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We turn into kids in a candy store every single time we step foot in a HomeGoods store. With virtually anything we could ever want in a home furnishings retailer (including actual candy), we’ve spent countless Saturdays happily browsing aisle after aisle, secretly hoping that closing time will never come. Little did we know, interior designers spend their weekends doing the exact same thing.

Always on the lookout for hidden gems—but never ones to succumb to the allure of an impulse purchase—interior designers shop at HomeGoods with an edited eye. You probably won’t find miscellaneous kitchen gadgets or a trove of $5 crystals in their cart. What you will find? Elevated basics and accessories with soul. 

In order to improve our own shopping lists, we asked a few of our go-to designers to share the items they always buy at HomeGoods. Read on for seven no-fail items that are always in their shopping carts.

Vases, Vases, and More Vases

If there’s one thing you’re bound to find at HomeGoods, it’s chic vessels that look more expensive than they actually are. Of all the treasures and trinkets you could pick up on your way out, almost every designer we asked agreed: This pick is worth your money.

“Many [vases] are handmade from all over the world and look like you traveled to collect them,” says designer Emma Beryl. “For a beautifully curated look, don’t be afraid to mix and match. Play around with scale and display them across a console or dining table filled with fresh branches.”

Kerra Michele is also a fan of a quick HomeGoods trip when she’s ready to put the finishing touches on a vignette. “There are always tons of vases, pitchers, sculptural pieces, and even bowls that I use all the time in my clients’ homes to get the perfect shelfie,” she says. 

Cutting Boards and Other Wooden Trays

In addition to vases, NYC-based designer Becky Shea is always on the lookout for other wooden vessels and cutting boards. “No matter how big or small the project, I can literally always count on finding these essentials to give a space a little warmth at a reasonable cost,” she shares.

An array of cutting boards can lend a layered look to a cookie-cutter kitchen and even take the place of a graphic tiled backsplash.

Design Books

There’s little designer Jennifer Wallenstein of September Workshop loves more than walking out of a HomeGoods store with a few new coffee table books, but she always walks in with an open mind. “Every store has different items,” says the designer, noting that on her luckiest days, she’s even spotted a Smeg refrigerator. Still, she always has her eyes peeled for new reads.

HomeGoods will randomly have a great assortment every so often. They’re usually tucked into a shelf in the home decor section,” adds Wallenstein.

White Plates and Coffee Mugs

You might not know it from looking at some of her most colorful projects, but Lori Paranjape appreciates the ease and simplicity of a white dining set. In a pinch, the pro will always find streamlined plates and coffee mugs lying around her local HomeGoods store.

“On photo shoot days, it’s always nice to have more than we may need for styling. A quick stop at HomeGoods means I have all the white dishes I need to get the perfect shot,” she says

We wouldn’t mind raiding her kitchenware stash when she’s done.

All the Pillows

Ah, the creme de la creme of HomeGoods: throw pillows. If you consider yourself obsessed, this can be dangerous territory. But if all you have in mind is an elevated swap, there’s no better way to make a room feel new than by changing up the pillows. “I love to pick up a few [pillows] for projects that need a pop of color or a seasonal refresh or for jobs where there’s no budget for custom pillows. They never disappoint,” shares interior designer Jenn O’Brien.

Tip: If you’re on the fence about a single pillow—or more importantly, a matching set—snag it while it’s there. You can always return it if it’s not the right fit, but you’re unlikely to see it again once it’s gone.

Basic Bedding

photo by cody guilfoyle

The second thing Michele always does when she swings by a HomeGoods store is to stock up on fresh linens. After all, good bedding is the best investment you can make for your bedroom—not to mention, for your sleep.

We spend one-third of our lives in bed, so that time should be restorative and comfy,” says Michele. “HomeGoods often carries designer brands at a fraction of the cost of department stores, and you can count on them for a great price on a basic white sheet set, a fluffy duvet, or a pillow insert.”

Even if you’re at peace with your master bedsheets, Michele suggests snagging a backup set for when guests spend the night.

Plenty of Baskets

Scratch the snoozy plastic storage bins and upgrade your organization game with stylish baskets that hide your stuff and look good doing it.

A good basket can warm up just about any space and give texture where [it’s needed],” shares O’Brien. “HomeGoods always has a large selection of baskets in different weaves, sizes, colors, and shapes.”

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