#Iamareuser Sarah Twigg Doyle

I’m Sarah Twigg Doyle, an Interior and Event Stylist and Colour Consultant.

I am fortunate to have been able to take a life-long passion for interiors and turn it into a career. I began upcycling when myself and my husband bought our first home together over twelve years ago and our budget to furnish was tight. Little did I know it would create a passion for sustainable interiors and bring second hand pieces back to life. I love the creative buzz of transforming a piece of discarded furniture and turning it in to something truly original. I love how a vintage piece can have such history and character.

I saw this vintage glass cabinet some time ago in a charity shop and it was a total bargain! When we redecorated our dining space and painted the walls dark green, I loved the idea of having a drinks cabinet. The first thing I did was give it a really good clean. As I was painting the piece, I gave it a light sand to act as a key to the surface. The fabric covering the back board of the cabinet was very stained and damaged so it was removed. I decided I wanted an ebonised look to the wood, so I used chalk paint in Graphite, masking off the glass sections. After two coats, both outside and inside, I then painted the feet and trim detail with gold decorators acrylic paint. I used a fabulous Designers Guild wallpaper to cover the back board. The whole piece was then sealed with furniture wax, first a clear coat, then black wax to deepen the colour. A final two coats of clear and it was left to dry and then buff. I added LED strip lights to the inside, so the piece is both decorative and functional.

My advice to beginners is to look online for ideas and just get stuck in. Much of what I’ve achieved over the years has been largely done through trial and error, learning as I go. But anything I didn’t know I researched. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice. If you see someone’s work you really admire on Facebook or Instagram, ask for their tips. Most designers and upcyclers are flattered to be asked and happy to share their advice with you. There are also lots of workshops and online tutorials you can sign up for too. Take your time and don’t skimp the prep. Before painting a piece, consider where it is going and what it will be used for and always design with the future and the durability of the item in mind. Don’t forget the importance of cleaning, sanding and priming a piece before you start painting it.