I think a dining table should be the little black dress of your collection. It should work for almost any occasion, be it supper with the extended family or a formal dinner with friends. A round table is especially versatile because it fits in most spaces, and you can cram additional guests around it.
Side tables accessorize a space, and it's worth having one or two in a capsule collection because they're so incredibly versatile. Pair them up to make a coffee table, or use them as guest nightstands. I love these little octagonal tables; they're simple yet eye-catching at the same time.
This Moroccan stool is no bland basic. I can imagine it being used in so many ways, maybe as an end table or as extra seating for parties. It's like that white tunic you bought as a beach cover-up but have been wearing with jeans or shorts all summer.
The perfect capsule dresser is like a tailored suit: It has to be well made, as it will get a lot of use, and details count. And because you won't want to splash out on another one anytime soon, make sure it has sticking power. I love the curved drawers and angled legs of this piece.
A design classic, gourd lamps work in both traditional and modern spaces. A pair of these makes a room instantly more grown-up and polished. They're like an easy cotton dress: deceptively simple, perfectly feminine, always elegant.
If the Ikea Expedit bookcase were an item of clothing, it would be a little white tee. It's the ultimate basic, looks good anywhere and forms the foundation of a tidy home.
A tray plays the same role as your go-to purse — great for corralling all your clutter, but also a way to achieve instant style points. This mirrored tray has it all: simple lines, slight detail on the handles and the ideal surface for displaying chosen treasures.
Every wardrobe needs a few pieces with a story, things that hint at exotic travel and adventure. Think about the effect of a turquoise-beset belt with a white shirt and jeans. You can't beat these stone dishes for a similar effect. I have one of these as a soap dish, but they work for holding jewelry, collecting odds and ends or just sitting out as display pieces.
Hammam towels are another extremely versatile item inspired by travel. I use mine as hand towels in the powder room. They also work as guest towels or tea towels, and the larger ones double as throws.
What? You don't consider an ice bucket an essential item for your home? Well, maybe it isn't, but apart from switching on the music, it's certainly the fastest way to create a celebratory mood. Every home needs a few fail-safe pieces for creating an instant party mode.
More: Decorator Essentials
More: Decorator Essentials