celebrity shopping

What Rita Konig Can’t Live Without

Photo: Courtesy the retailer

f you’re like us, you’ve probably wondered what famous people add to their carts. Not the JAR brooch and Louis XV chair, but the stain remover pen and the tongue cleaner. We asked interior designer Rita Konig about the bed linen, face mask, and pasta sauce she can’t live without.

My husband gave this to me for my birthday, and I keep it by my nightstand. I’ll switch it on right when I wake up and listen to the Today Programme on Radio 4. It’s wrapped in leather so it has really nice sound. I turn it on when I’m lying in bed, and then I’ll wander off to do something and realize I’ve missed the end of an interview I wanted to listen to.

This face mask really takes the dead skin off your face. After you use it you immediately have brighter skin — and makeup goes on really nicely. It’s a nice thing to do around your bath since it takes a while to dry. I use it every two weeks or so and every time I do it I think, Why don’t I do this more? It’s so great.

People either love these or hate these and think they taste like bath essence. I really love them. That combination of very bitter dark chocolate with a sugar-fondant center is delicious. I get them in my stocking every year.

The thing that is most amazing about ice cubes made with these trays is that they don’t melt immediately in your drink. I find that ice from a machine is never that good. You have to be careful, though — don’t drop it in or it’ll take the bottom of the glass out. It’s like dropping a billiard ball in there.

These fire lighters look like shredded wheat — I keep them in baskets by the fireplace. I use these in the country — in the city my husband thinks it’s too polluting to have a fire going.

This is just a really good jarred pasta sauce — I always have a few jars in the cupboard and Parmesan in the fridge, which is a good get-out-of-jail-free card when I don’t have anything to make for dinner.

I’m sort of growing a graveyard of these — I have a collection of them in various states of holes in the bottom. When they’re brand-new they are just so lovely, and then when they get worn down, I can’t wear them to meetings anymore and so they go into retirement and sort of have a second life at my house in the country. I’ve been meaning to replenish; they are really the one item missing from my wardrobe right now. I find that they are so good with jeans. I think they become a bit too prissy with a dress. [Editor’s note: The Chanel black and beige ballerina flats aren’t available online, but if you’d like to shop a vintage pair, Vestiaire Collective are offering Strategist UK readers £15 off £120 with the code: StratUK19.]

My mother had these linens when I was a child, and really no one else has done prints like D. Porthault. They’re just so crisp and pretty; sometimes a bed can become a real white marshmallow mountain in the middle of the room, and just a little bit of pattern can add some personality. Because D. Porthault is so horribly expensive, the collecting of it is part of the fun — like, I bought my collection in stages. I got two pillowcases on sale, then I got two more, and then I got paid for a big job and bought the sheets. I’ve also bought them on eBay, but the prices aren’t that great anymore — though sometimes an old lady dies in Des Moines and the estate will put a whole collection on there. [Editor’s note: As D. Porthault’s website is based in the U.S., the price has been converted from dollars to GBP. In the UK, Harrod’s carries D.Porthault in-store only. If you wish to ship internationally, orders must be placed with D. Porthault’s New York store by calling 001212-688-1660 or sending an email to newyork@dporthaultparis.com.]

I love the Belle Rives lacquer trays (which I designed) for the Lacquer Company. I have quite a few of them around the house; they bring a splash of colour and are so useful for corralling everything from olive oil to vinegar to salt by the stove to remote controls.

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What Rita Konig Can’t Live Without