Where I Shop For: Homewares
Since buying our first flat back in 2015, homewares have really shot up on my list of priorities, and have rapidly become my favourite thing to spend any spare cash on. There's something so satisfying about dropping the dollar on a cool print or an amazing new light that every guest in your home will notice, rather than spending the same on another jumper from ASOS.
And after three years in the home-owning arena, I think it's fair to say that I've learned which stores I really like for homewares, and which ones I know I can rely on for great quality at good prices. I've spoken before about how important it is to me to be able to decorate on a budget, so the below are stores that I know I can depend on to ensure the flat is looking its best, without emptying my bank account...
It might have disappeared from the high street, but BHS is still online and now specialising in what they always did best instore: lighting. Their range of lights are amazing; so stylish, and they really look expensive, without being actually being so. The SS18 collection is heavily designer-inspired, mixing midcentury shapes with plenty of white, marble and brass, adding in interesting shapes and structures too. We bought our living room floor lamp from BHS online a few months back for around £80 and we love it; it's also brass, with a white shade and a heavy marble base. Fun fact: about a week after we bought it, we spotted it on Urban Outfitters, priced at £50 more than we had paid.
A roundup of bargain homeware just wouldn't be a roundup without TK Maxx. It's always a lottery, but you can score some incredible finds in there, far cheaper than anywhere else. We've bought so many pieces for our flat from TK Maxx; from a chic table lamp, to our Orla Kiely bathroom accessories, rugs for our bedroom, and even our bedside tables. In my eyes, it's always worth a rummage.
You'll have heard it a million times before, but for stylish and affordable, trend-led homeware, there's really nowhere better than H&M Home. H&M taps into interior trends beautifully to create gorgeous buys for every room - from cushion covers to plates, vases, towels, blankets and accessories. Every room in our house contains a little bit of H&M Home, and they are pieces that always get compliments when guests visit.
Maisons du Monde
This is a fairly recent find for me, but I'm loving Maisons du Monde. Specialising in bohemian-inspired, stylish home accessories and furniture, this is a great online store that does it all. It's not the cheapest on this list, but you can find items akin to those on Made and West Elm that are far, far more friendly on the bank balance. Like H&M, Maisons du Monde is still very trend-led, but pieces are given a timeless twist to ensure that you don't need to start from scratch every season. I'm a big fan of their accessories, and we've ordered a mirror from there too - I can't wait to see it up on the wall!
There's not much that I go to Wilko for - but their frames are worth the trek to get there. Simple and practical, they allow whatever your print of choice is to shine, and you can opt for with or without the mount. They're cheap, they look great and they get the job done - what more can you ask for?
I know, I know. But speaking as someone who has everything from rugs to dining chairs and crockery from IKEA, I can wholeheartedly say that it's nigh on impossible to create a stylish home on a budget without a little help from IKEA. Our most recent purchase was the dramatic bamboo pendant lightshade we've hung in the living room, and it has transformed the room. Priced at £40, it's literally hundreds of pounds cheaper than similar alternatives - so cast aside any IKEA snobbery you might be clinging on to, and get yourself down there.
When you can't find what you want, go secondhand. That's a very important lesson that we've learned in the years since becoming homeowners, and it's responsible for some of my favourite pieces in our home. We've managed to score items that we would never have been able to afford brand new through buying secondhand, either from Gumtree or eBay, or from vintage/antique fairs - such as our original G Plan 1968 sideboard, a 1960s teak dining table we got just before Christmas, or our super-cute little 70s bar cart. Yes, it's a little harder to find what you want if you have a specific idea in mind, and there's no guarantees - but when you find what you've been searching for, a tenth of the cost of if it were new, it's so, so rewarding.
Where do you shop for homewares?