How to shop at HomeGoods like an interior designer

How to shop at HomeGoods like an interior designer

Annie Elliott has received a enormous social media pursuing with her tips on scouring low cost stores for decor that only seems expensive. So, we took her searching.

With the exception of the plant, all the things below arrived from a searching trip at HomeGoods with interior designer Annie Elliott. (Marvin Joseph for The Washington Submit)


Who greater to aid you shop for household furnishings than anyone who does it professionally? Enter D.C. interior designer Annie Elliott, whose TikTok video clips traversing the aisles of massive-box retailers dispensing structure advice have designed her a Gen Z feeling — her 1st HomeGoods video clip racked up 4 million views. (She’s also taken her followers together to Ikea, Concentrate on and HomeSense.)

We lately went with Elliott to a Maryland HomeGoods to understand how the designer appears to be for top quality amid the store’s discounted decor. “That’s 1 detail about HomeGoods: You have to seriously inspect factors, mainly because they’ve been bounced about a whole lot,” she claims. “Just since something’s low cost doesn’t suggest it’s a bargain.”

So which merchandise are worthy of a place in your residence and which are greater still left on the shelves? Right here, Elliott shares her tips for expending correctly at the decor superstore.

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Set furniture to the check

Elliott commonly advises towards splurging on large upholstered items at the retailer. Need to you see a little something you like, she implies inspecting the fabric carefully. “Heavier, textured woven fabrics are superior, but if the pattern is printed on, it can glance low-cost and may well not don as well,” she claims.

She also recommends striving out the merchandise: Get a seat to make absolutely sure it is truly comfortable, and then examine the body. No 1 would like a rickety chair, so Elliott implies supplying it a great shake to make guaranteed it feels steady and solidly manufactured. “When you seize the armrests, you should not be equipped to sense the piece of wooden that is forming the arm,” she states.

Last but not least, think about the cost. During our purchasing excursion, most living space chairs value about $500 — not poor, but as Elliott points out, “Once you get to that selling price point, you have to request on your own, ‘Is this superior than Crate & Barrel, which has definitely fantastic quality?’” The verdict: Continue only if the selling price is right and it seems properly built. Or else, you may well want to devote in far better items somewhere else.

Carefully examine situation items

Make confident that doorways align on sideboards and cupboards, and that all drawers open and close smoothly. Even though buying, Elliot stopped to give a trendy cupboard a second look only to learn that its facade confirmed obvious paint drips in the complete and that its doorways were crooked. “If you’re helpful, I suppose you could fiddle about with the hinges and make the doorways even, but if you have to acquire it home and resolve it, it may perhaps not be worthwhile,” she says.

When requested if trendier furnishings parts are a good expenditure at HomeGoods, she advises, “If the cost is tremendous-reduced, and you know it’s not heading to final without end, by all usually means go ahead.” Having said that, she does present a much more sustainable alternative: vintage. “You could paint a wood piece that you uncover at a classic retail outlet, and the high quality is superior 9 instances out of 10,” she says.

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Elliot suggests the retailer is a great supply for affordable, classy side tables. A wooden mid-century-impressed finish table that charge $130 caught her eye, as did a petite rattan table for $60 that could double as a plant stand. She also liked a compact reside-edge occasional table for $100. “You just cannot seriously pretend are living-edge, so a little something like this is a excellent invest in,” she suggests, inspecting the wooden. “It’s a small worn, but mainly because that’s the search of the piece, it feels intentional and operates.”

Not all tables were winners, nevertheless. She pointed out types with flimsy or low cost-on the lookout steel legs and joints that appeared to be shoddily welded. “The thing that I advise individuals to continue to be absent from the most are matters that look cheap or inadequately set jointly,” she states.

HomeGoods is a windfall for perfectly-priced designer-seeking lamps, and you can usually score an equivalent pair. Elliott claims to always seem for ceramic variations, and flagged quite a few designs that ended up a steal with price tags in the $35-to-$50 selection. What to skip: lamps with entire-metallic bases, “because when there is so a great deal steel in one particular spot, it just doesn’t glimpse pricey and the end may perhaps not wear as very well,” she suggests.

Contemplate the mirrors, but pass on artwork

Elliott suggests examining out the mirror part simply because you can often score tough-to-obtain scaled-down sizes that measure 24 inches or a lot less — ideal for petite powder rooms. Even so, when it arrives to wall decor, the designer treads diligently. “Art is really subjective I would want individuals obtain art from a regional art faculty, or vintage retail store, or get a print from Etsy rather than invest in a little something really generic,” she suggests.

Make a beeline for the baskets

Elliott’s a significant fan of the numerous organizational solutions at HomeGoods, with rope and straw woven baskets topping the list. Several of the types rival Moroccan-encouraged variations from bigger-conclude shops like Serena & Lily, but at a fraction of the price tag. “The massive types are specifically good for stashing firewood or blankets in a family room,” she suggests.

Verify out the equipment

With anything from hourglasses to obelisks, the attractive objects area of the retailer is a treasure hunt all on its have. What designed Elliott’s cut? “Animal figurines, mainly because they arrive in attention-grabbing styles and are a noncontroversial way to fill a hole on a bookshelf,” she says. Yet another endorsement: ornamental trays. “If you are trying to corral clutter, just put it in a tray and all of a sudden it seems to be intentional,” she claims.

Several designers and stylists — not just Elliott — will notify you that HomeGoods is their go-to source for oversize glass vessels to exhibit artfully arranged branches. “Most of the glassware states it’s built in Spain and the high quality is terrific for the rate,” suggests Elliott, who utilised a number of of the glass bottles to line her individual nonworking fire.

Elliott says the keep can be a responsible put to select up excess sets of sheets — just browse the label to make positive they’re 100 {7e5ff73c23cd1cd7ac587f9048f78b3ced175b09520fe5fee10055eb3132dce7} cotton, linen or bamboo, and steer crystal clear of gentleman-manufactured materials these as polyester or microfiber. “I do not fret too a great deal about thread count, but look for the words ‘percale,’ if you want a awesome, crisp finish to your sheets, or ‘Egyptian,’ if you want a fuzzier, softer really feel — both equally are cotton,” she states.

Select up pillows and throws

In accordance to Elliott, no trip to HomeGoods is complete with no a stroll down the pillow aisle — higher praise coming from a designer who’s utilised to custom-produced creations in luxury materials. She suggests on the lookout for pillows with zippered, removable addresses (mainly because they can be very easily cleaned) and preventing kinds that are sewn shut. Her just one pillow peeve: Rigid, overstuffed cushions with no give. “I actually item to polyfill when the pillow bounces appropriate again into shape,” she states. Her choice: a combine of polyfill and down feathers.

When getting throws, Elliott suggests to glance for all-natural fibers. And she believes the more realistic-on the lookout faux fur throws will have a for a longer time existence than shaggier possibilities, which now appeared to be shedding and unraveling on the shelf. “You have to consider that if it doesn’t seem very good now, as soon as you get it home and use it for a while, it’s actually not heading to appear very good,” she claims.

Michelle Brunner is a writer in D.C., who handles interior design and culture.