Exactly one year ago, I was driving from the Detroit airport to East Lansing for a photoshoot when I saw it. I almost drove off the road because I was so excited. It was not a deer. Or a unicorn. It was an At Home.
As in, "the home decor superstore." Have you heard of it? Either way, keep reading to see what's so darn great about it.
I first learned of At Home a few years ago when company reps came to meet with me at my previous job. They told me how big the stores were (120,000 square feet on average!), how many items the stores carried (50,000!), and how low prices were (dining chairs, for example, start at $45!). I was intrigued and I was constantly looking at the website. Unfortunately, there's no way to buy things online and there isn't a single location within 100 miles of where I live. And here I was, just one highway exit away! Super curious to check the stuff out in person, I made a quick detour.
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Here's what I found.
There were so many chairs. Again, starting at just $45. There were industrial chic metal chairs, plush upholstered chairs, traditional wooden chairs, benches, and barstools. I took a picture of a cool gold wire chair and sent it to my coworker who is in the market for just that sort of thing. We later looked it up online only to find it wasn't on the site, which means there's even more in stores than online.
2. Tons of on-trend items
What's trendier than concrete? Concrete that has been dipped in metallic paint. At Home had a whole endcap dedicated to the trend (with everything marked $15 or less). Plus, there were plenty of cactus- and succulent-themed items. In fact, I bought a porcelain cactus that I'm certain I won't be able to kill.
3. Baking gear
There was plenty of bakeware from Oneida and baking tools (measuring cups, whisks, peelers, and more) from Sunbeam. Plus stuff from lesser-known brands!
If you're in the market for some new canisters, this is a stop you need to make. They had almost an entire aisle devoted to canisters. (Many of them were less than $10 each.) There was also another section devoted to food storage containers.
5. Beverage dispensers
With one entire row devoted to beverage dispensers, there's bound to be one or two that speak to you. Some come with stands, some are acrylic, some are glass, etc.
6. Colorful tools
Just look at all this colorful gear from Core Bamboo. There were knives, spatulas, spoon rests, collapsible colanders, and more — all for just a few bucks.
There were 16-piece sets for $40 (with plenty of on-sale options for even less than that). I was partial to the gray, but only because that's my favorite color.
8. Name-brand soap
As you may have picked up, there are plenty of name-brand items to find in the store. Like, real brands you've heard of. These J.R. Watkins hand soaps, which are perfect for keeping next to the sink, were just $5.
9. Halloween decorations
It was August when I made my visit, which, according to most retailers, is not too early to start thinking about Halloween. In addition to all these pumpkins, there was a giant display of sensor-enabled lawn decorations that greeted (and scared?) guests as they walked into the store.
10. Christmas decorations
August is also apparently not too early to start thinking about Christmas. There were aisles and aisles of Christmas decorations (tabletop stuff, knickknacks, tree decorations, and more) — all arranged by color. And of course, there were a few serving platters and decorations for Thanksgiving.
At the end of my visit, I only bought two things (that decorative porcelain cactus and a house-shaped block of cork) because it was all that could fit in my suitcase, but there were plenty of larger items I wish I could have purchased. My total? Less than $9!
Have you been to an At Home? What sort of steals have you gotten?