Getting ready to redo a room? Keep these simple items on hand in a grab-ad-go tote, whether you’re working on a makeover design or out scouting the shops.



Take a metal measuring tape with you wherever you go. You never know when you might run into the perfect item at a tag sale! Tuck a fabric measuring tape into your tote, too, for determining sizes of soft furnishings.



Consult a color wheel. Use this essential aid to create pleasing color palettes based on complementary and analogous relationships.



Protect floor plans with clear files. These envelopes are also ideal for gathering all the elements of a room redo together: plans, paint swatches, wallpaper samples, receipts etc.



Put a few plastic bags (sandwich or quart size) in your tote to collect fabric samples and paint swatches.



Opening paint cans, cutting box tape, checking vintage furniture joints—a multitool is a godsend.



Sketching ideas helps you solidify plans. Fill a small pencil bag with graphite and colored pencils, a sharpener and an eraser.



Tuck a small pair of scissors into your kit to snip fabric or trim samples when you’re out shopping. Always ask permission before you cut, since some shops prefer to do this for you.



A smartphone is ideal for taking photos and making notes on the run. And with a range of helpful apps, it’s like a toolbox in your hand.



Whether you prefer a specialty paint store such as Benjamin Moore or Sherwin- Williams, rely on brands like Behr or Olympic at home improvement stores, or dash to Walmart for a can of Glidden, we tend to return to the same brand over and over. Make your life easier by purchasing a fan deck with all the company’s color options at your fingertips.


Sketch book

A design notebook is your best decorating friend. Jot down ideas, products and tear sheets, make sketches and list measurements. It’s like a design diary—for your eyes only.



Finally, keep all your necessities in a sturdy bag that’s always ready to pick up and go. You’ll have everything you need at your fingertips no matter where or when you find that perfect piece of furniture or length of fabric.


© Caruth Studio

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