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In my never-ending quest to keep my home looking stylish and current, I spend more time than I care to admit online browsing through sites like Wayfair and Overstock and reading Architectural Digest and Elle Décor. But my favorite thing to do is head out to a few of my favorite stores. Truth be told, I could spend all day, and all my money, at Target (and have!). Not just in the home and housewares and outdoor departments – cause a girl’s gotta eat, and my Target happens to be a Super Target, which means I can also get yogurt and roasted chicken and fresh cherries and Diet Coke along with my new sheets and lightbulbs and tzotchkies and indoor/outdoor rug.

It should be noted that Target is not sponsoring this in any way (not that we’d mind – wink wink, @Target). It just made sense to kick off our ‘What to buy” series, given the number of joyful hours we spend there. In the coming months, we’ll be spending heading out to some others faves, like HomeGoods, Tuesday Morning, and Cost Plus World Market, shopping home sales at stores like Macy’s, and hopefully, giving you some great ideas about what to get for your home.

Come along with me as I try to listen to my own advice and stick to the 10 things to buy at Target for your home (and a few things not to), wontcha?

  1. New trends

Target is a great place to adopt a new trend without a big spend or start easing into a new look.
Tip: Don’t forget to check the end caps when you’re in the home-related sections; this is where you’ll find many of their clearance items.

  1. Window treatments

With so many colors, patterns and textures, it’s hard not to find drapes you like at Target, which makes it easy to swap the out when you get sick of them (guilty!). And, they start at just $9.99 a panel—and that’s not even a sale price. Tip: there are far more sizes available online, so if you find something you love but the length is wrong, check the website.

  1. Serving pieces

Target’s seasonal serving pieces are some of my favorite finds, namely the big, plastic bowls you can get in spring or summer. They’re perfect for a house with kids, cute enough for company.  If you want something a little fancier you can step up to wood or hammered metal.

  1. Rugs

Truth: I can stand in a rug section for an hour or search online for three and still not buy anything. Finding the perfect rug is a challenge. Target’s many choices don’t make it any easier, but when you can catch a sale, jump.

  1. Bedding

Target’s bedding department has so many options, the sheets alone can take you all day to choose. If you’ve already decided on a color scheme and thread count, you’re well on your way.  I’m a fan of the organic sheets, both from a softness standpoint, and also because, in addition to a number of different colors, they also have these fun patterns.  Don’t pass up the pillows either. After many years of wrong pillows, I finally found one that’s right. It’s a down alternative, and has just the right around of squish-to-support quotient. They also have fluffy down pillows that cost $60+ if you’d rather spend more for the “real” thing.

  1. Knickknacks

You’ll find lots of fun stuff to line shelves and top tables in the home area, but always check the dollar section at the front of the store, where seasonal items are a great bargain.

  1. Stuff for kids…for adults

If you’re looking for cute bedding or home accents, don’t forget to check the kids’ section.

  1. Temporary wallpaper

Wallpaper has been a trend for several years, but many people are scared of taking the plunge. Peel-and-stick wallpaper is a great way to test drive the trend before committing. It’s also WAY easier to apply.

This is another item you’ll probably want to buy online because there is far greater variety, but seeing it in person first to check out the texture helped me make a decision.

  1. Paint

You may not think of buying paint at Target, and you’re definitely not going to get the same variety you’ll find at Home Depot or at a paint store, but the options are unique and always expanding, and I love the focus on specialty finishes.

  1. Furniture*

Why the asterisk? Because I haven’t always had the best luck with Target furniture. Stuff you have to put together yourself is generally a bit suspect in my eyes, but that hasn’t stopped me from buying it. When budget is dictating the purchase, you do what you have to do.

What not to buy:

Non-sale throw pillows. You’ll have far more to choose from and better prices at HomeGoods.

The bargain bed pillows. They’re tempting at $4 a pop but you might as well fold up at shirt and put it under your head for all the comfort and support you’ll get.

Candles. They’re no bargain here. Hit IKEA instead.

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