off free finds. You’ll be amazed what hidden pre-loved treasures you find. 

For more inspiration to help you on your next upcycling project, check out our first interiors line, Gumtree Collections with Josh & Matt


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