If you live in Massachusetts or New Jersey, your local shopping center is about to look a lot more stylish. Homesense, a spinoff of the home decor chain HomeGoods, is slowly rolling out stores across the Northeast, and more are coming soon. Here's what we learned after visiting the second-ever Homesense, located in East Hanover, New Jersey. That store officially opens on September 7, and two more stores are in the works this year.
HomeGoods might be a utopia for affordable knick-knacks, but you have to admit it's a little cramped and chaotic. Homesense isn't like that — it's a more calming shopping experience, with all the sections artfully arranged. When you first walk in, there's a specially curated section that focuses on a specific trend, and that section will change from time to time and from store to store. During a press preview in East Hanover, it specialized in international style and design.
Look out for bigger ticket items, like sofas, headboards, and dining room tables, in addition to a "chair gallery" with the perfect kitchen chairs and bar stools.
If you need to get cute toys for your pets, or back-to-school goodies for your kids, check out HomeGoods, not Homesense. The lack of stuff for children and animals helps give Homesense a more grown-up, elegant vibe than the more freewheeling HomeGoods.
Another new section is the General Store, which has hardware and cleaning supplies, more rustic, down-home decorations. It's perfect if you're planning a DIY project.
HomeGoods is known for having a good selection of rugs, but Homesense puts that section on steroids. Its Rug Emporium takes up an entire corner of the store, with rugs of all sizes and patterns. It's easy to lose track of time flipping through them all.
As soon as you walk into Homesense, it's impossible to ignore the massive selection of lamps and chandeliers. The lighting section in general seemed to have some of the best markdowns in the store, with prices as low as $49.99 for lamps. Other products with great prices included artwork and wall clocks.
Near the checkout lane sit shelves and shelves of seasonal decorations. And since the store was opening in August, there were tons of options to prepare for fall, from Halloween skeletons and skulls to autumn wreaths and pumpkins.
Just like in HomeGoods, sister stores Marshall's and TJ Maxx, there's a decent section of dry goods on offer. You can stock up on jams, sauces, and more pasta than you can ever imagine, and then grab some sweets at the checkout line.
You probably already hit up HomeGoods for gift ideas, so it's no surprise Homesense is chock full of greeting cards, wrapping paper, and gifts sorted by sections, with areas for specific occasions like weddings.
At the East Hanover location, a set of seats from the old Yankee Stadium in New York were on sale for $599, alongside some signed Yankees memorabilia for $249. Though of course that won't be available in every store, keep an eye out for standout keepsakes you can't get at your typical home store.