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September 05, 2017 11:50 AM

 

What It Is: HomeGoods’ new spinoff store, Homesense
Who Tried It: Megan Stein, PEOPLE Home and Travel Associate Editor
Level of Difficulty: 1/10 — I was born a bargain huntress (thanks, Mom)

Let me start by putting this plainly: I’m a tried-and-true HomeGoods aficionado. As most of my day-to-day involves staring at the drool-worthy décor in celebrities’ homes, I’ve become a pro at searching for ways to copy the looks I love on my not-so-glamorous budget. So you can imagine that when I heard TJX Cos. was launching a sister store to one of my inexpensive standbys called Homesense, I was. here. for. it.

When the first of the Homesense fronts opened in August in Framingham, Massachusetts, I realized I wasn’t alone. Crowds mobbed the store to be the first to get their hands on the fresh stock. It was then that my FOMO kicked in and I realized I needed to see inside. The second location, which opens on Thursday, September 7, just happens to be near our New York City office in East Hanover, New Jersey, and we finagled our way into an exclusive first look to find out what’s the same, what’s different and (most importantly) what the throw pillow sitch is like.

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Here’s the run-down: If I’m being totally transparent, I wasn’t sure if the two spots were going to feel unique. But as soon as I walked through those magical double doors, I realized I was in a brave new world.

Although Homesense is reminiscent of the HomeGoods we all know and love, offering lots of one-of-a-kind cookware, accent pieces and seasonal items, the expanded furniture, rugs and lighting departments make it feel very different. The offerings in each are hugely expanded. Find more and bigger furniture, including sofas, dining chairs and bedroom sets. In lighting, in addition to a plethora of table lamps, there are pendants, sconces and floor lamps.

There is also a library’s worth of coffee table books, a “celebrate” area full of cards, wrapping paper and more, and a general store section that has everything from stylish hammers — yes, hammers — to removable wallpaper panels, so you can stock up on DIY essentials while also picking up that perfect vase.

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Everything is organized in a way that makes hunting more streamlined. Don’t get me wrong; there are plenty of unusual treasures waiting to be uncovered, just like HomeGoods. But the coordinated areas (looking at you, wall of poufs) make it a little easier to hone in on what you need.

That said, there are a few sections that you can only find at the OG HG. The pets, kids and food departments are available exclusively at HomeGoods, making it the ideal spot to pick up dog or cat toys, nursery essentials or a hostess gift.

Verdict: All told, you really can’t go wrong with either option. But as more Homesense stores open, why should we really have to choose? To see for yourself how the two compare, watch the full video tour above.

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