7 Home Items Your Parents Had That You Definitely Need

A designer shares his picks, too

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farmhouse kitchen table


Childhood homes are filled with love, memories, and of course, standout home items that always seemed to make an appearance. Maybe there was a special set of dinnerware that only came out around the holidays, or a specific tablecloth set out only when company arrived to be littered with napkins and cake crumbs.

These items may not seem like must-haves when designing your current space, but turns out, pieces like these hold weight and importance in a home that is hard to replicate.

If you haven't invested in your fancy plates or thoughtful servingware, designer Jerad Gardemal of JF Gardemal Designs, is sharing the importance of adding such items to your home.

"Some of the key items from my parent's home that I under-appreciated in my youth are the things I love most as I built my own home," he says.

Some of the key items from my parent's home that I under-appreciated in my youth are the things I love most as I built my own home.

He shares with MyDomaine that several of his parent's essentials are now staples in his own home. Gardemal is sharing the pieces his parents always had in the home that he, in retrospect, sees the value in today—they are now home essentials he can't be without.

Original Artwork

"I now appreciate the value in investing in original artwork," Gardemal shares, and we agree. Investing in a special piece with meaning rather than one from a big box store is guaranteed to have longer lasting power as your space changes and fluctuates. This doesn't have to be a big investment, either—shopping secondhand is a great way to score an art piece you wouldn't find anywhere else.

Chairish Tiny Vintage Bluebonnet Landscape Painting

Tiny Vintage Bluebonnet Landscape Painting


High-Quality Bakeware and Cookware

There's a reason why brands like Pampered Chef and Le Cruset were often present in our childhood kitchens. Though these brands offer pricey pieces, they are long-term investments that last for years to come. Gardemal noted that high-quality cookware was something he always spotted in his parents' home that traveled with him to his home today.

Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron 5.5-Quart Round Dutch Oven

Le Creuset Round Dutch Oven

Williams Sonoma

Tea Kettle

Envision it: unexpected company drops by, they come bearing coffee cake, and you're ready to sit down and chat. These are the moments that a tea kettle really comes in handy—especially one that's as beautiful as this option from Caraway. Maybe our parents were onto something with this kitchen essential.

Caraway Whistling Tea Kettle

Caraway Whistling Tea Kettle


Window Treatments

Along with artwork and dinnerware—"all things I did not fully appreciate when I was a child," according to Gardemal—he also lists custom, quality window treatments as something his parents valued in their home that now, so does he.

Rose Home Fashion Burlap Blackout Curtains

Rose Home Fashion Linen Textured Blackout Curtains

Beautiful Glassware

Gardemal noted that at a certain point, thoughtfully-purchased glassware can go a long way in elevating your kitchen. Since everyday glassware is so frequently used, invest in ones that really bring joy—but, make it your own and differentiate your stash from your parent's clear options by choosing colored glassware with a bit of personality.

Fortessa Jupiter Sage Iced Beverage Glass

Jupiter Sage Iced Beverage Glass


Upholstered Furniture

"Upholstered furniture exudes quality and is a worthwhile investment," Gardemal says, and we agree. Furniture that can grow along with you and your design style is always a worthy investment—one that we're sure your parents would agree with as well.

Article Beta Modular Sofa

Article Beta Modular Sofa


Special Dinnerware

A notable home item that your parents probably had: special dinnerware. Though your everyday plates may work fine, it's always nice to invest in some plates that are saved for special occasions.

"My parents always made each holiday special not only by the dishes they lovingly prepared, but also because we were surrounded with familiar items that only made an appearance seasonally," Gardemal shares.

Fortessa Collection No 2 Dinnerware Set

Collection No 2 Dinnerware Set


Table Linens

"There is nothing better than a table set with gorgeous linens handed down from family," Gardemal says. "Those are the items that are filled with nostalgia and are the most cherished by myself and my clients." 

Pottery Barn Classic Belgian Flax Linen Hemstitch Tablecloth


Courtesy of Pottery Barn

Editor's note: The writer received some product samples for editorial consideration, but all opinions are her own.