In search of what I wasn’t looking for | Featuring HomeSense

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.

HomeSense garden bench
I found the sweetest little bench, that looked like it was made for our garden.
HomeSense garden bench and cushion
I found some comfy cushions to go with it.
Blue sky. OK — I lied — I didn’t get this from HomeSense.
HomeSense Moka Pot
The little Moka coffee pot that I actually went in for.
HomeSense coffee cup
Along with a pretty new cup to drink my coffee from.

HomeSense Coffee Cup

HomeSense art supplies
I also found some artists pastels and a sketchbook…
…so, as a result, found myself picking up a lovely new hobby.

And from all these things, I found a little bit of peace and happiness amongst the craziness of life.

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.

HomeSense products

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.

About Caro Davies

Caro Davies art directed fashion and interiors before leaving the world of design to pursue a career in social media. She can now be found chasing the light — and two small twin boys.

138 thoughts on “In search of what I wasn’t looking for | Featuring HomeSense

  1. i went to get some compost and came back with tiles as they were on offer for 1p a box i figured i could do summat with them they were a bargain

  2. i once popped into a charity shop looking for some new books and ended up coming home with a random very old (50s/60s) cheese grater! i still have it and its fab

  3. This is really odd,I once bought 10 hamster cages when I was on holiday abroad because I thought they looked cute and were pretty colours.

  4. I once ended up buying 5 teapots from a charity shop on a whim after having a bright idea I could incorporate them into my wedding

  5. I bought a silly tea-pot once in the shape of a hotel – I never used it and don’t know why I bought it as I never use a teapot!

  6. I would have to say their seasonal range has me on my knees I’ve come out with Halloween singing snow globes , easter bunnies in every size & themed serving dishes that life would just not be complete without ! I’ve had many a buyers regret dream over things I didn’t buy there as well – total gem of a place !

  7. Not me, but my father in law went out for a new shower head and came back with a radio controlled helicopter! Safe to say my mother inlaw was less than impressed but not entirely surprised!!

  8. Ha ha really difficult question – I’m pretty good with sticking to my planned purchases. But I have bought countless of kitchen gadgets like egg boilers and slicers when just looking for basic kitchen stuff:D

  9. I penguin lamp that is about 1 metre tall. My husband loves penguins and couldn’t bear to leave it on the shelf.

  10. Went to a well known Swedish shop for cushions came out with meatballs, too many biscuits and cinnamon rolls and a cutter to slice apples which has still never been used

  11. Went to town to buy a winter coat, quite a few years ago now, and come back with grave stone, passed the funeral directors and they were closing, my husbands nan had never had one, but she has now

  12. I went to a charity’s summer fair and bought a book. I thought it looked familiar. I had donated it to them a couple of weeks earlier.

  13. Aldi is the worst shop in the world for this I went in for the super six veg and ended up a garden table, it was such a good buy though glass and aluminium, it still looks as good an new : )

  14. I bought a 5ft wooden flamingo – I honestly can’t even explain the reasoning behind it! Luckily I lost it when I moved in with my husband

  15. Brought a high chair from a charity shop but don’t have any children, I only brought it because it looked nice and it is now used as a plant holder.

  16. It’s always IKEA where I do this! I went in literally just to buy a toilet brush, and came out with some artificial flowers and some frozen meatballs. Totally forgot the toilet brush too…

  17. Mine are usually charity shop finds – went in for some books once, came out with vintage Tonka toys. My little boy loves them, and I think they’re so much happier being played with than sat on a shelf! (Disclaimer – I may have watched Toy Story too many times :-D )

  18. I bought some broken wall tiles from a hardware store – I had gone to buy paint. I thought I’d use them to make a mosaic but they are still in the shed!

  19. I go into Ikea for a coffee and cake and always end up coming away with a load of things I hadn’t planned to buy or really had no use for! This happens in a lot of shops I go into!

  20. Went looking for a birthday present for my niece came home with a rose made out of recycled coke cans – for me!

  21. I once bought a flexible torch! I was looking for garden furniture, still cant believe I got it, and guess what I have never used it

  22. Not me, but my other half once came home with a huge lump of concrete?? He was on his bike too, he only went out to get a few bits, he cycled past a local auction and got it for £5 – he some how got it back in a Lidl bag for life! He turned it into a garden feature! Like a rockery thing! It looks quite fetching really! x

  23. I was recently on ebay searching for a gorgeous new lampshade and came away buying a small figure of a bald man reclining in a tea cup – as if he was relaxing in the bath ;) It was actually a tea infuser. x

  24. We went to buy my daughter some stationery from Smiggle and we came home with an eternity ring from Beaverbrooks!

  25. I bought a lot of old craft items when I gone for some cutlery. I was able to make lots of cards etc from it. Excellent find.

  26. I bought a massive buddah garden ornament from Asda which I did not need but just had to have, I had it in my room for years and now it is safely where it should be in my aunties garden!

  27. Went to buy some antique jewellery but came home with a pretty fireguard. Random..dont even have an open fire in our house!

  28. Went to buy some paint, came home with a kitchen sink – well, it was on offer, and ours was chipped – honest!

  29. I do this at Ikea, I go in for practical items that I need totally forget and get carried away come out with candles and decorative items and never come out with what I need!

  30. A ton of weird stuff for Halloween! Such a sucker for that stuff, but our house does look great on October 31st!

  31. I went to buy a bottle of wine and ended up buying a car off a neighbour. It was £50 and alas, a pile of crap.

  32. We went to a local auction looking for a cupboard and ended up buying 5 solid wood dining chairs – £7 !

  33. I once had to buy a microwave as when out food shopping I decided I fancied one of those microwavable syrup sponge puddings… definitely worth it :D

  34. a comedy cd from a gig i went too -they were the warm up act – who ended up being johnny awsum that was on bgt recently
    so funny x

  35. Before I tell you this, you need to know that my wife was with me and was more than happy to approve this unplanned purchase – A Harley Davidson! We’ve had lots of fun on Fatboy, so was a great way to spend my redundancy money :)

  36. Loads of Christmas wrapping paper and labels didn’t get the 40th birthday card I wanted that was a few days ago. !

  37. I once bought something on a whim that i thought was a teapot however was in fact a chicken shaped money box… It was an extremely odd experience when i tried to put it on the stove!

  38. I went into a wooden art shop in Thailand to buy a small wall plaque and bought a table that looks like an Elephant – arranging shipping back to the UK was hard work!

  39. Not me, but when my Mum and Dad first became parents to my eldest brother, they went shopping for a new coat for my Mum. They had very little money and she desperately needed a new coat. However they came home with a teddy bear instead! She never got a coat that year, but my brother still has his much loved teddy over 50 years later!

  40. I went to a carboot sale to get a suitcase, ended up coming home with a kitchen sink. I still don’t have it fitted and it’s sitting in my outhouse lol

  41. This happens all the time to me, i go to buy ONE thing from a shop and come back with a whole bag full of items!

  42. A bus map from the 40s in the Museum of Transport just because it featured the area I live in

  43. I always have a tendency to pick weird stuff up in Ikea like a pack of several hundred straws that have lasted almost a lifetime!! 😂

  44. I’m not generally an impulse buyer, especially for large purchases, but I bought my bed on a whim, laid on it in the shop and couldn’t believe how much more comfortable than mine it was! Worth every penny for a good nights sleep!

  45. I LOVE Homesense, it’s easily my favourite shop! I went in looking for my mum’s birthday present and came out with a huge black glass sugar skull plate, it was a bargain at £8 and so beautiful.

  46. a little mermaid wig and a police mans hat from claires they were reduced to 10p each so a bargain but id onlly goe to get some plain studs

  47. Love going into T K Max they always have unusual decorative items which I cant resist buying something.

  48. I went into a second hand shop for a powder compact to add to my collection and came out with a stuffed bird. Once getting it home It gave off such bad feelings to everyone that looked at it I had to throw it out!

  49. A caterpillar ornament for the garden. Looked ok in the shop but ghastly on the grass. Even our cat seemed to think it strange 🐛

  50. Went to a local auction and ended up coming home with 6 garden pots which were lovely however i didn’t have a garden or no plans to get one

  51. I once went to Aldi to get a lettuce, and left with a hedge trimmer! Quite the upgrade, but so cheap! xx

  52. My dad once went out to buy a cauliflower for my Mum to make dinner and came back with two Raleigh BMX’s for me and my brother!!

  53. I once went to buy my dog a life jacket from a specialised shop and came home with a 6 year old 150 pound newfoundland. Best thing I have ever bought! Xx

  54. Went out to buy paint and come home with a pasta maker!! Which I must add has never come out of its box!

  55. Actually from Home Sense, I went in looking for a picture frame and came out with a very cool whale stool for my daughter’s bedroom

  56. I went in john lewis to look at the gifts, I was looking for some nice stationary. Then came out with juicer!

  57. Went to a local pub for dinner, left with a holiday! Amazing who you run into when you’re not expecting it.

  58. A giant peg! It’s a bit of fun but also keeps hold of important bits of paper until they can be dealt with!

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