UpScale ReSale & Design Challenge

by Sep 11, 2019Brunswick County Life, Wilmington

More than 20 of the Port City’s most talented interior designers will join forces next month to raise funds for Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity.

Now in its fifth year, the UpScale ReSale & Design Challenge continues to be Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity’s most creative fundraiser. Resourceful local designers have been working for months in preparation for the event, converting old furniture and home decor into modern, beautiful pieces. 

The challenge is simple: Designers are given free rein of all three Cape Fear Habitat ReStore locations, where they can come and select any items to upcycle and refurbish. Visions Quality Coatings, a lead event sponsor, provides all the paint needed for the projects. Designers can choose to create anything from office spaces to living rooms to outdoor patios, as long as their vignette fits within a 10’ x 10’ living space. 

“There’s a big range of possibilities,” says ReStore Operations Manager Jackie Bates. “The challenge is really just to see what you can do with what you find at Restore.”

Held at downtown’s Coastline Convention Center, the event features two nights of fun. The Friday night VIP Preview Party on October 11 includes a cocktail party and awards ceremony. Tickets are $35 in advance or $40 at the door. More than 20 local restaurants contribute food for Friday night’s party. Those in attendance will be able to see the booths in full display, with each designer on hand showcasing their hard work. Friday night guests will also be given a ballot to vote for their favorite vignette, and the winning designer will receive the most coveted prize, the People’s Choice Award. 

“Several of our designers have participated in this event in the past, and we also have a number of new designers,” Bates says. “We like to really promote our designers and make sure its mutually beneficial for them with all the time they’re putting in, so it’s giving them more exposure in the community as well.” 

The event continues on Saturday, October 12, when a $5 general admission ticket gives guests the opportunity to see all of the booths and speak with the designers. Each designer will share before and after pictures to help showcase their projects and techniques. DIY workshops will also occur all day Saturday, with continuous demonstrations of different furniture pieces being painted and refurbished. Jodie Dorsey, who runs Flea Bodies Antique Mall, will lead five classes throughout the day on various topics, including kitchen and cabinet painting, upholstery and Paint 101, as well as a make-and-take tile coaster station.

All items used by the designers will be available for purchase, although guests must wait until Saturday to pick up their purchases so that everyone can see the full vignettes as they were designed. Two Men and a Truck, one of the event sponsors, will provide donation-based delivery service for items purchased. The ultimate goal of the Upscale Resale & Design Challenge is to raise money through the sale of both the items and tickets to support the mission of Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity. 

“We also hope to be providing a bit of education to people,” Bates says. “We want to show that you can find really nice items at ReStore, and that you shouldn’t always take things at face value. It’s just about time and TLC. You can really do some beautiful designs without breaking the bank.”


Want to go?
UpScale ReSale & Design Challenge for Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity
Friday, October 11 and Saturday, October 12
For more information on the event, visit

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