There are 4 homewares shops which I love to browse, and I really feel they get it right when it comes to design, price and quality. Of course, I try not to buy anything because I’m meant to be saving for an extension and not bringing more stuff into the house…and usually I succeed. But I’m just saying, these places are tempting:
Favourite for: storage, kitchen accessories, faux Mongolian Fur cushions. They really do make some lovely stuff at fantastic prices. It can be a bit hit-and-miss with the ornaments and accessories ie: there’s a bit of tacky/twee stuff mixed in there, but there are some real gems to be found in every homeware department.
Two of my favourites – the paper storage boxes and the faux Mongolian fur cushions – have been regulars for several years at least (I worked there many years ago), with changing colours available but the price pretty much steadily the same.
A real Mongolian fur cushion would be in the range of £50 (give or take)…Matalan does two sizes at £8 and £14. I’ve seen some really fake looking faux Mongolian cushions, but the Matalan fur looks good.
Sales & discounts: Matalan have discount codes available quite regularly – usually of the “Spend £X get £X off” variety (not my favourite kind, as I usually don’t
like to meet the spending threshold), but sometimes 20% off. If you are on their mailing list these may be emailed or posted to you, or you can keep and eye out/set up an alert on HotUkDeals. The discount codes have definitely become less good in the last year or so, but even so I tend not to pay full price unless I really need the item, or I’m worried it will sell out before a discount code comes along.
Favourite for: lighting (and loads of other stuff – except ornaments and non-sheepskin rugs). Dunelm is a cracking place for well-priced home stuff. I could spend an awful lot of money and time in there (If I had either)…there is soooo much nice stuff. Although the prices are good, they are not always the best, so you do need to keep your wits about you. The only areas I find can be aesthetically dodgy are the ornaments/decorations, which can often be tacky, and the rugs are also usually pretty ugly – with the very notable exception of their coloured sheepskin rugs.
Sales & discounts: Sadly, my beloved discount codes are rarer than slug legs for Dunelm Mill. They do often have markdowns on specific items, which is great if it’s the thing you were after. There are occasional sales and frequent category offers eg: 15% off curtain poles and tracks, but the offers never seem to be for what I want when I want it. Basically my Dunelm philosophy is: expect to pay full price, check that full price is a good price, be glad if it’s reduced and be ready to faint if you find a discount code as well.
Favourite for: frames, mirrors, ornaments and wall art. This really is a place to visit in person if you can, rather than shop online (the online range is very limited compared to the real-life-shop). The Range sell pretty much everything for the home, as well as a lot of other brilliant stuff from kids crafts to fish food. The prices can be excellent, and it’s quite fun to shop in there as in some departments *cough-home décor-cough* you have to spot the gems through the cheaper-looking, more tat-like stuff.
Sales & discounts: The Range doesn’t really do sales and discounts, but the prices are permanently low. Still, they are not always the cheapest so they are not exempt from price-comparison, but neither do I usually mind paying what they are asking.
Favourite for: cushions, home décor/accessories, happy dishcloths, cute paper napkins, fun towels. Ahhh, H&M, how do I love thee…let me count the ways. H&M homeware is some covetable stuff. They are very good at getting onboard with trends before they are completely overdone, and offering something a little different and unusual but still tasteful and well priced. Their cushions and little boxes are often especially lovely (I need more tiny items in my home, to give myself an excuse to buy a lot of very attractive little storage boxes).
Another thing I like about them is that they almost always are selling you a cushion cover, not a filled cushion. This means it can be very cheap (£3.99 is not an unusual price for a cute cushion cover) and I can change my existing cushions without accumulating umpteen cushion inners. They do also sell cushion inners, but if I needed one I’d probably plump – *snort snort* – for my favourite purveyor of inners, duvets etc…Dunelm Mill. And another thing I like about H&M home…they often sell bed valances. Attractive ones. I don’t need one at the moment, but it’s comforting to know that there is somewhere to buy an attractive one, should the need arise.
I’ve never actually set foot in an H&M home shop, I’ve only ever bought online, and have always been very pleased with the quality and with the item looking like it did onscreen. (Unlike some retailers – Zara Home, I’m looking at YOU!) The downside is that their delivery is not particular quick. But returns are free! (Unlike some retailers – Zara Home, I’m looking at YOU!) Another tip: check the measurements of items before you buy. They make some very teeny items!
Sales & discounts: H&M do have online discount codes quite regularly (not as regularly as they used to, I’ve noticed). As I write this, my advice would be that if you see something you love, don’t wait for a discount code – the nice things do sell out, never to return, and you don’t want to be kicking yourself later.
ps. Try not to buy anything.