A retired couple were "gobsmacked" to win a £20,000 competition to have their apartment given a makeover by a John Lewis home design stylist.

Beccles couple Stuart and Helen Gordon, 76 and 75 respectively, moved into their brand-new McCarthy Stone apartment at Foundry Place in July 2022.

They had begun to settle in but had completely forgotten that when they bought their apartment, they had been entered into a free draw to have their apartment designed by one of the department store stylists. 

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Mr Gordon said that when sales consultant, Olivia Lince-Gill informed them, that they had won the prize, they were “completely gobsmacked and couldn’t quite take in the news".

Beccles & Bungay Journal: The couple were delighted to have won the competitionThe couple were delighted to have won the competition (Image: McCarthy Stone)

He said: “We were already feeling nicely at home in our new apartment and were taking our time to put our own stamp on the décor gradually.

"The prospect of having an interior stylist at our disposal made us feel like kids in a sweet shop.”

Once the couple were over the shock, they met with a professional interior stylist from the John Lewis team, Emma Valerio, who helped by drawing up plans of what their apartment could look like.

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Mrs Gordon said: “While we felt we had done quite a lot to personalise our apartment, winning this prize really opened up our eyes to how we could truly put our own stamp on our home.

“With a budget of 20K to spend nothing was off limits.

Beccles & Bungay Journal: The makeover of the apartment comes as an early Christmas present The makeover of the apartment comes as an early Christmas present (Image: McCarthy Stone)

"We were asked to imagine that our apartment was a blank canvas, and we could truly transform it to our heart’s content.

"This was the perfect opportunity for us to splurge on higher quality items than we would ever normally consider."

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Winning the competition was only the tip of the iceberg for Mr and Mrs Gordon, as since moving to Foundry Place they’ve benefited most from all the new friendships they have made.

Mrs Gordon said: “Foundry Place has such a lovely community.

"There were around 30 of us who all moved in at the same time, and you wouldn’t believe how quickly we all became such good friends."