I think it’s fair to say that I’ve had a love affair with HomeSense since we moved up to Northamptonshire 6 and a half years ago.
Their Northampton store sits on a generous corner plot, in one of the town’s retail parks; and walking through the doors is literally like walking into an Aladdin’s cave.
The stock — and the layout of the store — is constantly evolving and shifting.
Go in for a lampshade and you may come out with an armful of bright cushions or a bunch of beautiful faux florals.
Go in search of bathroom accessories and there’s a good chance that you’ll be sidetracked before you find them; and will end up being bewitched by a vast and gorgeous array of stationery.
So when I went to our local store the other week — to buy a new coffee pot — it really came as no surprise that I left with various other treats, that I hadn’t actually been looking for.
HomeSense is so good at this.
It lures you in and before you know it, you’re led on a merry treasure hunt around the store.
For those of you familiar with HomeSense, you’ll be nodding at this point and will know exactly what I mean.
But if you’ve never stepped inside a HomeSense store you’d probably just assume that — as it’s name would suggest — it’s a homeware brand.
And you’d be right.
To a degree.
But it’s so much more than just homeware store.
It’s part of the TK Maxx family and if you like TK Maxx home, you’ll be blown away by HomeSense. The choice and variety of product is so good — my friends and I often arrange HomeSense missions and will often spend a happy afternoon browsing through the products.
Sure — there’s furniture and accessories — but they’re not run-of-the-mill by any stretch of the imagination.
You may find a jewel coloured velvet chair. A Moroccan style lantern. Bedlinen in the perfect shade of blue, that you weren’t able to find anywhere online.
You’ll find unique pieces — one-off items that (and I know this from bitter experience) — if you don’t buy it there and then, chances are you may never see it again.
There are also gifts; toys, books and the quirkiest of items for practically any interest.
I wrote the ultimate Christmas gift guide for the hard to buy for a couple of year’s ago. All the items were from my local HomeSense store and covered a huge variety of gifts; for gardeners, cyclists, gourmets… to name a few.
You’ll also find branded homeware and gifts which are always up to 60% less than in other stores.
So whilst I did, indeed, find a new little stove-top coffee maker, I also found the world’s cutest garden bench, on which to drink my morning coffee.
In fact, I found all the ingredients for a perfect garden hideaway.
Amazing what you find when you’re not really looking isn’t it?
Shopping with an open-mind sometimes produces surprising results.
Had I been looking for a garden bench I probably wouldn’t have found exactly the one I was picturing in my mind.
And equally, if I’d gone to the store for art-supplies, they may not have had any on that particular day.
But going in with no agenda — and without my shopping blinkers on — presented me with lots of lovely things that I hadn’t necessarily been looking to buy.
So whether you’re looking for some new kitchen pans — or watercolour paints to kick-start your new hobby — HomeSense may just have exactly what you weren’t looking for.
To experience the HomeSense experience yourself, I’ve got a £50 gift-card to give away to one lucky winner.
To be in with a chance of winning, just tell me (in the comments box at the bottom of this post) the oddest thing you’ve ever bought — that you weren’t looking for — then follow the instructions on Gleam competition generator below.
Thanks so much to the lovely team at HomeSense for providing me with the items to style this post. To find your nearest store — and begin a journey of endless shopping inspiration — simply click on the link.
This is a collaborative post but all thoughts, words, images and styling — as ever — are entirely my own.