Showhome with a difference – every room has been furnished with secondhand items

Left to right: Bedroom – Upcycled Shutter Headboard, £95, Upcycled Black Bedside Table, £45. Living Room  Sofa £75, Sideboard, £40, Upcycled Armchair, £95, Upcycled Coffee Table, £45. Kitchen – Dining Table, £50 and Dining Chairs, £28 each.

A three-bedroom showhome has been given a sustainable new look, with preloved items from British Heart Foundation (BHF) charity shops.

The ‘rent to buy’ property in Bishop Auckland, County Durham has been given a stylish makeover with a twist. Every item has been carefully selected by interior design company, Stanza Style and purchased second-hand from BHF stores.

Leading the design project was Alex Egan, Founder of Stanza Style, who provided a full interior design for charitable housing provider, Riverside. Alex’s vision was to create a sustainably chic home, to show buyers the amazing looks that can be achieved with preloved furniture – and on a budget.

From tasteful furnishings and accessories to upcycled pieces, every item showcases the quality affordable furniture and homewares that can be found in BHF charity shops, which also helps prevent these items going to waste.

Items included a mid-century cabinet for £40, two large sofas for £75 each, a coffee table for £25, a wardrobe for £30, bedside tables for £5 and lighting from £3.  Alex also transformed some preloved pieces with simple upcycling tricks and a touch of paint to give them a fresh look. The total cost of the makeover came in at just over £4,000.

This May the BHF has launched its Reuse Revolution campaign, calling on the nation to consider shopping more sustainably as they get back out on the high street. Not just when it comes to fashion but for the home too, either by visiting their local BHF shop or browsing its online eBay store.

Commenting on the interior styling of the show home, Alex said: “We wanted to prove that great design doesn’t have to cost the earth and showcase how preloved items can easily be transformed into something unique.

“The British Heart Foundation shops provided the perfect solution for finding items to achieve the look we were after for this showhome. We had fun hunting out the pieces and thinking about how we could upcycle them to suit the home.

“Going forward we are pledging to put at least one preloved, upcycled item into each showhome we produce.”

Allison Swaine-Hughes, Retail Director at the British Heart Foundation, said “We were delighted to hear about Alex’s project and see the impressive results. This is proof that a beautifully furnished home doesn’t have to cost the earth. You can find amazing value and unique preloved pieces in our stores and online outlets, whilst preventing these items from going to waste.

“So, this May, why not help us start a Reuse Revolution by choosing to shop second-hand and give your home décor a refresh. Not only will you save money and help the environment, you’ll also be helping the 7.6 million people across the UK living with heart and circulatory diseases.”

Helen Reddington, Head of Sales at Riverside Home Ownership, who help provide communities with affordable, quality and stylish homes, said: “We’re delighted to showcase our new Bishop Auckland properties in this way, along with the message that you can live in comfort sustainably, and not break the bank.”

The BHF’s 190 home stores across the UK and eBay shop stock a wealth of home furnishings, from contemporary finds to vintage treasures and one-of-a-kind pieces. Every item sold goes towards raising vital funds for life saving research and will aid the charity’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Last year, the BHF saved 71,000 tonnes of goods from going to waste, including 180,000 sofas. This helped prevent 135,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions being released into the atmosphere.

By joining the Reuse Revolution now, you can help the BHF save more items from going to waste and help save lives. To find out more visit

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