This morning, after gallons of coffee, we hopped in the car headed for the Ilac Shopping Centre on Dublin’s Henry Street. Why? Because the homewares in TK Maxx are EPIC, that’s why. Armed with a €100 voucher, we left with bags full of stuff (and a lust list as long as our limbs that we’ll be back for on the weekend if – it’s still there!). The exciting thing about this store is that you have to get it while it’s hot, and the stock varies from store to store so if you see something you’ve got to have, you’d better have it now. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. There’s a thrill to the perfect find here that you just won’t get anywhere else. And because of that rare, sort of exclusive nature of the shopping experience – remember, you can’t get it online – you then have the added bonus of feeling smug because not everyone will be able to get their hands on your purchases. *Evil laugh. You have the luxury of being original. And then of course, there’s the savings. If you thought TK Maxx was end of the line or last season stuff, let us let you in on a little secret; it’s not. They have incredible interiors buyers who travel the world (can we come too please?) selecting some of the coolest designer finds for the home – both big brand names and one-off gems – always up to 60% less than the RRP. Why we’re particularly weak for a bit of TK Maxx? They have several deliveries a week, so every time you pop in, you’re guaranteed to find something new. Whether you’ve just moved into your first GAFF, or you’re gussying up your rental, with TK Maxx, you’ll easily make your house a home.
Given the time of year, we had spring on the brain; we wanted colour and lots of it. One aisle that most excited was the tableware; we’re talking cute bowls and plates with hypnotic coastal blue colours, gorgeous green glassware – the works. We went to town, buying six uniquely patterned bowls because hey, what if we have friends over?
Then there were lots of Cuban-inspired pieces that caught our eye too. With the ‘grand stretch’ in the evenings, we were also drawn to their outdoor offering. Even if you have the tiniest space in a shared, concrete garden, you can add instant personality with their vibrant seat cushions. And for the inevitable BBQ season, this table was a major find; it’s functional and gorgeous.
And cushions, of course. How can we not add to our cushion collection? We adored this peach, tribal-inspired one.
Perhaps our best find? Their selection of African berber baskets, fruit bowls and plant pots – all of which are handmade by artisans in remote communities in Western Uganda. The entire range, which also includes coffee, is part of an initiative to help some of the most disadvantaged families increase their incomes so they can afford to send their children to school. Since 2008 the initiative has helped more than 10,000 children to go to school by supporting families and farming/weaving communities to improve their skills producing cotton, cocoa, coffee, and crafts to sell in stores. We did a little fact-checking and, nine years on, school attendance has risen from 53% of children to 94%. So investing in a few pieces is a feel-good thing you can do with your cash, AND and the pieces are beautiful. The tribal trend is huge right now (we bought, em, five baskets) so not only is it a good idea to support a charitable cause, you’ll nail your contemporary decor too. There’s a special delivery of these pieces arriving in select stores from April 3, so keep your eyes peeled. Remember, once these beauties are gone they’re gone!
We had the best time in store; smug as a bug in a rug with our finds, squealing over the savings and as an added bonus, the staff were beyond helpful.
For €100, we bought the bowls, the tribal baskets and some cushions; the rest, we’re chomping at the bit to get back in store to pick up!
Next time you find yourself near a TK Maxx, approach it with an open mind; you might be a shabby chic connoisseur, or you might go nuts for mid-century. Whatever your style, there’ll be something special in here to take your GAFF up a notch. Give yourself plenty of time and our key piece of advice? Browse every aisle making notes and then run back and grab your favourites (no seriously, run, it might be gone). If you’re anything like us, you’ll need a basket, or four.
Now is the perfect time to get your TK Maxx homewares on. From the 27th of March to the 1st of April, the spring home event welcomes an extra big delivery of designer home accessories and soft furnishings. Browse our gallery above for some of the finds we were lusting after.