Somewhere, on a soulless tarmac-covered, out-of-town retail park near you, waits a magical cave of wondrous home-related joy…

HomeSense is the sister of TK Maxx, but rest assured, there ain’t no comparison. Yeah, so every now and again TK comes up trumps and you stumble across a nice bit of Le Creuset or a bath mat you never knew you needed, but – it’s all so untidy. And homeware seems to be an afterthought, tucked away past the Calvin Klein pants, the peculiar soaps and the ‘decorative’ coloured olive oils with floating, erm, bits.

HomeSense is just homeware, no fashion, and although there are some great end-of-line products, there are also loads of new designs at low prices, as well as one-off vintage items that the buyers pick up on their travels. It’s a bit hit and miss – you have to pop in regularly to find the best stuff – and stock in every store varies, but it’s well worth a peep. I paid a visit to the Staples Corner store the other day and found Moroccan-style lanterns for under a tenner, pouffes for £29.99 and lots of affordable designer-style outdoor furniture, too.

I spent a long time playing with these hour glass timers – they come with natural, blue, pink or black sand and would look cool on a mantelpiece. The bird prints are gorgeous, too. I particularly like the bright, tropical-meets-tribal cushions and quilts in-store at the moment, all very Anthropologie SS11, and at such low prices…

I was amazed by the collection of blankets I saw, too. Row upon row of beautiful cashmere, angora and super-soft lambswool throws in a rainbow of colours. They could have cost hundreds elsewhere, but were all just £19.99 or less. Cue, the amateur photography…

I picked up a pale pink angora throw for just £8! Kerr-ching. There had just been a big delivery of vintage furniture from India, too, so I had a little look at that, then admired Tolix chairs for £39 each and French grain-sack-covered dining chairs for £99 each…

Note the little drawers! I resisted buying the metal E, although I WAS tempted. I might have to pop back for that bell jar, though. It was only £7.99…– Ellie

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