Last week I was invited to a blogger’s event at HomeSense in the Trafford Centre in Manchester. This was pretty exciting for me, because I haven’t been to many bloggers events before, and also because I totally love HomeSense. Last time I went with Ste’s little sister I filled two trolleys (well, we had just bought a new house!). I’ve been a huge fan of their sister shop, TK Maax, for years, but it was only last year I discovered that there was a dedicated homewares shop which works on the same premise – designer items at absolutely bargain prices.
Due to traffic on the motorway we arrived a bit late at the event (Ste kindly drove me and met his sister there for Nandos while I shopped – what a star), and I totally missed that the brief was to find Valentine’s Day décor that we loved. I arrived to be greeted by the lovely PR Fran and was handed some prosecco and a label to mark out my favourite things – the items that were #LoveFromFirstFind. It was only when I read Rebecca’s post at Carnival of Colour that I realised we should have been looking for Valentine’s day décor! Oops!
However, subconsciously I did a pretty good job of choosing Valentine’s Day décor, kind of. HomeSense very kindly gave us a £25 voucher towards our favourite items, and I had a brilliant time wandering the store, prosecco and camera in hand, and chatting with other bloggers. The shop was open to customers as usual, and I was wondering how I’d know who else was part of the event, but as it happens, bloggers are fairly easy to spot – they are the ones camera in hand, re-arranging the displays just a little to get that perfect photo! I chatted to Rebecca, Anna of Don’t Cramp My Style, who invited me to the event (thanks Anna!), and Sass of WhatSassSays. It’s always great to meet other bloggers, especially when there is cake involved. Yes, it really was that awesomely pink, no photo-editing required!
Anyway, onto the things I loved in the store. The first thing I saw was these initials – they just happened to be mine and Ste’s!
And then my big love – stationery. I am in the process of renovating my home office (you can read about the work here) and I have to keep thinking about the end goal so that I don’t mind so much that it is taking a while and causing lots of dust (you can follow the mess and progress on my Instagram). This gorgeous Kate Spade thank you card set was £16.99 reduced from £34.99 – an absolute bargain.
There were also lots of cute home office accessories, paper clips, notepads, pens and organisers. My first purchase came from here, I just could not resist these adorable little push pins for just £2:
Here’s how they look in my pin board on my desk in my temporary home office in the dining room.
Also on the office theme, my moodboard contains a huge traditional wingback chair for snuggling up and reading in. I have dreamt of a beautiful leather one, and this totally stole my heart. Never mind Valentine’s Day being about love for your other half, I was feeling ALL the love for this chair! However, with the room renovation itself costing a bit, and a wedding to save for in August, I passed on it. I already have a Queen Anne wingback chair, it just needs re-upholstering. I’ve got some gorgeous rich tartan wool fabric for the job, I am just nervous to start it. I don’t remember the price of this chair, but I recall thinking it was probably at least £500 less than for any other similar chair I had seen, and beautiful quality too.
This display totally epitomised the office look I am going to go for – traditional with a nod to industrial, with lots of metallics. I am seriously thinking about going back for that desk chair.
Totally off-brief, I saw some gorgeous garden items that I fell in love with. This potting bench would look so amazing in a pretty green house filled with plants, and the little mini-greenhouses are so cute. Alas, our garden is going to be the last thing to get sorted out, so I passed these up too.
Upstairs they have the most amazing kitchen items, including huge brands at miniscule prices. I was tempted to buy an entire new Portmeirion dining set, but decided I really don’t need that right now. It made me wonder though – can you get a wedding gift registry at HomeSense? I totally would.
These huge cast iron pans with beautiful wooden handles were an absolute bargain.
I didn’t buy this plate for some unknown reason. I wish I had though, it was only £2.99, and it would give me an excuse to bake brownies on the regular. Who does not want brownies in their life? It’s probably the only properly Valentines’s Day décor that caught my eye as well! Oops. I might have to go back.
My next purchase came from the pet aisles. They have dog beds in every colour and fabric under the sun that you could match to your room, but I went straight for the dog treats. Mine have become addicted to the duck treats that I have only found in HomeSense and TK Maax, and at £1.99 a pack, I couldn’t not take them home a little treat, and I found cat ones for only £1 as well, which have gone down an absolute storm.
The displays are all so lovely. Considering stock must fly off the shelves really fast, they make a great effort to keep it all looking beautifully styled, rather than just jammed on the shelves.
This coffee and biscuit display, well, the entire thing was #LoveFromFirstFind, because, coffee. (And biscuits).
I also found my next purchase here. My kitchen cupboard is full of a mish-mash of glass jars containing all my dry goods, and though I have a few Kilner, they’re mostly Ikea or even old coffee jars. When I spotted 3 1Litre Kilner jars for just £6.99 instead of more like £20, they had to go in my basket. They are now labelled and in my cupboard, which is very nearly all Kilner now. One day I’d like open shelving to display them on, but the kitchen is last on our renovation list. #kitchengoals!
I spent an age looking at the gorgeous faux flowers trying to choose some. I already own quite a few from here and they are so realistic that people often comment on them and are surprised they are fake!
In the end I didn’t buy any because I found a really pretty little carved wooden tray which coincidentally cost the exact sum I had remaining on my gift card, at £12.99, so I went for that instead. And I made it all romantic and Valentine’s Day by using it for breakfast in bed, so finally I hit the brief!
Look at that detail. So pretty.
Thanks so much to HomeSense for inviting me along and for my gorgeous gifts. The pets say thank you too.
Have you got a HomeSense near you? Found any gems lately?