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Bobby’s Tool Kit: The 21 Essential Items You Need

Photo: Ikea

We’ve all been there. Something breaks or needs repairing at home and you don’t have the right tool to fix it. You’re then stuck making a trip to the hardware store or left with another thing on the ever-growing todo list. 

It’s time to get prepared for these scenarios. There are a handful of tools and supplies that we rely on for everyday fixes and that you should always have on hand if, say, you need to quickly replace a missing screw, glue a broken mug or fix a shelf that falls (I mean, Murphy’s Law, right?)

There are also some items we have discovered through installing design projects that are also super handy for everyday needs. Painters Tape definitely isn’t just for painting and a lint brush works on a lot more than sweaters.

Here are our 21 essentials for a tool kit that will have you prepped for (almost) all issues in your space (and a a great looking toolbox to keep everything in!)

Now that you’ve upgraded your tools, are you ready to give your space an upgrade too? Check out our posts on Paint Treatments To Give Your Walls An Upgrade and How To Buy The Right Sofa.

1. Tool Box

It’s stylish, functional and made of powder coated metal, so it will last.


Instead of getting a full set of screwdrivers, this one has multiple heads that you can change out for every need.


The most essential tool maybe ever. Enough said.


The easiest way to hang artwork in seconds.

5. scissors

A heavy duty pair that’s a cut above the rest.

6. nails

Long, short, big and small. An assortment for all situations.

7. tape measure

Buying furniture online? Use this baby to make sure it will fit.

8. level

An essential for keeping things straight when hanging artwork.

9. xacto knife

For more precise cutting than scissors can handle (or scraping anything sticky off glass.)

10. box cutter

Much easier than ripping open your online packages.


A set of 3 different pliers for any tight situation.


A great alternative to masking tape, this leaves no residue on surfaces- use it to hang anything temporarily.


Truly magic- just wet this and use it to remove marks on any hard surface.


The ultimate tool for removing any unwanted substance. (Just not unwanted guests)


This has a super-thin applicator for really detailed tasks.


Always good to have on hand, and this one has a flat plug that won’t stick out.


To keep any item from scratching a surface; bed frames, chair legs, vases.


Tangled cords everywhere? Use these.


Not just for pet hair on your sweater. You can basically lint roll anything- sofas, wood floors, tile, even the wall.


For pesky crumbs on countertops or everything stuck in your keyboard. Plus it’s handsome enough to keep on display!

21. zipper pouch

Put this baby in your toolbox for storing all the above items.

  1. Hi Bobby!! Love you and your designs on QE!! I’ve been following your blogs for design ideas for my home. Where can we get that wall mount for hanging tools?

    1. Love YOU! Thank you for the kind words. The wall mount can be sourced from a local hardware store. It comes as sheets and is called a “pegboard” you can customize it however you want to work for your space!

    2. As always wonderfully practical advice and also as always, budget conscious for all we ordinary everyday folks on tight budgets. Thankyou. So much beautiful inspiration that’s actually achievable. ?

  2. Hi Bobby,

    You’re FANTASTIC and dig what you do in all ways. My dude an I stage houses in Northern California but we started out styling on photo shoots for Pottery Barn. On the shoots, we used this thing you don’t know you need till you have it: Butyl. The clear kind. It’s a wonder adhesive, sort of like rubber cement on a roll, but waaaay stronger. Check it out. We can’t live without it.

    Anthony Albertus, Guerneville

    1. Thanks so much! We love Butyl and use it for all our projects.

  3. Hey Bobby! I love binging Queer Eye while I work on cleaning and decorating my new apartment (first out of grad school!). Your room designs on the show and the info on your blog here have provided so much fun inspiration! Thank you for sharing your fantastic vision in so many ways.

    1. Thank you so much. Congrats on the new apartment!

  4. As always wonderfully practical advice and also as always, budget conscious for all we ordinary everyday folks on tight budgets. Thankyou. So much beautiful inspiration that’s actually achievable. ?