What makes a home?

  • 50

    The best compliment one can give your home? ‘It’s so you’. If you feel at ease in your surroundings, so will others. Designer Fiona Parke added personal touches to this London home by layering rugs over carpet and displaying books on the dining room table.

    Taken from the July 2013 issue of House & Garden.

  • 49

    Stay inspired. Bookmark links online. Tear out magazine pages. Add stylish new ideas – like this handrail painted blue from interior designer Hugh Leslie’s flat – to your Pinterest board.

    Taken from the August 2013 issue of House & Garden.

  • 48

    Remember that everyone has a ‘bad-house’ day, even the owners of the homes in House & Garden. (Although a stylish first aid kit sourced by Maria Speake of Retrouvius can work wonders.)

    Taken from the November 2010 issue of House & Garden.

  • 47

    Your style and circumstances might change, so let your home adapt with you. Inexpensive box frames allow you to create an ever-changing display whatever the mood.

    Taken from the June 2010 issue of House & Garden. Styling: Gabby Deeming and Olivia Gregory.

  • 46

    Display the things you love and hide what you don’t, not vice versa. Portraits of the Bloomsbury Group are displayed with pretty drinks bottles at Charleston, the Sussex retreat of Cressida Bell’s grandmother.

    Taken from the July 2010 issue of House & Garden.

  • 45

    Grow something – even if it’s just fresh herbs.

    Taken from the May 2012 issue of House & Garden. Styling: Gabby Deeming and Olivia Gregory.

  • 44

    …And remember what you learned to love the longer you were there. Maria Speake of Retrouvius relaid the ‘slightly unimaginative’ oak flooring of this home and transformed the basement into a cheerful playroom.

    Taken from the November 2010 issue of House & Garden.

  • 43

    Cressida Bell’s home in Islington is a shrine to colour; the turquoise and red kitchen is a prime example. Similarly, remember what made you fall in love with your home in the first place…

    Taken from the July 2010 issue of House & Garden.

  • 42

    Bring the outside world in. Buy the cookbook (or learn how to make a cocktail) from your favourite restaurant.

    Pisco Sour cocktail courtesy of Ceviche. Get the recipe

  • 41

    Do the unexpected. Decorate a nursery with Vivienne Westwood wallpaper like interior designer Bunny Turner of Turner Pocock.

    Taken from the November 2012 issue of House & Garden.

  • 40

    Invite someone over last minute for dinner, a drink or even just a cup of tea.

    Taken from the November 2012 issue of House & Garden. Styling: Gabby Deeming.

  • 39

    Buy your favourite things and only your favourite things, whether it’s Fairy Liquid (albeit in retro packaging, spotted in decorator Douglas Mackie’s flat) or Cire Trudon candles.

    Taken from the February 2014 issue of House & Garden.

  • 38

    Not everyone can turn trash into treasure like Maria Speake of Retrouvius, the reclamation company. Don’t just dump things on friends and family merely for your convenience. For that, there is Freecycle or eBay. Only give away items you know they can use.

    Taken from the November 2010 issue of House & Garden.

  • 37

    Curate a small pile of books you’ve been dying to read (nothing that’s a chore, nothing for work) and keep it somewhere easily visible. Beautiful, hardbound editions such as the ones in this Max Rollitt scheme are optional, of course.

    Taken from the November 2011 issue of House & Garden.

  • 36

    Make the most of what you have. Need a new side table? See if you already have something unique hiding in a cupboard that can be repurposed.

    Taken from the March 2012 issue of House & Garden. Styling: Gabby Deeming.

  • 35

    Embrace wear and tear. Spills will happen. Family areas especially need to be forgiving. Interior decorator Henri Fitzwilliam-Lay chose gloss paint for this west London family home, explaining: ‘Halls are always the first thing to go – they can look ratty in months. People avoid using gloss because they feel it shows lumps and bumps, but it’s fine – particularly if you’re hanging art.’

    Taken from the December 2013 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Lisa Freedman.

  • 34

    Follow your gut and don’t listen to the criticisms of others. Leave all the walls in your home plain white if you wish. Or, be inspired by Emma Burns, an interior design director at Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler, and display art in the bathroom (and wallpaper too for that matter).

    Taken from the November 2009 issue of House & Garden.

  • 33

    Hang things on the walls – don’t leave them bare. Marilyn and Julyan Day have used unframed portraits to provide a splash of colour.

    Taken from the March 2012 issue of House & Garden.

  • 32

    Collect things that make you happy. The walls of Steffanie Brown’s west London home decorated by Henri Fitzwilliam-Lay are hung with a collection of starburst mirrors from various antiques fairs.

    Taken from the December 2013 issue of House & Garden.

  • 31

    Frame anything that appeals, like this old map in Keith McNally’s bathroom, or even ticket stubs from the cinema or a concert.

    Taken from the February 2013 issue of House & Garden.

  • 30

    ‘An informal sitting room should be a place where guests feel like they can put their feet on the furniture, with everything at hand,’ says Nicky Haslam. ‘Next to sofas should be a place to rest things at arm’s length. This may seem like a silly detail, but it is an important one in practice.’

    Taken from the January 2010 issue of House & Garden. Styling: Wendy Harrop and Olivia Gregory.

  • 29

    Think creatively. Jorge Almada and Anne-Marie Midy have mounted their television on an easel – an idea cribbed from David Bowie, which a friend had told them about.

    Taken from the December 2011 issue of House & Garden.

  • 28

    Make use of heirlooms. Rupert Bevan’s home gives a sense of having evolved over time, filled with delightful and amusing details mixed with his own designs. (If any objects are less than attractive you can always repurpose them.)

    Taken from the October 2010 issue of House & Garden.

  • 27

    Don’t be afraid to admit failure. If the flooring or wall paint you chose doesn’t work and bothers you every time you look at it, then fix it and move on. If all else fails, some strategically placed objects can hide a multitude of sins.

    Taken from the April 2012 issue of House & Garden. Styling: Gabby Deeming.

  • 26

    Try something you’re afraid of – colours, patterns or furniture you’d never normally think of using.

    Taken from the July 2013 issue of House & Garden. Styling: Gabby Deeming.

  • 25

    Simplify your life – pass on anything you haven’t used in 18 months to a charity shop or put it on Freecycle. Clothes, shoes, crockery, the works. The owners of this house, decorated by David Bentheim, disposed of much of what they had collected over the years to downsize and start again.

    Taken from the January 2014 issue of House & Garden.

  • 24

    Cookbooks aren’t just for pretty pictures. Cook the thing you’ve always loved the look of – what’s the worst that could happen? Need some inspiration? Start here.

  • 23

    Rearrange your furniture. Beds don’t have to be side by side as designer Kate Earle demonstrates.

    Taken from the April 2012 issue of House & Garden.

  • 22

    Be grateful for where you are now. Small spaces, for example, can always be cleverly reimagined. Remember that awful place you used to live in with the leaky roof and horrific neighbours?

    Taken from the September 2011 issue of House & Garden. Styling by Gabby Deeming and Olivia Gregory.

  • 21

    Add colour. It could be cushions, furniture, walls, or a border. It could even be colourful soaps or candles. Why not paint an unloved piece of furniture? Or line an old wardrobe with colourful paper? We see so much grey every day (especially in the UK); a bit of colour can work wonders – as this room designed by Eve Mercier illustrates.

    Taken from the April 2012 issue of House & Garden.

  • 20

    Open a bottle of Champagne on a Tuesday night in. Those ‘special occasions’ don’t come along quickly enough.

    Taken from the February 2014 issue of House & Garden.

  • 19

    When spending money, spend it on the things you use all the time so they become things of beauty. A new set of sheets, a soap dish, a door mat, a broom. These are the life-enhancing items (and don’t necessarily need be expensive).

    Taken from the April 2013 issue of House & Garden. Styling: Gabby Deeming.

  • 18

    Like the kitchen in Tillman Koehn’s home, which mixes both old and new items, forge your own traditions. Schedule time to cook for friends once a month, buy flowers every Saturday morning or dedicate Sunday nights to old movies.

    Taken from the December 2010 issue of House & Garden.

  • 17

    Appreciate antiques – their aged patina brings warmth into the home. Similarly, look at furniture with memories associated with them and souvenirs. They are as good as a photo at evoking a time or place.

    Taken from the January 2014 issue of House & Garden. Styling: Gabby Deeming.

  • 16

    Dig out the martini and sherry glasses you never use at the back of the cupboard. Even if you only use them for tea light holders. Or, as interior designer Ebba Thott did in this home, use them as a bookshelf display.

    Taken from the February 2012 issue of House & Garden.

  • 15

    Have a secret stash of refreshments for unexpected guests. You’ll actually be happy they came; now you can finally open that jar of gourmet olives you’ve been eyeing…

    Taken from the June 2013 issue of House & Garden.

  • 14

    Make something: cocktails, a painting, a mess, anything.

    Taken from the April 2013 issue of House & Garden. Styling: Gabby Deeming.

  • 13

    Appreciate what makes your home unique and make the most of it. High ceilings? Try a tall headboard.

    Taken from the January 2010 issue of House & Garden. Styling: Wendy Harrop and Olivia Gregory.

  • 12

    Don’t just wish for what you don’t have, look at the things you do have and use them in a new way. That unloved bottle of booze and tin of Amaretti biscuits never opened can be made into a dessert.

  • 11

    Print your photos regularly and display your favourites, like in this home by interior designer Christopher Leach. You can even .

    Taken from the March 2012 issue of House & Garden.

  • 10

    Make new memories. The owners of this home, Anne-Marie Midy and Jorge Almada, French and Mexican respectively, made the brave move to Brussels with their two young boys having never lived there before.

    Taken from the December 2011 issue of House & Garden.

  • 9

    Always have fresh flowers (they are not just for tables, but bedrooms too, as proven here by interior designer Paolo Moschino) and fresh bread.

    Taken from the December 2012 issue of House & Garden.

  • 8

    Light candles.

    Taken from the March 2007 issue of House & Garden. Styling: Wendy Harrop and Gabby Deeming.

  • 7

    Cultivate scent. Flowers. Perfume. Freshly baked cake. Clean laundry. Hand soap.

    Taken from the September 2013 issue of House & Garden.

  • 6

    The items you use without fail, every single day should be the items you love the most.

    Taken from the September 2010 issue of House & Garden. Styling: Gabby Deeming.

  • 5

    Be kind both about your home and while in your home (there’s always the car for when you really want to let it all out). Alternatively, this home designed by Fiona Parke lets the walls do the talking.

    Taken from the July 2013 issue of House & Garden.

  • 4

    Don’t use your home just as a place just to hang your hat – even though it’s done so stylishly in Craig Hanna’s space. Be present in your home, in every sense of the word.

    Taken from the February 2013 issue of House & Garden.

  • 3

    Listen to music more – sound can be one of the most evocative memories.

    Wooden ‘Magno’, AM/FM radio, by Singgih Susilo Kartono, 13.5 x 19 x 12cm

  • 2

    Hosting means never having to say you’re sorry. There’s nothing worse than a cook who makes excuses for food before serving. Or a friend who never invites you over because their home isn’t ‘done’. Enjoy your space – and most importantly, the people in it – in the moment. Be inspired by Vincent Frey, deputy manager of Pierre Frey, who created this coffee table from stacks of magazines and a sheet of glass. ‘It’s our first apartment; we didn’t want it to look too perfect, like a hotel,’ he explains.

    Taken from the March 2012 issue of House & Garden.

  • 1

    Make the most of every inch. Cook in your kitchen. Soak in your bathtub. Eat at the table. Read in a sunny corner.

    Taken from the February 2014 issue of House & Garden. Styling: Gabby Deeming.

Miodrag Gajic/Getty

A house provides shelter, but a home is where you weather all of life’s little storms — and revel in the sunshine. Here are a few of our favorite things that transform a mere shelter into a safe haven.

1. The people – and other creatures – you share it with
Your kids are in the backyard playing fetch with the dog and your husband’s tinkering with something in the kitchen. Meanwhile, the cat’s napping on your keyboard, again. Everyone going about their business gives your home the unmistakable buzz of life. And that’s just as it should be.

2. All the noise
A house full of creatures, furry and human, doesn’t come without its fair share of racket. Your kid’s practicing the same three chords over and over (and over) and the TV’s blaring from the other room. Pots clanging, dogs barking, doors banging, kids shouting, and even the occasional arguing. The sounds of togetherness aren’t always soothing, but your house can feel empty without them.

3. … And lack thereof
Then sometimes, there’s peaceful, blissful silence. Everyone’s asleep or absorbed in his or her own activities. Even better, you’re home alone. Come in and shut the door against the din of your bustling town. Now take a deep sigh. Ahh. That’s better.

4. The rituals you create
From standing Saturday movie nights complete with popcorn to your annual Independence Day bash, the traditions you keep with family and friends create fond memories — and get everyone looking forward to making more.

Robert Linton/Getty

5. The smells of good food cooking
For many folks, a house isn’t a home until it’s been cooked in. From the wafting aroma of slow-cooking stew to the mouthwatering smells of baking cookies, every meal you stir up in your home is nourishment for both body and soul.

6. The dings, scratches, and flaws
No, you’ll never be able to get the wine stains out of your linen table cloth, nor will you ever get around to buffing those rings out of the coffee table. And that’s okay, because a perfect house is just staged, after all. It’s an empty showroom where no one actually lives. You work hard. You play hard. Be proud of all the evidence.

7. The endless to-do list
Speaking of imperfections, your house always seems to be one or two projects away from being complete. Once you get that light fixture changed out and that bathroom renovated, you’ll finally be able to relax, right? Keep dreaming. As long as you’re interested in making your mark on something, those project ideas will keep coming. And that’s a good thing.

8. And the constant mess
No, you probably won’t be able to walk across the living room floor without stepping on a Lego or little plastic dinosaur. And, yes, your kids are guaranteed to muddy your newly mopped floors within moments. Getting the house in order is a Sisyphean task, but, hey, we all need dreams.

Jamie Grill/Getty

9. Comfy corners
It may be that reading chair you’ve moved into every place you’ve lived since college, or your memory foam mattress with the plush covers you splurged on. No matter how clean and modern your style, every home needs at least one or two cozy spaces where you can just lounge and let loose.

10. The collections you’ve built
This is the rug you picked up in Peru, and hanging there on the wall is the painting you bought on your honeymoon. Whether it’s your old record collection or the vintage plates you’ve found at flea markets, all the stuff that proudly adorns your home tells the story of who you are and where you’ve been.

11. And the family heirlooms
That story can stretch far into the past, too. Whether it’s your grandmother’s quilt draped over the foot of your bed, your parents’ wedding china, or your great aunt’s Chippendale dresser now standing in your bedroom, these objects root your home in the past while you make new stories in the present.

Nick White/Getty

13. Never having to wear real clothes
The moment you walk through your door, you make like Mr. Rogers and change into comfier attire. There’s no place for shapewear, pointy shoes, and constricting waistlines in your home. Yoga pants, forever!

14. Above all, it’s about the memories you make
This is where you were standing when you found out you were pregnant with your first child. Here are the marks on the wall measuring your children’s growth. And it was at this dinner table that you celebrated your last big promotion. Every cocktail party, Christmas Eve, or simple Sunday afternoon leaves its impression, making your house a repository for every experience of a life well lived.

NEXT: 13 Ways to Decorate With Your Favorite Memories

Make Your House a Home

Maybe your house felt like home the moment you walked through the front door for the first time. As you toured the kitchen, you could already see yourself entertaining friends and family. Or maybe you admired the living room bay window and saw yourself sitting beneath it, cup of coffee in hand.

But for some of us, it takes a little more effort to feel truly at home. Here are some ideas to build a stronger connection with your space – and turn your house into a home.

Hang up Memories
Feeling at home is usually wrapped up in the people who live there – your family. So it follows that bringing them to life within the house is a great way to make a house feel more like you.

Why not cover a wall in your house with pictures of your family and friends? Choosing and displaying your favorite photos of loved ones is a great way to introduce your individual style. And don’t just focus on recent photos – shots of grandparents and great-grandparents can inspire nostalgia and add a vintage touch to your display.

Personalize Your Shelves
It’s possible that most of your library now resides on your tablet or e-reader, but books are a great way to stamp your personality on a property. Fill a shelf near a reading nook with your favorites going all the way back to your childhood. You may not regularly read each one, but even a glance over the spines will fill you with fond memories and give guests a sense of who you are.

Not much of a reader? CDs or DVDs work just as well. What movie did you watch on a great first date? What music did you play to help lull your child to sleep? Having visible mementos of things you’ve enjoyed at various points in your life can make you feel at home and transport your mind instantly to another time.

Tip: Keep dust and dirt at bay by running a Swiffer 360 Duster over shelves, books, CDs and DVDs on a regular basis.

Venture Outdoors
Your home doesn’t stop at the walls! The front of your house is the last thing you see when you leave and the first thing you see when you get home. If the entrance looks welcoming, chances are it’ll feel that way, too. You don’t have to spend a small fortune repainting the whole house; even just painting the front door your favorite color will add a personalized touch.

If you’re an outdoor person, you may feel more at home in your yard than inside. Adding cozy, comfortable patio furniture to sit on and pass the time is essential. Plant and grow flowers that you love or that hold meaning: a particular breed of roses, cheerful beds of daffodils or clusters of forget-me-nots that remind you of your wedding bouquet.

Curate Your Décor
It goes without saying that redecorating can make your house feel like it belongs to you, but if you’d rather not knock down walls or paint an entire room, there are still small things you can do to reimagine your space. Throw pillows, rugs and ornaments can help you customize. If you have Scottish ancestry, tartan accents can connect your décor to your heritage. If you grew up in the 1980s, an abstract neon rug can stamp your personality on a room. Small mementos from your hometown sports team – like a pennant flag – could be just the thing to bring back memories and make a space more special.

Tip: Fill your home with your favorite scent, whether its lavender, mandarin orange or vanilla, by spraying Febreze AIR in each room at least once a week.

In the end, you are what makes your house a home. What do you love? What makes you feel at home and at ease? Whether it’s your family, your pets, your hometown or something else, find these things and build connections with them.

Before starting any design, you need a plan. Here are a few tips to reimagine your rental home:

Embrace Color and Pattern
Emily Henderson, author of “Styled,” a “New York Times” bestseller, believes color gives a room life, but it doesn’t have to be on the walls. With rugs, textiles and furniture, you can have a lively, fun, lease-friendly room by choosing colors that are on the opposite sides of the color wheel to ensure balance.

Personalize Gallery Walls
The gallery wall is still having a moment, and this decorative element is all about customization. All you need is a little wall space and some creativity to infuse your space with a heavy dose of you. Henderson suggests displaying your favorite photos, prints and unique items like personal mementos to give them the eye-catching showcase they deserve.

Temporary Wall Coverings
A permanent wall texture or design may be a no-no in a rental, but removable wallpaper is a yes-yes and an instant way to add personality to your space. Brittany Hayes, author of the “Addison’s Wonderland” blog, believes that bold and daring geometric patterns are perfect for creating an accent wall. Or simply incorporate your favorite colors to embrace a custom feel while you lease.

Unconventional Storage
Staying organized is key when living a leasing lifestyle. “Live Pretty on a Penny” blog writer Erin Marshall recommends using space-saving and unconventional items that are beautiful and functional to effectively store and organize items. Look for furnishings that are both attractive and practical so you can achieve the look you want with the benefit of added storage. Options like nesting chairs or storage boxes that double as benches can add seating options with a modest footprint.

Live Outdoors
Maximize your living space by creating usable outdoor settings. With the right combination of outdoor seating, pillows, shade and colorful planters, you can turn any patio into an outdoor oasis, said Rhoda Vickers, author of the “Southern Hospitality” blog. Whether you treat the space as a garden retreat or an extension of your entertaining area where guests can spill out during a party, the right decorative elements can allow you to add livable square footage without any construction.

Reimagine Lighting
Set the tone of each room by incorporating LED bulbs to brighten up the space or smart home bulbs that allow you to change the ambience as you wish. Kevin O’Gara, the “Thou Swell” blog writer, approaches design with the idea that every room should have a mix of lighting, including overhead, accent and task lights, so it’s the perfect opportunity to get creative with setting the mood. Take your design beyond basic by installing your own fixtures that enhance the room’s lighting and add a decorative element that complements the overall aesthetic.

Give Space a Dual Purpose
It’s all about maximizing your space when leasing, according to Brittni Mehlhoff, author of the “Paper and Stitch” blog. Make the most of a space that can pull double-duty. For example, in a space such as your guest room, create a bookshelf that doubles as a desk and serves as your home office, as well.

Make it a Smart Home
Smart homes aren’t just for homeowners. Options like thermostats, doorbell cameras, smart locks, light bulbs and smart plugs all can be easily integrated into a rented property, said Meghan Giddens, design expert at Invitation Homes. In fact, nearly everything in your home can be connected to the internet and controlled by your smart device. Just keep any originals stored safely, and when it comes time to move out, swap out your devices.

Light and Bright Paint
Cooler paint tones and white trim can brighten a room and offer a timeless color scheme. Plus, they welcome of-the-moment decor. If your lease allows it, Giddens recommends creating a light and airy ambiance with paint to bring a rental space to life. If you’re unsure about your lease guidelines, talk to your property manager before painting.

Visit InvitationHomes.com for more tips on how to make a rented house a home.

Michael French
[email protected]

About Family Features Editorial Syndicate
A leading source for high-quality food, lifestyle and home and garden content, Family Features provides readers with topically and seasonally relevant tips, takeaways, information, recipes, videos, infographics and more. Find additional articles and information at Culinary.net and eLivingToday.com.

SOURCE Family Features Editorial Syndicate

Related Links


Unit 4 : Things in the House English Lesson

Lesson Story:

Lisa’s friend, Jane, has come over for a visit. To make her feel at home, Lisa is giving her a tour of the house and showing her where different things are kept. She starts with the living room and later all the other rooms. Jane likes Lisa’s home a lot.


Rooms and things in the house

living room TV rug sofa cupboard
bedroom bed wardrobe mirror
bathroom toothbrush toothpaste shower toilet roll bathtub
kitchen fridge microwave cooker utensils
dining room table chairs
study computer chair bookshelf

Key Sentences:

What’s in…?

What’s in the living room?

  • There is a TV in the living room.
  • There is a sofa in the living room.

What’s in the dining room?

  • There are chairs in the dining room.
  • There are utensils in the kitchen.

What’s on…?

What’s on the study room table?

  • There is a computer on the table.

Who is in…?

Who’s in the study?

  • Dad is in the study.

Where is…? / Where are…?

Where is the cupboard?

  • It’s in the living room.

Where are your clothes?

  • My clothes are in the wardrobe.

Singular versus Plural

There is… There are…
  • There is a TV in the living room.
  • There is a microwave in the kitchen.
  • There are four chairs in the dining room.
  • There are books on the bookshelf.

Dialogue Script

Lisa: Jane, this is our living room.

Jane: I like your living room. What do you do in here?

Lisa: I like to sit on the sofa and watch TV.

Jane: Does everyone fit on the sofa?

Lisa: No. Sometimes we have to sit on the rug, or in a chair to watch TV together.

Lisa: This is our kitchen, Jane. Are you hungry?

Jane: Starving!

Jane: What are you doing, Lisa?

Lisa: I am looking in the fridge for a snack.

Jane: Did you find anything?

Lisa: We can heat these in the microwave, or in the cooker.

Jane: Let’s use the microwave. It’s faster.

Lisa: I am looking in the cupboards for utensils to eat with.

Jane: Thanks, Lisa!

Jane: Where should we eat, Lisa?

Lisa: Let’s eat in the dining room. We can eat at the table.

Lisa: Do you want to see my bedroom?

Jane: Yes!

Lisa: This is my bedroom. That is my bed.
Jane: I like your bed. Where are all your clothes?

Lisa: They are in my wardrobe.

Lisa: This is the bathroom. Oh, our toilet paper roll is empty. I should change it.

Jane: Oh no! I forgot my toothbrush.

Lisa: Here, I have extras. I have toothpaste too.

Lisa: This is our study. It’s where Dad works on the computer.

Jane: It’s very nice. He has a lot of books on his bookshelf.

Lisa: Yes, he likes to read.


Via Getty Images



Linen Closet

Sallie Kramer, owner of Sallie Home, considers terry-cloth fingertip towels in the bathroom a must: “No more of the three tiny towels syndrome!”

  • Featherbed
  • Two featherbed covers
  • Fitted sheet to cover the featherbed
  • Mattress cover
  • Fitted sheet to cover mattress
  • Petticoat in three panels or one box-spring cover
  • Three fitted sheets: one extra for rotation, one for the bed, one to wash—“Thread count is only one part of the equation. The quality of those threads—how they are woven, how they feel to you—is what is most important.”
  • Three flat sheets: one extra for rotation, one for the bed, one to wash
  • Two to three European pillows—“Two for a queen-sized bed, three for a king-sized bed.”
  • Two to three European shams
  • Two standard or king-size pillows
  • Four standard or king-size pillowcases
  • Two boudoir pillows
  • Four boudoir shams
  • Two neck rolls
  • Four neck-roll shams
  • One blanket
  • One blanket cover
  • One duvet
  • One duvet cover
  • Four bath towels
  • Four bath sheets
  • Four hand towels
  • Six washcloths
  • Six fingertip towels—“Roll them up on a tray or in a basket and place it on the toilet tank or on the side of the basin.”
  • Two bathmats


Laundry Room

Ryan Gallemore and Ben Eastman co-own Pleats Dry Cleaners. Here Mr. Gallemore shares their list of essentials and “nice-to-haves.”

  • Washer and dryer—“If you are in the market, front-loading washers and dryers use less water and provide more efficient agitation.”
  • Basic detergent—“For home, I like Tide Free.”
  • Woolite
  • Spray ’n Wash stain stick
  • Bleach
  • Plastic milk crate to hold cleaning supplies
  • Utility sink—or if that’s unavailable, a 5-gallon bucket for soaking stained items in water-detergent solutions.”
  • Raised buggy on casters—“They make unloading hampers and moving dirty clothes easier.”
  • Hand-held steam press
  • Drying rack
  • Steam iron—“with adjustable temperature settings.”
  • Sturdy ironing board
  • Pressing cloth or large piece of cotton muslin
  • Rolling clothes rack—“great for storing and moving hanging items until they go to the closet.”
  • Lint roller
  • Sweater comb
  • FlipFOLD laundry folder
  • Small sewing kit
  • Trash can
  • Cup or bowl—“for change, candy, gum, pens, and marbles—pocket stuff.”
  • Cushioned rug or mat—“cushions feet and absorbs splashes.”
  • iPod, CD player, or stereo



The “fantasy closet” of Jeigh Singleton, associate professor of fashion design at Washington University, looks something like this:

  • Cedar paneling throughout, cedar liners or cedar blocks for drawers
  • Quality, nonfluorescent lighting
  • Ottoman “for the center of the room.”
  • Mothballs for drawers
  • Wood skirt hangers, slacks hangers, and shirt hangers
  • Cedar suit hangers
  • Garment bags “for long-term storage or for delicate fabrics, like my white dinner jacket.”
  • Shoe trees
  • Shoe bags—“Ask your shoe salesperson for them.”
  • Plastic shoe-storage bins with casters
  • Drawer tray with inserts for jewelry and cuff links
  • Hand-held steam press
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Masking tape—“Wrap a piece around your hand and pat only the areas of your clothes that have lint on them.”
  • Hanging belt-and-tie rack
  • Diamond drawer organizer for socks



From the staff at Salon St. Louis

  • Hairbrushes and combs
  • Bobby pins, headbands, and hair clips
  • Blow-dryer
  • Makeup
  • Makeup mirror—“Target has a Zadro brand for under $50, or you can go really elegant with the Chatham table mirror from Restoration Hardware for $125,” says Salon St. Louis owner Marie McMahon.
  • Chair or stool
  • Skin cleanser
  • Moisturizer with SPF for day
  • Overnight moisturizer—“We are confirmed fans of Dermalogica.”
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Styling product
  • Body cleanser
  • Body lotion
  • Hand soap
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Bubble bath or bath salts
  • Toilet paper
  • Cotton balls
  • Cotton swabs
  • Razors
  • Shaving cream
  • Towel warmer or towel hook hung above heat vent or radiator
  • Nail clippers
  • Tweezers
  • Manicure scissors
  • Shower cap
  • Shower caddy
  • Fluffy body and hand towels
  • Loofah or washcloths
  • Pretty container to store loofah or washcloths—“Use something vintage or the square glass vases that flowers come in.”
  • Fluffy rug
  • Aromatherapy candle near the tub
  • Hooks for hanging up makeup bags
  • Band-Aids
  • Neosporin
  • Aspirin or Tylenol


Guest Room

From Andrew Roberts, executive assistant manager, rooms, The Ritz-Carlton

  • Feather mattress
  • 100 percent Egyptian cotton sheets
  • Music or iPod dock
  • Natural light
  • Dimmable bedside lamps
  • Flowers
  • Pillows—his rule of thumb: “the more, the better.”
  • Bathrobe and slippers
  • Room diffuser



After holding nearly 30 years’ worth of cooking classes and peddling more than 6,000 cooking tools and accessories, Anne Schlafly Cori, owner of Kitchen Conservatory, knows her way around a kitchen.

  • Set of cookware, including saucepan, stock pot, regular skillet, and nonstick skillet
  • Roasting pan and rack
  • Set of knives. At least one of each: chef’s, paring, boning, carving, and bread knives
  • Kitchen shears
  • Cutting board
  • Basic cookbook—“such as Fannie Farmer or Joy of Cooking.”
  • Set of stainless-steel bowls
  • Ceramic baking dish or lasagna pan
  • Square brownie pan
  • Pie plate
  • Food processor
  • Set of canisters
  • Pepper grinder
  • Sheet pan or cookie sheet
  • 8- or 9-inch cake pans
  • Rolling pin
  • Colander
  • Teakettle
  • Coffee maker; a French press is recommended
  • Two potholders
  • Kitchen towels
  • Measuring spoons
  • Measuring cups
  • Can opener
  • Kitchen scale
  • Electric hand mixer
  • Tongs
  • Whisk
  • Thermometer
  • Wooden spoon
  • Rubber spatula
  • Metal spatula
  • Garlic press
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Lemon juicer
  • Zester
  • Box grater



Ann Sheehan Lipton, owner of Winslow’s Home, believes in keeping a minimally stocked yet tightly run pantry. “I learned that a long time ago. If storage spaces are organized, we’re less tempted to purchase something we already own but can’t find.”

  • 10- by 24-inch-wide shelves—“Things like cereal and pasta are kept on the center shelves, while large containers of oil and items used less often are kept higher. Use the lower shelves for baskets of potatoes and onions, which prefer dark and cool storage. Cleaning products can be kept on more shallow shelving.”
  • Recycling center—“Our recycling is stored in a 36-inch-wide cabinet that has four removable wire bins inside.”
  • Glass jars with bale closures for dry storage of grains, flours, sugars, chocolate, etc.
  • Small corked bottles for oils, vinegars, salts, and dried fresh herbs.
  • Mortar and pestle
  • Rock salt
  • Pepper grinder
  • Countertop compost pail with carbon filter
  • Broom
  • Mop
  • Bucket on wheels
  • Wool dusters—“I think Missouri Wool Dusters are the best.”
  • Dustpan
  • Vacuum
  • Pegboard for hanging broom, mop, dustpan, and other cleaning tools
  • Citra-Solv and Better Life cleaning products
  • Dishwasher soap—“I love Seventh Generation’s.”
  • Paper towels



Mixologist Ted Kilgore of Taste by Niche blind-tastes liquors in order to stock his bar on the basis of quality, rather than marketing. His go-to utensils are a mix of new and vintage.

  • Boston shaker (pint glass, tin, and Hawthorne strainer)
  • Cobbler shaker (three-piece tin with built-in strainer)
  • Bar spoon
  • Double-hinged waiter’s wine key. “Pulltex Pulltap’s—that’s a brand—are the best.”
  • Ice bucket
  • Ice tongs
  • Cocktail glasses—“These are often mistakenly referred to as martini glasses.”
  • 8-ounce highball glasses
  • 12-ounce Collins glasses
  • Champagne flutes
  • Wine glasses
  • 2-ounce measuring cups or jiggers—Mr. Kilgore personally loves OXO’s.
  • Bourbon (Buffalo Trace)
  • Rye whiskey (Rittenhouse Rye)
  • Silver rum (Flor de Caña four-year silver)
  • Aged rum (Flor de Caña four-year gold)
  • Silver tequila (Lunazul Blanco)
  • Aged tequila (Lunazul Reposado)
  • London dry gin (Broker’s)
  • Plymouth gin
  • Blended scotch whiskey (Famous Grouse)
  • Single-malt scotch (Balvenie 12-year Doublewood)
  • Vodka (Pearl)
  • Sweet and dry vermouths (Dolin or Noilly Prat)
  • Cognac (Camus VS)
  • Triple Sec (Cointreau)
  • Grand Marnier
  • Champagne
  • Red wine
  • White wine
  • Angostura bitters
  • Regans’ Orange Bitters No. 6
  • Peychaud’s bitters
  • Tonic
  • Club soda
  • Sprite
  • Coke
  • Fresh juices
  • Simple syrup (refrigerated)
  • Fresh fruit (lemons, limes, and oranges)
  • Juicers
  • The Essential Bartender’s Guide by Robert Hess
  • Mr. Boston’s Official Bartender’s Guide by Jim Meehan and Anthony Giglio


Dining Room

Antiques collector and design consultant James Afflixio’s Lafayette Square dining room is a template for hosting perfection.

  • Six to 12 place settings of china—“Invest in a quality pattern you really like. Even if you can only afford six settings, you can always add to it over time.”
  • Six to 12 drinking glasses
  • Six to 12 stemware—“The look of William Yeoward is wonderful.”
  • Six to 12 flatware settings
  • Candles
  • Antique linens—“Don’t be afraid to mix and match, and also don’t be afraid to use monograms that aren’t your own.”
  • Flowers
  • Vintage silver—“to mix in with your new flatware.”
  • Place cards
  • Decanters—“for wine and water.”
  • Salt and pepper cellars
  • Dimmable lighting
  • Mirrors


Coffee Table

Interior designer Paige Gilbertson honed her display muscle designing windows for Williams-Sonoma and Baker Furniture.

  • Coasters
  • Candles
  • Art and design books
  • Trays to contain all of the above, plus small divided trays for candies or nuts. Ms. Gilbertson layers trays to create cool vignettes.
  • Decorative boxes (to stow remotes)—“I love Martha Sturdy’s brass boxes, Williams-Sonoma’s marquetry boxes, and Robert Kuo’s lacquer boxes.”


Home Office

From the staff at The Container Store

  • Chair
  • Desk
  • Shelving—modular/component shelving can be customized according to the available space and your storage needs.
  • Computer
  • Printer with copier, scanner, and fax
  • Telephone
  • Printer paper
  • Letter tray
  • Magazine files
  • Bulletin board
  • Pencil cup
  • Letter sorter
  • Document boxes
  • Desk pad
  • Mouse pad
  • Stapler
  • Tape dispenser
  • Shredding scissors or shredding machine
  • Calendar—desk or wall, depending on your desk space
  • Dictionary
  • Atlas
  • Notebook
  • Notepads
  • Bookends
  • Paper clips
  • Cable organizers—for corralling and identifying messy wiring. The Container Store sells color-coded cables called Cable IDs.
  • Tray drawer organizer
  • Label maker
  • Interior file folders
  • Letter-size hanging file folders
  • Newspaper bin
  • Wastebasket
  • Recycling bin
  • File cabinet


Home Safety Kit

The City of St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department recommends having all of the following items in one accessible spot—or at least knowing where each item is located

in the house.

  • Fire-escape ladder
  • All-in-one pocket tool
  • First-aid kit
  • Plastic whistle on a lanyard
  • AM/FM radio (either battery powered or hand-cranked)
  • Flashlight
  • Extra batteries
  • Solar blanket
  • Work gloves
  • Can opener
  • Slow-burning candles
  • Waterproof matches
  • Biohazard bags
  • Wall-plug phone or cordless phone
  • Emergency food with a shelf life of three to five years
  • Emergency bottled water with a shelf life of five years
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Light stick
  • Duct tape
  • Respirator mask
  • Gas and smoke detectors


First-Aid Kit

From Susan Bowles, RN, pediatric first-aid basics instructor at St. Louis Children’s Hospital

  • Two pairs of latex-free gloves
  • Four 2-inch-square gauze strips
  • Four 4-inch-square gauze strips
  • Roll of 2-inch gauze
  • 3-inch Ace wrap
  • Roll of latex-free tape
  • Latex-free Band-Aids (three of each: small, medium, large, extra-large)
  • Tube of triple-antibiotic ointment
  • Tweezers
  • Scissors

Spending Time Together as a Family Makes Our House a Home

I know that I am a lucky person because I have a house with two parents that love each other and me and my four siblings. As a family, we all try to have our suppers together. Supper is not just a time to eat food, it is a time to share the joys and sufferings of the family. My parents also tell me that supper is a time to practice good manners and to be someone who is a pleasure to have at the table. Mom and Dad also say that when I am a woman and married, I shall have to be able to set a good example for my children. Having a nice dinner brings us together so that the house is not just somewhere that we eat and sleep but where we can learn to live happily with each other.

My parents always tell me a house can’t be a home if we don’t work as a team. My Dad has been seriously ill and he always reminds us that “a family that prays together, stays together”. Out family doesn’t get out a lot because my Dad had a brain tumour which has left him with a lot of pain in his back. Just because we don’t go anywhere special is fine because my parents always make sure that when we do go somewhere, we go as a family.

Sometimes it is hard to leave your house because it has become a safe warm home where we feel close to one another. I know I am lucky to have a room with my sister and a nice bed. On weekends, I’m happy just playing quietly at home with my brothers and sisters. My home is where I get enough food, rest, friendship, and most of all love.

Some people have their home on the streets or on the streetcar. They do not have love, food, clothing, a table to have dinner on, or love from their family. I have all those things that other people do not. Every time I drive through the downtown of Toronto there are so many people who do not have even a family that loves them. When I see those people, it makes me realise how lucky I am to have a family and most importantly the love that makes my house a home. I find that you do not need a big luxurious house in order to have a home. People with little huts can be proud of their homes as long as there is family inside that loves them. That is why I know I am a lucky girl.