Our Editor Gave Her Home a Fun Fall Refresh With Just a Few Items From HomeGoods

Monique Valeris
·6-min read
Photo credit: Monique Valeris
Photo credit: Monique Valeris

From Good Housekeeping

Everyone has that one retail chain that gets them every time. You walk in with the intention of buying a few items at most, but somehow you leave with a cart full of stuff. HomeGoods is that store for me.

So when HomeGoods offered me a complimentary shopping trip, I couldn't have said "yes" faster. What's more, they gave me access to interior designer Beth Diana Smith, who shares my eclectic aesthetic and offered pointers to enhance my shopping experience. (Check out Beth's recent HomeGoods haul for her New Jersey home — it doesn't disappoint.)

Photo credit: Monique Valeris
Photo credit: Monique Valeris

Since I've been working remotely as Good Housekeeping's senior home editor and caring for my two young children, a few spots in our Brooklyn apartment have gotten out of control, to say the least. I've been wanting a few more decorative pieces to add personality to my space for the season, as well as some organizational items to help keep clutter at bay. And with Beth's guidance, I felt confident that a fall home refresh could be easy and affordable. Beth's top tip: "This is the time of year where there's no HVAC going, your windows are open, and you're cozying up with a throw, and being still," Smith says. "When it comes to fall decorating, I'm focused on accessories and comfort."

I made two safe trips to my local HomeGoods and thanks to Beth's advice, I'm happy to report that I found exactly what I needed for my space. Here's what I ended up purchasing for our bathroom and living room.

BATHROOM

Considering that I write about all things decor, it's no surprise that I have a lot of bedding and towels. While many might think this is a good problem to have, they can easily take over your space if you're not careful. Every time I tried to fold them neatly, they would end up looking disheveled just a few days later. I needed a smart solution to store them in style. To maintain a polished look, Beth suggested finding eye-catching baskets to complement my existing collection. I knew I wanted at least one round basket to create visual interest, and since Beth said "the funkier the better" when it comes to baskets, I had to snag a round C&C California design with trendy fringed detail for $29.99. It has just enough space to hold our most-used towels.

Beth also directed me to think beyond round basket designs. "To maximize the space on each shelf, look for something that's a rectangle or square," she said. She was right. I found a few rectangular woven baskets that resolved the issue. One is adorned in white stripes and the other's large woven pattern is a great focal point against the wood shelving.

I finished the look by filling a glass hurricane I already owned with gold gilded pine cones and placing a ZZ plant on one of the upper shelves for a spa-like vibe.

LIVING ROOM

Now that we're home more, my living room has become a multifunctional space. From serving as my daughter's classroom to being a comfortable spot for lounging, it has become the hub of our home, possibly more than the kitchen. For that reason, it only made sense that it should make more of a statement, and the area next to its entrance felt lackluster to me. Not only was it bland — my kids grew accustomed to piling up their toys there, so it became even more unsightly.

When I visited HomeGoods, I wasn't exactly sure what furniture would work for this space. However, as soon as I entered the store, my eyes fell on this striking upholstered bench for just $150, and it had the exact dimensions necessary for the area. The pattern reflects my love of bohemian-inspired pieces and the pops of mustard played up the beauty of the fall season. It was the right piece of furniture to brighten up our cozy living room, which receives very little natural light. I sent Beth a photo of the bench, and she immediately approved it, mentioning that she loved its legs. Score!

All I had to do was choose the right accessories to dress it up. Since Beth told me to find something "that brings a little joy," I wanted a great piece of artwork in a white frame ($16.99) to complement the bench's mustard hue. Thankfully, I found a rather minimalist piece, featuring white dots that remind me of umbrellas. It's uplifting to look at whenever I'm in the living room and the white frame adds a fresh touch to the room. I also bought a long navy-and-white lumbar throw pillow ($29.99), and draped the bench with a black-and-white throw that HomeGoods gifted to me a few months ago. Like Beth, I enjoy layering pillows and throws, so it's a no-fail combination to give the bench some more warmth and character for the cold months ahead.

Once I completed the bench arrangement, it was time to tackle our ever-growing gallery wall and replace a black table lamp that's long been due for an upgrade. To update the gallery wall, I was able to rework pieces that were already in my possession. I incorporated a few family photos, including one of my daughter as a newborn, and finally decided to hang a chalkboard in a charming vintage brass frame that I purchased a few weeks ago. I asked my daughter to write the word "Live" on the chalkboard as a sweet reminder to make the most of the challenging time we're in right now.

And while I love the black-and-gold table lamp I've had in my living room for years, it was time to move it to a new spot. Beth suggested using this opportunity to bring in some color. Luckily, I came across the perfect table lamp for $49.99. The farmhouse-style lamp features the same mustard shade as the upholstered bench — so perfect! It helped the living room to feel cohesive and was the jolt of energy the space needed. I added a washable diamond patterned rug ($19.99) right by the door to make the room feel more homey.

Having the chance to shop at one of my favorite stores, especially after being in quarantine for so long, was just the relief I needed. It was fun to find new ways to rearrange the furniture and decor I already own, and it was a thrill to find statement pieces to showcase more of my design style (especially at such a great price).

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