7 Home Basics Everyone Forgets to Buy, According to Emily Henderson

Updated 08/28/19
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Home basics
Amy Bartlam

We're willing to bet you'd rather spend your money on a trending décor item than a not-so-exciting home basic. Of course, novelty pieces are just much more fun to shop for. But how much use are you really going to get out of that floral-patterned accent chair? It might look chic in the moment, but there are a few other items you might want to prioritize first. To find out which home basics we should actually be buying, we consulted Los Angeles-based interior designer, Emily Henderson.

The sought-after designer has a penchant for creating impeccably styled, yet pragmatically functional spaces. For example, a light-filled family home can be packed with subtle storage solutions perfect for a single mom raising four young kids. The popularity of the designer's practical approach speaks for itself: Henderson has garnered over 800K followers on Instagram, penned a New York Times bestseller, and even hosted a hit television show. She has a lot of insight to offer on the topic of home basics everyone forgets to buy, so if anyone can convince you to hold off on that accent chair for a bit in favor of something more practical, it's Henderson.

Keep scrolling to find out which seven items Henderson says everyone should own, then shop them for your own home.

1. A Decorative Tray

Home Basics Everyone Forgets to Buy: A Decorative Tray
Courtesy of BHDM

You might think a decorative tray falls under the "novelty" category, but here's your permission to stock up. "They can seem unnecessary but they are the perfect, stylish way to corral items. They are good for honestly any room in your home," Henderson says.

CB2 Burl Wood Rectangular Tray
CB2 Burl Wood Rectangular Tray $50
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2. A Good Rug Pad

Home Basics Everyone Forgets to Buy: A Good Rug Pad
Courtesy of Elizabeth Roberts

A quality rug pad is just as important as the rug itself. "This is the first home [where] I've used a thick, plush one and it is a comfort game-changer," Henderson says.

West Elm Premium Rug Pad
West Elm Premium Rug Pad $119
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3. Large Art

Home Basics Everyone Forgets to Buy: Large Art
Jenna Peffley for MyDomaine

According to Henderson, quantity is not always it when it comes to art. "Small art is great, but too many little guys can make a wall feel bitsy and cluttered. Don't forget the importance and power of BIG art."

Holly Addi Rococo Study 2
Holly Addi Rococo Study 2
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4. Vintage

Home Basics Everyone Forgets to Buy: Vintage
Courtesy of JHID

Don't always go straight for the trendiest design store—you can find things for your home at antique stores, on eBay, or even in your parents' or grandparents' attic. Henderson says, "this essential is not necessarily forgotten, but in my opinion, it's so essential. Vintage gives your home instant soul."

modern leather chair
Caracole Leather Chair $1195
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5. Cool Décor Objects

Home Basics Everyone Forgets to Buy: Cool Décor Objects
Courtesy of Sarah Sherman Samuel

Henderson does believes you should sometimes invest in things that aren't totally functional, like unique décor objects. "They can seem a little silly, as they are purely decorative, but will give your space personality."

Jayson Home Brass Pedestal Bowls
Jayson Home Brass Pedestal Bowls $138
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6. Under-the-Sink Shelf

Home Basics Everyone Forgets to Buy: Under-the-Sink Shelf
Courtesy of Elizabeth Roberts

Adding a shelf under your sink won't really be seen by anyone, but it'll make a big difference. "This is purely practical but so smart," Henderson says. "Maximize your storage under your sink with a shelf."

88 Main Expandable Under Sink Storage Rack
88 Main Expandable Under Sink Storage Rack $30
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7. Batteries in All Shapes and Sizes

Home Basics Everyone Forgets to Buy: Batteries in All Shapes and Sizes
Courtesy of Elizabeth Roberts

If you don't have a drawer full of back-up batteries, now is the time. "This is another more practical essential, but trust. me. It will be 11 p.m. and your smoke alarm battery will die and not having that 9-volt on hand will make you want to cry," Henderson says.

Amazon Basics 9 Volt Everyday Alkaline Batteries (8-Pack)
Amazon Basics 9 Volt Everyday Alkaline Batteries (8-Pack) $10
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