Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Homeware and Furniture: Where to Shop for What
Since I started covering interiors on my blog (yay!), I've had a few readers email to ask my advice (flattered!) on shopping for homeware and furniture. I feel like this is a tough question to answer, because it really depends on your taste! You might hate my Scandi-inspired ladder shelf or sneer at my copper wall clock.
But if you like what you see on here and on Instagram, then here are a few of my favorite places to shop. I've trawled the internet, traipsed up and down Tottenham Court Road (home to a few of our favorite furniture stores), and pinned like a maniac to bring you this list:
If you can't sleep on less than either 600 thread-count Egyptian cotton OR 280 thread-count Egyptian cotton sateen (yes, really) like John, then buy your bed linen at either The White Company or John Lewis. The White Company is also fantastic for those gigantic, luxuriously oversized pillows you see at hotels (like the ones we have above). They're the secret to taking a bed to the next level. Well, that and a super king-sized mattress, but I'll get to that in a bit! Tip: these almost always come up in their sales (which is when we bought ours) so save your pennies 'til then!
Bed frames, mattresses, and bedside tables
Two words: Warren Evans. Super affordable, super comfortable. We bought our super king-sized frame, mattress, and matching bedside tables here last year and love them all. The workmanship is fantastic, and they'll build the furniture for you in your home at no extra cost. Oh - and they show up when they say they will.
Want to know a secret? H&M Home makes the best towels. They're super absorbent, come in tons of awesome patterns and colors ... and start at a whopping £7.99. I'm not kidding. All our guest towels are from H&M. For indulgent bath linen, John and I shop at Missoni Home, where our bathrobes are from.
Sofas and occasional furniture
It's hard to find a quality sofa that doesn't cost the earth. I really like the oversized, deep-set sofas from Raft, but the one we have at the moment is from Habitat. I like the designs and the fabric choices at Habitat - plus, it's great quality. Heal's have beautiful designs, but at a higher price point - we bought our sofa bed in the sale a few months ago.
Also: who knew that T.K. Maxx made such terrific occasional furniture? I went there for a frying pan recently and walked out with this upholstered bench instead (and no frying pan, naturally).
Someone once told me that "lighting is everything", and I rolled my eyes. But it's so true! The first thing I do when I come home in the evening is switch on all our lights, if they're not magically on already. I've taken that same person's advice and stopped using overhead lighting, opting for lots and lots of floor lamps and table lamps instead, which gives a warm glow instead of a harsh glare. Our collection continues to grow, but our favorite lamps are from Heal's and West Elm. These can be a little pricey, but worth it if you're looking to invest in some beautiful lighting. I'm also a fan of the designer lighting at The Conran Shop.
Soft furnishings and decorative objects
This is kind of my area of expertise, and what I enjoy shopping for the most! John takes the plunge on the "big" purchases, like beds, sofas, and the like. I run around buying useless, pretty stuff like copper votives, mirrored trays, agate bookends ... you get the idea.
For quirky, unique dinnerware, hardware (like knobs, curtain tie-backs, or drawer pulls), candles and more, I love, love, love Anthropologie. Again, I typically wait for the sale, but these beautiful agate coasters and candle came to us by way of a generous gift card from our friends, Joe and Jodi.
I buy things like the copper tray you see above and the mirrored tray below from H&M Home. I used to lust after trays like these in magazines, only to be put off by the price point (sorry, I'm not even paying anything close to £100 or even £60 for something like this). I think the trays I bought in these photos cost £14.99 and £19.99, respectively. They're lovely to use as centerpieces on our dining table but I move them around the house a lot.
I also like to shop indie whenever I can. I've been a long-time supporter and champion of Yonder.living, who work with local artisans in global locations to produce beautiful items like pom-pom blankets and these bright colored mats, which I tuck under a wet pitcher of water or a hot pan at our table.
eBay is also terrific for homeware ... if you know exactly what you're looking for. I had lusted after some agate bookends for a few months after reading this Sheerluxe article, but the ones I bought from Amazon were awful. Then I found a beautiful pair at West Elm and nearly took the plunge, until I realized that they were £24 per bookend i.e. £48 for the pair. For some of you, this might be perfectly reasonable, but I can't bring myself to spend £50 on a pair of rocks, no matter how pretty they are. *shrug* I found these polished beauties on eBay for half the price, and they now sit on our shelf in the guest room.
Shopping for our house is one of my favorite things to do. Where do you like to shop for homeware and furniture? Let me know in the comments!
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