How to shop at HomeGoods like an interior designer

How to shop at HomeGoods like an interior designer

Annie Elliott has received a substantial social media next with her tips on scouring price reduction merchants for decor that only looks highly-priced. So, we took her purchasing.

With the exception of the plant, every little thing here came from a browsing vacation at HomeGoods with inside designer Annie Elliott. (Marvin Joseph for The Washington Submit)


Who superior to support you store for property furnishings than a person who does it skillfully? Enter D.C. interior designer Annie Elliott, whose TikTok movies traversing the aisles of major-box retailers dispensing layout guidance have created her a Gen Z sensation — her first HomeGoods video clip racked up 4 million views. (She’s also taken her followers together to Ikea, Target and HomeSense.)

We not too long ago went with Elliott to a Maryland HomeGoods to understand how the designer looks for high-quality amid the store’s discounted decor. “That’s a person factor about HomeGoods: You have to actually inspect points, because they’ve been bounced all over a lot,” she states. “Just since something’s affordable does not signify it’s a bargain.”

So which things are worthy of a position in your dwelling and which are better remaining on the cabinets? Here, Elliott shares her suggestions for investing sensibly at the decor superstore.

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Set furniture to the examination

Elliott normally advises from splurging on large upholstered items at the retailer. Should really you see one thing you like, she suggests inspecting the fabric intently. “Heavier, textured woven materials are superior, but if the pattern is printed on, it can look low-cost and may perhaps not dress in as nicely,” she claims.

She also endorses attempting out the goods: Just take a seat to make guaranteed it’s actually comfy, and then look at the frame. No just one wishes a rickety chair, so Elliott indicates offering it a fantastic shake to make certain it feels steady and solidly manufactured. “When you seize the armrests, you should not be equipped to sense the piece of wood that is forming the arm,” she claims.

Lastly, look at the charge. During our searching trip, most living home chairs expense about $500 — not bad, but as Elliott points out, “Once you get to that selling price level, you have to question by yourself, ‘Is this better than Crate & Barrel, which has definitely good excellent?’” The verdict: Commence only if the rate is right and it appears very well designed. Otherwise, you may want to make investments in improved items elsewhere.

Cautiously study scenario merchandise

Make guaranteed that doors align on sideboards and cupboards, and that all drawers open and close effortlessly. Whilst buying, Elliot stopped to give a fashionable cabinet a 2nd glance only to discover that its facade confirmed obvious paint drips in the complete and that its doorways were being crooked. “If you’re helpful, I suppose you could fiddle around with the hinges and make the doorways even, but if you have to acquire it household and resolve it, it may perhaps not be worthwhile,” she claims.

When requested if trendier household furniture pieces are a superior investment decision at HomeGoods, she advises, “If the price is super-small, and you know it’s not going to previous eternally, by all means go forward.” Even so, she does offer a additional sustainable alternative: vintage. “You could paint a wooden piece that you uncover at a vintage retail store, and the top quality is far better 9 times out of 10,” she says.

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Elliot claims the retailer is a excellent supply for reasonably priced, fashionable aspect tables. A wooden mid-century-motivated finish desk that price $130 caught her eye, as did a petite rattan table for $60 that could double as a plant stand. She also appreciated a compact reside-edge occasional table for $100. “You can not actually faux stay-edge, so anything like this is a superior invest in,” she suggests, inspecting the wooden. “It’s a minimal worn, but mainly because that’s the seem of the piece, it feels intentional and performs.”

Not all tables ended up winners, while. She pointed out ones with flimsy or low cost-hunting steel legs and joints that appeared to be shoddily welded. “The thing that I recommend persons to remain away from the most are points that search low cost or improperly set collectively,” she suggests.

HomeGoods is a windfall for effectively-priced designer-wanting lamps, and you can normally rating an identical pair. Elliott claims to constantly look for ceramic designs, and flagged various models that were a steal with rate tags in the $35-to-$50 assortment. What to skip: lamps with total-metal bases, “because when there’s so considerably steel in one position, it just does not glance high priced and the finish may well not put on as nicely,” she says.

Contemplate the mirrors, but go on art

Elliott recommends checking out the mirror section because you can usually score difficult-to-find smaller dimensions that evaluate 24 inches or a lot less — best for petite powder rooms. On the other hand, when it comes to wall decor, the designer treads carefully. “Art is remarkably subjective I would choose people obtain art from a local art university, or classic retail store, or get a print from Etsy instead than acquire a thing really generic,” she claims.

Make a beeline for the baskets

Elliott’s a big fan of the quite a few organizational methods at HomeGoods, with rope and straw woven baskets topping the checklist. Quite a few of the models rival Moroccan-inspired variations from better-conclude suppliers like Serena & Lily, but at a portion of the cost. “The big ones are in particular excellent for stashing firewood or blankets in a family area,” she suggests.

Look at out the components

With anything from hourglasses to obelisks, the decorative objects section of the retailer is a treasure hunt all on its possess. What made Elliott’s cut? “Animal figurines, for the reason that they come in intriguing designs and are a noncontroversial way to fill a hole on a bookshelf,” she states. A different endorsement: ornamental trays. “If you’re hoping to corral litter, just set it in a tray and all of a sudden it seems intentional,” she suggests.

Quite a few designers and stylists — not just Elliott — will notify you that HomeGoods is their go-to source for oversize glass vessels to display screen artfully organized branches. “Most of the glassware says it’s manufactured in Spain and the quality is good for the rate,” says Elliott, who utilised a number of of the glass bottles to line her individual nonworking fireplace.

Elliott suggests the keep can be a trusted position to pick up additional sets of sheets — just go through the label to make sure they are 100 p.c cotton, linen or bamboo, and steer distinct of person-designed materials such as polyester or microfiber. “I don’t fret way too much about thread rely, but glance for the text ‘percale,’ if you want a interesting, crisp complete to your sheets, or ‘Egyptian,’ if you want a fuzzier, softer really feel — equally are cotton,” she claims.

Decide up pillows and throws

According to Elliott, no vacation to HomeGoods is finish without a stroll down the pillow aisle — superior praise coming from a designer who’s made use of to customized-built creations in luxury fabrics. She implies looking for pillows with zippered, detachable handles (simply because they can be effortlessly cleaned) and steering clear of ones that are sewn shut. Her 1 pillow peeve: Rigid, overstuffed cushions with no give. “I definitely object to polyfill when the pillow bounces appropriate back again into form,” she states. Her desire: a blend of polyfill and down feathers.

When shopping for throws, Elliott says to look for pure fibers. And she believes the more real looking-seeking fake fur throws will have a for a longer time everyday living than shaggier solutions, which presently appeared to be shedding and unraveling on the shelf. “You have to imagine that if it does not glimpse excellent now, at the time you get it household and use it for a whilst, it’s seriously not heading to glimpse fantastic,” she says.

Michelle Brunner is a writer in D.C., who covers inside design and style and culture.