We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.

Design nerds like us know: There’s nothing better than the thrill of a good find. And while we’re familiar with how to scour a flea market or vintage store, discount retail shops can be tricky. There’s the ever-changing merchandise and the chance that you’ll only stumble upon one chair that you love—when you were really looking for a set of two.

HomeGoods, one of our favorite places to spend a lazy afternoon, is no exception. So we asked interior designer Beth Diana Smith, who works with the brand, for her specific tips on getting the most out of a trip to the store. Here’s what she said. 

If You See It, Snag It

The first rule of shopping at HomeGoods is to grab anything you like—and hold on to it. “Because there’s a new variety of items arriving almost weekly, this is not the type of store where you should leave [something],” Smith advises. “If you go there tomorrow, it may be gone.” The designer even admits there’s no shame in hoarding a few things at home (as long as you have the storage space) if you know they’ll be useful for the right room or season in the near future. 

Go in With a System for Success

Smith always has a strategy in place before embarking on a shopping excursion. “If I want to eyeball a bunch of things, I start with the perimeter,” she notes. “Starting there allows me to make sure that I’ve searched every aisle for inspiration and my must-buys before tackling the center of the store.” Plus she mentions furniture and wall art are usually found on the outskirts, and it’s a good idea to grab your larger items first and have them held at the front. 

And FYI, you don’t have to do it all in person. HomeGoods has a robust website where many items are sold in sets, whereas in-store, you might just find one of a kind. You’ll still get the same thrill of the hunt, but there’s less chance you’ll be heartbroken to find just one of those perfect nightstand lamps when you really need two. 

Start With Art

One thing Smith can’t stand is an all-beige room. “I almost find it traumatic. I love color so much,” she shares. Her quick, inexpensive fix for bringing color into a space is to flip through the art selection. “I change around art in my home once a year,” the designer says. “It’s actually fun to even change up your art seasonally.” Smith also notes you can often find pieces starting at less than $50, making it easy to explore different mediums and styles for less. 

Shop All the Sections 

According to Smith, it’s a good idea to take a stroll through all the departments, even if your kitchen or living room is fully stocked and you don’t need, say, a new Le Creuset Dutch oven. For example, she never skips the garden section because she “always finds fun and funky planters that I don’t really see at other stores.” The other place she always passes through is the kitchen area, because you can find a lot of items—like unique teapots, ceramic bowls, cake stands, and utensil holders—that you don’t necessarily have to use in the kitchen.