Tricks of the Trade

What’s In The Bag? 4 Designers Spill On Their Daily Essentials

July 19, 2019

A stylish (and sturdy!) tote bag is an essential part of any interior designer’s uniform. But what exactly do they keep in their arsenal? We asked four pros what they pack for the job, whether their day takes them to an install or the Schumacher showroom… 

Alexa Stevenson

What’s Inside:

  • Multiple tape measures. These are my boys’ favorite toys (despite the many, many, actual toys available to them). I have to keep at least three in my bag so I know I’ll have at least one if they go raiding through my things!
  • Shout Wipes. When is Crypton going to come out with a white denim collection?! (Also, those same little boys as above think a cute outfit is a perfect napkin.)
  • A packet of Nuun for when I need a pick me up! I am obsessed with these. I like the caffeinated ones!
  • Painter’s tape. I am not even sure how it made into my bag, but it always comes in handy.
  • My Kindle. I love to read, though I never have time. I keep it with me just in case I find any spare downtime.
  • A random assortment of memos, of course! I’m never without Schumacher’s Rocky Performance Velvet in some shade of blue. I use this velvet in pretty much every project. It’s just so perfect! It’s pretty but can handle children, dogs and wine.


Amanda Reynal

What’s Inside:

  • Loads of Schumacher samples!
  • A monogrammed leather-covered measuring tape.
  • A roll of house plans.
  • A scale ruler.
  • Wool palms for a custom rug from PFM.
  • A paint deck from Benjamin Moore.
  • A Lele Sadoughi headband. They come in every color and instantly dress up an outfit without giving me a headache like old school headbands used to do.
  • A pair of Celine Sunglasses.
  • A big bag of Moon Cheese (my latest low-carb obsession).
  • Zip lock bags of fabric schemes, broken down by room.
  • A statuary marble sample and a Bianca Pura white marble tile sample.
  • Metal finish samples, especially unlacquered and antiqued brass, which appear in every project we do these days— they are the jewelry of a room!


Scot Meacham Wood

What’s Inside:

  • I have an excellent color memory, but I still always bring samples from whatever project I’m working on. Those Schumacher patterns are going to match perfectly!
  • All those basic tools of the trade: measuring tapes, my orange alligator Smythson notebook, blueprints, a scale ruler, a few energy bars, water, and the hilarious detritus that lives in that bag. I found a missing drill gun and a hammer in the bottom of a VERY heavy tote at lunch one day!
  • There’s usually a design magazine or two tucked into a side pocket. Schumacher’s The Bulletin is always an endless source of inspiration during a long day of showroom shopping.
  • Always remember: never shop for tile first thing in the morning. You don’t want 20 pounds of backsplash options in your bag all day!
  • My iPhone/iPad charger. There’s nothing worse than needing to check site photographs or document textiles on a gadget with a 2% battery flashing at you in the middle of the afternoon.


Elizabeth Pash

What’s Inside:

  • Measuring tape: I always need to measure items for design clients or pieces in my shop.
  • Energy bars: I am usually grabbing lunch on the go! My favorites are Chia Bars by Health Warrior, Lara Bars and Rx Bars.
  • My Chanel lipstick, No. 430 Rouge Coco.
  • A small bottle of my all-time favorite scent “L’Instant Magique” by Guerlain. I can only buy it in Paris so I make sure to pick up a bottle every time I am there!
  • Fabric and wallpaper samples (from Schumacher, of course!). Ones I have recently used for projects include Twiggy Sisal, Promessa, Vanderbilt Velvet and Aria Moiré.
  • A scarf or shawl. The Gallery at 200 Lex, my showroom at the New York Design Center, always gets so cold, so I bring something to stay warm. One of my favorites is a big Hermès-inspired scarf by Tuckernuck, a favorite shop of mine.