design a home with intention: how to shop Home Goods

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How to Shop Home Goods

It’s hard-pressed to find someone who isn’t a fan of Home Goods. When I first started my decorating business, Home Goods was my go-to shop for accessories because it was so convenient and inexpensive. But even now that I have access to trade vendors, I still find myself going to Home Goods and finding great pieces for less.

This article isn’t necessarily only about Home Goods and isn’t in any way endorsed by them.. the tips I’m about to share can easily be applied to any discount store such as Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Ross, Tuesday Morning, etc.

Even though I am a huge fan of these stores, there is a dark side to them. And that is the fine line between a great, inexpensive home accessory and CLUTTER. I’ve stressed this before – when designing your home with intention you must be very selective, even down to the $10 accessory. I went to my local Home Goods and took some pictures to show you exactly what I mean.

When considering a Home Goods lamp, I always select the ones that have a simple and classic shape and style. Something that has been around for years (like the silver urn) and won’t get dated. If you choose something trendy or over the top, it will surely become dated and you will hate it after a while and then, you guessed it, it will become clutter! Not a good use of your dollars.

Take It:


Leave it:

When it comes to mirrors and picture frames, faux is not the way to go. You’ll find a LOT of mirrors and frames that have been painted to look distressed or like wood. These are not the types of pieces you want because they look inexpensive and the quality is not great. Pick mirrors that either have a solid painted finish or are actually distressed like the “take it” example below.

Take it:

This mirror is beautiful and looks much more expensive than it really is. The wood and distressing is real, no faux here!

Leave it:


When it comes to accessories, I live by this rule: Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication. Also, if you go simple you are less likely to get sick of it, you will use it more and you will keep it longer. These vases are an example of this:

Take it:

Leave it:

You can’t go wrong with the first simple, clear vase.. you can use it for ANY occasion by switching out what you put inside (sunflowers in the summer, glass baubles around Christmastime, etc). The second red vase is very specific and you’ll most likely only use it on Valentine’s Day or Christmas.. if you remember to pull it out!

Right now you are probably seeing a ton of holiday items. If you purchase an entire set of holiday dinnerware, that’s a LOT of pieces to store for only one day of the year. Instead, I like to find patterns that could be used for a number of different uses. Here is an example:

Take It:

Leave it:


The first set of dishes have a beautiful, simple lace motif. Even though they don’t scream “Holiday!!” they would be beautiful on Christmas with red and gold and could be used again on New Years with metallic accents. This way you’re only having to store one set of decorative dinnerware but it still allows you to set a beautiful themed table.

When looking for accessories in general, I am always drawn to simplicity. Home Goods has so many great, simple pieces that will stay in style for a long time and can go with any types of decor. But usually you have to weed through all the “craziness”.

Take It:



Leave it:

In short, when designing with intention… search for the pieces that are simple, especially in discount stores where there is an overload of “crap”, and you’ll be sure to find pieces you’ll love for years.

This Post Has 27 Comments

  1. i love this post! i don’t frequent those types of stores, so your tips are very helpful to make the most of my trips there!

  2. Kelley

    Great article! I like the last part where the “leave it” is basically “almost everything on the shelves.” Funny. 🙂 I’d love to see more posts like this.

  3. Kelley

    Great article! I like the last part where the “leave it” is basically “almost everything on the shelves.” Funny. 🙂 I’d love to see more posts like this.

  4. Elle

    Great great tips. I think I find them to be particularly more relevant because I have done exactly the opposite in the past. Now, I am more selective after having to clean my garage every quarter and finding crap load of stuff to donate. It’s getting better.

  5. Elle

    Great great tips. I think I find them to be particularly more relevant because I have done exactly the opposite in the past. Now, I am more selective after having to clean my garage every quarter and finding crap load of stuff to donate. It’s getting better.

  6. cyndi

    What a wonderful post! Too many times I get caught up on the great prices that I find I buy stuff that I love at the moment but quickly fall out of love with. I’ve gotten better over the years but this post will definitely stay with me on my future trips. I’m a total “visual learner” so LOVED having pictures to go with each tip.

  7. Jae

    Things I know, but like these good reminders. I love the “take it” lamp!!!!

  8. Jae

    Things I know, but like these good reminders. I love the “take it” lamp!!!!

  9. Sarah

    Really great tips – couldn’t agree more! You can never go wrong with a simple, classic style. Oh and that carved wood mirror is gorgeous! Heading to HomeGoods now… 🙂

  10. Sarah

    Really great tips – couldn’t agree more! You can never go wrong with a simple, classic style. Oh and that carved wood mirror is gorgeous! Heading to HomeGoods now… 🙂

  11. Couldn’t agree more, esp. the knick knacks – yikes!! I always laugh when I see those at Home Goods / Marshall’s etc. not a cute look

  12. I am uber picky because Marshall’s (we don’t have HomeGoods here) is definitely a money suck if you allow it to be. I have perfected what I call the Catch and Release method. I find a couple great pieces, but by the time I am ready to check out, I reassess. If I can live without it, I go put it back. Usually by the time I’ve found where the item goes back, I’ve decided to put a couple more back. Then I only end up with the best of the best. Love the HomeGoods/Marshall’s love!

  13. I am uber picky because Marshall’s (we don’t have HomeGoods here) is definitely a money suck if you allow it to be. I have perfected what I call the Catch and Release method. I find a couple great pieces, but by the time I am ready to check out, I reassess. If I can live without it, I go put it back. Usually by the time I’ve found where the item goes back, I’ve decided to put a couple more back. Then I only end up with the best of the best. Love the HomeGoods/Marshall’s love!

  14. jade

    great post, bryn. I love Home Goods and probably wander around there more without buying things then actually buying things- I get great ideas. Love your idea about holiday dishes- makes so much sense!

  15. bevy

    Even though it’s in the “leave it” category, I really like those holiday plates with the polkdots, which as long as they’re just green and white, could be used at Easter, Halloween if mixed with black/purple/orange, or for a baby shower or even just a special day for someone.

  16. bevy

    Even though it’s in the “leave it” category, I really like those holiday plates with the polkdots, which as long as they’re just green and white, could be used at Easter, Halloween if mixed with black/purple/orange, or for a baby shower or even just a special day for someone.

  17. This was exactly what I needed today! I’m in the process of purchasing a new home and am coming up with a plan for my decor. I keep getting distracted by things that sway me from my original plan. This is great to help me narrow down my focus and keep my purchases in line with my plan… and now I’m off to return some crap that I purchased last week at Marshall’s.

  18. Love your examples. Yes, please, let’s not take more crap home. (Sure wish I had a HomeGoods, though.)

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