Dormouse and The Teapot were really excited to be invited down to the Manchester Arndale Centre the other week to view four stores summer homeware trends.
Manchester Arndale Centre may not usually be synonymous with homeware or vintage-style but believe you-me there is a lot more in store than fashion. First of all if you are setting up home for the first time, the thing to know is that everything you could possibly need can be purchased from these four stores. Great if you are a student or buying for your new house. The second great thing is these stores offer lots of items in vintage-style so if you are a collector of true vintage like me, the things you need to buy new won't clash with your orginals.
We were invited to have a good look round Clas Ohlson, Wilkinsons, HomeSense and Argos to see how they had interpreted the current season, and we were really impressed with what we saw. So what did we love?
Wilkinsons gave us the lowdown of their five key themes of the season Wilde (gothic), Dreamweave (Moroccan bazaar), Sustain (70s garden), Hourglass (soft feminine vintage) and Balance (oriental). Each have a separate style but can be mix and matched to create a personalised look. We particularly loved the botanical style insect elements of Wilde along with the mauve and silver tones of Hourglass and thought they would fit into the vintage / shabby chic home perfectly.
Next stop was HomeSense we noticed some real differences since our previous visit. The shop was looking fantastic as ever, but there were lots of new vintage-style items crying out to be bought (quick hide our purse). It is obvious that the store has a fast turnover and the fact that thousands of new items come into store weekly, means that there is always something to draw your attention. We really loved the recycled chickens, that would look great in a conservatory sadly they would get a little soggy outside.
Clas Ohlson was a real eye opener. We had always had it down to be a mans store,and we were pleasantly surprised to see a very girly outdoor range. We didn't know what to look at first, their gorgeous dotted ice cream tubs with dinky little spoons or useful but pretty oriental style solar powered lanterns. Our absolute favourite thing was this gorgeous polka dot chair though, safe to say we will be dropping in again very soon indeed.
Last but of course not least is Argos. This was my first stop when I was a student *cough* quite a few erm years ago. For vintage-style we honed in on the Inspire range which interprets the trend for birds and birdcages beautifully. This stunning cage would look amazing on an afternoon tea table filled with old fashioned roses and herbs and is an amazing bargain to boot.
To sum up when shopping for home we will definitely make Manchester Arndale a stop on our list. There is a good range of homewares for all tastes and pockets plus we managed to get a pretty decent cup of tea, even if it wasn't in a china cup.