Designer Confession: I Love Shopping at Big-Box Stores

Don't mind me, I'll just be over here browsing the dollar bins.

I support local businesses, deep down admire creative artisans and love vintage and thrift stores more than almost anything in the world. Well, almost anything. Except for big-box stores.

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Photo by: Photo: YinYang

Photo: YinYang

I can't help myself. In fact, I'm not even ashamed to admit it: Marshalls is my mecca, HomeGoods is my church, Costco rocks my world and Target…don't even get me started on Target. I love shopping at big-box stores, and here are all the reasons why.

Everything is Under One Roof

I wouldn't have predicted that I'd enjoy shopping for throw pillows and toothpaste at the same time, but the truth is I really do. It's fun to be able to buy cardigan sweaters, lamp shades, mascara, party favor bags, coffee pods and mouthwash all at once. Depending on the store you're visiting, you can potentially cross two to three other stops off of your to-do list.

Bargain Basement Prices

As someone who has managed to find a small stool I loved on 1stdibs that cost $17,000, I can certainly appreciate those vintage splurge pieces that you just can't live without (for the record, the stool was for a client, and even she thought it was too expensive despite being super fab). But the discount prices at big boxes always make me swoon. Oftentimes you'll find the exact same items that you might have been scoping out at a department store for way less.

You Know What to Expect

While you don't always know what will be in stock at your favorite big-box store, you do know what to expect out of the experience. Things are well organized and well lit, and if you see anything you like you can just throw it into your shopping cart. If you're like me, you can probably direct people around the store to various departments as well as some of the employees could. #trueconfessions

Big Box Doesn't Mean Boring

Because big-box stores stock so much inventory (that's constantly turning over), the variety of items to choose from is staggering. Of course, there's still the possibility that you'll find the same Kate Spade mugs you found on sale at Marshalls at your friend's house, but also: no one may ever figure it out. Shopping at big-box stores allows you to create fun high/low decor and furniture combinations that aren't easily replicated.

They're Flexible

Sometimes a giant pink furry pillow seems like a good idea in the store, but then I get home and realize that I actually hate giant pink furry pillows. As long as you're within your return window you can simply bring the items back. In addition to fairly flexible return policies, some stores will even price match.

The Ultimate High/Low Shopping Guide

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Patterned Chair

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Zigzag-ed Colors

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Bouquet Chandelier

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Smaller Statement

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Go for Gold Leaf

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Painted Instead

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Elegant Lighting

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Slash the Price in Half

Photo By: Marko Metzinger/Studio D

Monogrammed Tote

Photo By: Aaron Graubart/Studio D

Personalized and Durable

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Feather-Filled

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Can You Tell the Difference?

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Set a Stylish Table

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More for Your Money

Photo By: Aaron Graubart/Studio D

Dressed to Impress

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Bolder Stripes

Photo By: Marko Metzinger/Studio D

Light the Night

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Wood Works

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Organize and Accessorize

Photo By: box: Marko Metzinger/Studio D; necklace: courtesy of the manufacturer

Play Dress Up Every Day

Photo By: box: Marko Metzinger/Studio D; necklace: courtesy of the manufacturer

Pretty as a Picture

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Reminder to Smile

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Top Quality

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Beneath Your Feet

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Drum Pendant Light

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Smaller Version

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Silky Chevron

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Just as Eye-Catching

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Tailored Fit

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The Look for Less

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"O" My Table Lamp

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Thinner Shape

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Carefully Crafted

Photo By: Philip Friedman/Studio D

Cut the Cost

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Make a Wish

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Take a Seat at the Table

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Serve the Salad

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Leafy greens

Photo By: Philip Friedman/Studio D

Work Station

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Works Just the Same

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Prune Your Garden

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Spruce Up Plants

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Porcelain Planter

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Style in Blue and White

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We Dig It

Photo By: Kevin Sweeney/Studio D

An Essential Tool

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Gardener's Tool Box

Photo By: Kevin Sweeney/Studio D

Carry All in This Carryall

Photo By: Kevin Sweeney/Studio D

The Right Footwear

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Keep Feet Clean

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Potting and Planting

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Your Garden Helpers

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Luxury Lighting

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Bold Statement

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Green Wire Stool

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Stool and Table

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Comfortable Seating

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Sleek Shape

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Watercolors

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Brighter for Outside

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On the Fence

Photo By: Kevin Sweeney/Studio D

Double Your Purchase

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Royal Bowl

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Down-to-Earth Option

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Wallpaper That Wows

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Classic With a Kick

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Carved 4-Poster Bed + Sheets

Photo By: Marko Metzinger/Studio D

Shutter-Style Bed + Sheets

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White Nightstand

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Basic Nightstand

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Porcelain Bunny Lamp

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Resin Bunny Lmap

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Lovely Read

Photo By: Philip Friedman/Studio D

Storytime

Photo By: Philip Friedman/Studio D

Collectible Teddy

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Build a Bear

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Tweet Tweet

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A Little Birdie Told Us

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Geometric Curb Appeal

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Zebra Stripe

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Lounge Around

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Add Some Detailing

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Under the Sea

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Coastal Light

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Patterned Pillow

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Settled In

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Office Work

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Down to Business and Budget

Photo By: Alison Gootee/Studio D

Cushion Your Step

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Family Friendly

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Under the Shade

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Spend Time Outside

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Some R & R

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Kick Back

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Plush Pillow

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Added Comfort

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Stool or Side Table

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Rest Your Drink

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