Six Of The Best High Street Interiors On A Budget
I'm often being asked on my Instagram feed where I buy my home accessories. My previous post explains my love for recycling but you may be surprised to learn that much of it is from High Street stores. However, I love a bargain and apply the same rules as I do during charity shop trawling!
My two boys play football in York on Friday afternoons - they train adjacent to a scattered retail park which is home to a selection of chain stores. It's a mixed bag of shops and I'm putting that as subtly as I can. In an effort to forcibly disconnect my 14 year old daughter from Facetime, I usually drag her with me for the fun factor, although she still manages to Snapchat every five seconds throughout the entire trip.
During these hour long trips I've got to know these stores quite well. I could probably draw you a floorpan. When it comes to coordinating kids activities with shopping, I'm an excellent multi tasker! So here are my Six Of The Best:
You either love or hate Matalan, but recently they have massively upped their interior game. My retail park one is particularly dodgy but it's worth the risk going in and taking a look. Recent lines include palm and geometric prints and a range of fabulous summer picnic ware. Tin mugs with typography and initialled cups and glasses are another excellent buy that look hugely more expensive than their £2 price tag. Another lovely find were initialled make up bags for £4 in calico and black italics. You need a card to shop there but they will give you a form to fill in at the till. They often do discount codes - I recently bought two palm print cushions for £8 each and with the promotional discount they were £10 for the pair.
We've two of these in York. In my opinion they are hugely underrated and are often way ahead of the game in regard to trends. They're an all encompassing shop that sells basically everything but recently their homeware is really on the ball. After searching for ages for a reasonably priced outdoor egg chair, I found one here for £99. Brilliant quality, even Joe couldn't complain about the price! They were doing marquee lighting way before the more upmarket High Street stores - in their current summer range they've got a cactus light and are currently selling off their metal LOVE marquees for £4.99. My lovely friend Karen gave me a set of solar flamingo lights recently for the garden, again £4.99. They have a wholesale style online site as well. We had a Christmas party and I ordered 24 mason jar jugs with handles, lid and straw for £16.99. Seriously! Like Matalan, their summer picnic ware is unbeatable and is so cheap it's madness.
Anyone who follows me on Instagram knows how much I love The Range. From picture frames to cushions, accessories to faux plants, they're a winner every time. Currently they have carboy style bottles for £4.99, thick, solid glass perfect for eucalyptus faffing. They also do a huge range of oilcloth fabrics which are a complete bargain starting at £2.99 a metre, including lace effect and maps. My lightbox was purchased from The Range for £14.99. And who can forget the Jeff Koons style balloon dog that went Instagram viral? I waffle on about The Range so often that I should be paid a marketing fee. Side note: Look out for the garden clearance section. I managed to nab four olive trees reduced to £15 each and a huge palm for £25.
Again, an underestimated source of homeware. It's not a huge section but what they've got is excellent and really good quality. Burnished dark copper wire baskets for £7 were my favourite recent buy. Kitchen ware is excellent, they have a grey industrial style range at super reasonable prices. I bought a glass butchers cutting board in black with a drawing of a cow showing cuts of meat for £2.99. The heavy concrete ampersand below was such a find at £5 that I bought one for my friend Karen as well. They're very good at garden stuff and they sell plants, indoor and outdoor, at an excellent price. Well worth a visit.
Am sure you have already heard of JYSK but I have only discovered it this week and am obviously late to the party. If Scandi style is your thing, you won't need to shop anywhere else. From the outside I thought it was a dodgy furniture store but inside it's a veritable treasure trove of Scandinavian design. Pared back furniture including white topped, oak legged side tables for £10. Black folding chairs £5. Seriously, I kid you not. And the accessories are fabulous. I bought a black and white large basket for the hallway for £3, but they had a huge selection and I could have browsed all day, in fact I almost forgot that I had to collect my children. I picked up some gorgeous grey candlesticks for £1.99 - yes, £1.99! - each. Lots of black and white, candles, typography pictures, huge outdoor candle lanterns in black bamboo. It's like a mini IKEA, only cheaper. Get googling.
I know this is an obvious but I have to finish off with the bargain interiors mecca that is Homesense. I have literally been known to spend two hours wandering aimlessly with my wheelie basket, only leaving when I have to do school pick up. Even better, it doesn't have any phone signal so Joe can't call me to check what I'm doing and stop me from buying anything. Favourite purchases are a set of two green bamboo side lights for £40 and a Tom Dixon Eclectic tea light holder for £12.99. I love the way that they stock designer bits and pieces, I love the fact that they have a clearance section that is a bargain paradise and I love the fact that their stock is constantly changing. Their motto is, once it's gone, it's gone, and for me that is enough to make me spend the annual budget of a small country in one fail swoop. They've got my heart.
So those are my favourites. If you haven't visited them yet, bite the bullet! And do let me know how you get on - I absolutely love seeing everyone's purchases on Instagram. Let's share the bargain shopping love.