I think I might be one of the last people left who hasn’t done it. I know I should have done but somehow I’d just never got round to it. And then, last week, I did it. Armed with lots of advice from those who had done it before me.
“You’ll love it,” they said.
“Oh, it’s wonderful,” they said.
“I only wish I’d done it sooner,” they said.
“Take water,” said one.
“Sensible shoes,” said another.
“You never know what you might find,” was the consensus. Yes, dear reader, I have been to Homesense.
Now, given that everyone was incredulous that I hadn’t been before, I’m assuming many of you are too but for the others – it’s the sister of TK Maxx but for interiors. Yes that’s it – designer labels at up to 60 per cent off. Why are we not all stampeding?
Now, like TX Maxx, you might not have heard of all the labels but you can’t argue with the prices. Of the designers I have heard of though I saw Designers Guild, Orla Kiely, House of Holland, DKNY, Slumberdown and more.
I should have bought some duck down pillows for £19 but I didn’t for some reason. I think it was all a little overwhelming. And that’s where the helpful advice comes in. You do need to systematically go up and down the isles because you never know what treasures are lurking at the back of the shelf.
It’s brilliant for all sorts of bedding – very high thread counts galore. One friend told me her mother buys all her Sheridan bedding there (one of the top Australian companies). Another that it’s good for cushions – Edinburgh Weavers and Bluebell Gray were just two of the names mentioned as well as Stelton and Normann Copenhagen for kitchenware and, of course, masses of Le Creuset.
But much of the stuff isn’t named unless it is in a box like the Joseph Joseph kitchenware for example. I’m sure I saw a cabinet that could have come from OKA and they’re rumoured to stock Jonathan Adler and Frette sheets too.
Another tip I received is that shoppers can have sharp elbows as there is often only one of an item, although there are daily deliveries. If you are buying furniture – and I could have bought a fabulous sofa for £599 reduced from £1500 but sadly I have no space for it – ask the staff to put a sold sticker on it as you continue round the store. Although tales abound of people removing stickers as soon as your back is turned. Otherwise, if you can carry it round then do.
So what did I buy? Well I could have bought about 15 cushions but I was mindful of The Mad Husband so I think I might save that for next time. As I said, I should have bought the pillows. I will definitely go back for bedding. I bought small things including a gorgeous wooden handled ostrich feather duster and a long handled dustpan and brush which I have wanted for ages. Which has led to a complete redesign of my tiny laundry room/cupboard – mainly as a place to hang said fancy duster but also gives me an excuse to return and buy lots of fabulous storage for the new shelves which will be going in there. Not entirely sure that the 60 per cent discount on the duster is going to cover the cost of the fabulous space to hang it in but hey, swings and roundabouts.
Now getting to these stores can be a trek as they tend to be located in retail parks and they don’t exist online. But for those of you in south London, there is a new one opening on Thursday in Greenwich so there will be one in north London and one in south as well as spread fairly evenly all over the rest of the country.
It does come with a caveat though – there will be times when you visit and you find nothing. And times when you spend far too much. My tip? You have to have enough time for a good rummage, you have to be in the mood and you have to be prepared to come back another day.
So if you haven’t done it before either then get yourself off to Greenwich. It’s new so they’re bound to cram with all the good stuff and, as another friend said to me: ” I treat an hour in Homesense as an hour of therapy.”
And, given that we’re in the thick of the school holidays who wouldn’t want that?
This is a sponsored post for Homesense who asked me to go and investigate but I heard so many good things from interior designers and stylists and friends that I was happy to go along and check it out. If anyone has found any great bargains then do let us know in the comments below. I sense that won’t be my last visit.