Pop Quiz: Which Home Investment Piece Should You Buy?

Words by Jody Hume | 1.23.20

Investing in your home is like investing in your happiness. Your home should be a sanctuary, filled with unique furniture, decor and art that captures your personality and your best self. That, however, is easier said than done; it often takes years if not decades to curate a home to perfection. So what do you do when your space is lacking that pièce de resistance you can’t even envision? Take our quiz, discover which investment-worthy item should be in your shopping cart now and find out why it’s truly worth every penny from Art & Home Manager Brenna Tracy and Home & Art Valuation Manager Clementine Bernard.

1. How would you describe your space?

A) Spare yet tastefully curated with key art pieces and the bare essentials

B) An inviting cabinet of curiosities, brimming with one-of-a-kind furniture and mementos from your travels

C) Experimental, with a mix of investment furniture, trending decor items and second-hand finds

D) A warm, rustic space of family heirlooms, found antiques and classic furniture

E) Comfortable but more of a storage unit for your hiking boots, sporting gear and outdoor supplies

2. Choose an emoji.

A) 👍

B) 👁

C) 🍄


E) 🏔

3. Which new interior design trend is currently on your radar?

A) Curvy, soft-edge furniture for an ultra-luxe ’80s update

B) Mismatched dining chairs that convey a collected-over-time vibe

C) Memphis design — radical hues, geometric touches and an Ettore Sottsass mirror

D) Old English style with lots of wood, gilded wallpaper and prints on prints

E) A living wall to literally bring your space to life

4.What’s the first thing you spot when you walk into your living room?

A) The couch, which is the epitome of sleek

B) Your bar cart, fully stocked to accommodate the unexpected guest

C) A mosaic you created in a DIY workshop

D) A French-style credenza made of reclaimed wood

E) A framed photograph from your last excursion

5. Open your wardrobe. The racks are packed with…

A) The Row, Phoebe Philo Céline, vintage Jil Sander and Helmut Lang

B) Archival Dior by Raf Simons, Chanel, Dries Van Noten and a handful of couture pieces

C) Balenciaga, Off-White, Ganni and Acne Studios

D) Hermès, classic Bottega Veneta, Brunello Cucinelli and Louis Vuitton

E) Yeezy, Moncler, and sporty Gucci and Prada

6. What do you value most in a home piece?

A) Practicality and artistry

B) Rarity and history

C) Freshness and a sense of humor

D) Craftsmanship and timelessness

E) Versatility and durability

7. What’s your favorite weekend pastime?

A) Staying in to peruse T Magazine and meditate

B) Inviting your closest friends over for a sumptuous dinner party

C) Investigating buzzy new boutiques, galleries and bars

D) Window-shopping at your local antique haunt

E) Being active and enjoying the great outdoors

Mostly As: You Should Invest In…
A Functional Work Of Art

Fortuny Tripod Lamp; Finn Juhl Chair; Hermès Odysée Globe

There’s no place like home, and you’ve handpicked thought-provoking pieces with functionality at the forefront for yours. Go for an objet d’art that you can also put to work, so to speak. “This tripod floor lamp was designed by Mariano Fortuny in 1907 as a solution for theater productions,” says Clementine Bernard. “This new edition is industrial with a soft, delicate light, and features Fortuny fabric and arabesque motifs elegantly incorporated into the shade.” Finn Juhl’s museum-worthy seating will also serve a minimalist well. “Juhl contributed to the worldwide exportation of Scandinavian design in the 1950s, with this armchair being one of his most iconic designs,” says Bernard. “The NV-45 lounge chair is rarely found on the secondary market in such good condition.” And last but not least, go international with an Hermès Odysée globe. “Investing in Hermès decor and furniture translates as a taste for both excellent craftsmanship and use of materials,” she notes. “Rare collectibles like this are consistently in demand, and if you’re purchasing with future return-on-investment in mind, Hermès pieces in all categories generally sell anywhere between 60 to 90% of their original price.”

Mostly Bs: You Should Invest In…
An Over-The-Top Entertaining Essential

Cobalt Crystal Whiskey Glasses; Renzo Romagnoli Chess Set; Warren Platner Set Of 4 Dining Chairs

Your home is a treasure trove of eclectic finds old and new, and you take pleasure in sharing it with the people you love most. Treat yourself to pieces that make a statement and align with your everything-luxe-goes ambiance. “Eastern European glass-making company Moser has repeatedly renewed their elegant designs and kept up with stylish trends over the decades,” says Clementine Bernard. “This pair of cobalt blue whiskey glasses are stunning with a vintage feel, and are perfect for serving company.” Let your guests sip on cocktails while playing chess on this Italian-made Renzo Romagnoli set, which features an embossed leather box. “Since Italy is well-known for their leather goods, it’s a fun, luxurious way to add a game into the mix,” she adds. Finish off your ideal party setting with a standout set of chairs. “Using steel wire for many of his designs, Warren Platner became an emblematic figure of Modernist design,” notes Bernard. “These chairs are a serious statement in any interior thanks to the boldness of the fabric, and both rare vintage pieces and the recent Knoll or Design Within Reach-manufactured editions are highly coveted in the secondary market.”

Mostly Cs: You Should Invest In…
An Of-The-Moment Accent

San Cristoforo Giovanni Gariboldi Vase; Ervin Neuhaus Print; Baccarat Maneki Neko Figurine

While you spend most of your time exploring what’s new and now and catching the perfect photograph on your travels, your home is your ultimate form of self-expression — which is why it’s constantly evolving. Let your shelves and walls do the talking for you with art and decor that truly pops. “This organic-shaped vase designed by Giovanni Gariboldi  works in a minimalist setting as a focal point on a console, or in a bohemian-chic living area when blended in with other colors,” notes Brenna Tracy. “It would work well with the bold hues found in Hungarian artist Ervin Neuhaus’ works. Neuhaus specializes in printmaking and mixed media, and the large print Untitled is an intriguing abstract composition.” And for a touch of heritage, go for a quirky piece by a masterful house. “Established in 1764, Baccarat has a profound attention to detail and quality of craftsmanship, which has garnered a long tradition of commissions from royalty,” says Tracy. “This Maneki-neko cat is an iconoclastic example from a classic brand. With a low-key Pop Art feel, Baccarat’s traditions of clean cuts and painstaking attention to detail still shine. Said to bring good fortune, this piece would bring the perfect creative flair to any curated bookcase or dressing table.”

Mostly Ds: You Should Invest In…
A Heritage Home Piece

Hermès Avalon Blanket; Goyard Goyardine Steamer Trunk; Hermès Cheval d’Orient Tableware Set

As a lover of well-made antiques from days of yore, you believe that timeless home pieces, like fine wine, only get better with age. You may not pull the trigger often, but trust us on this — go for pieces that are profitable in the secondary market so that when a new treasure catches your eye, you’re comfortable trading up. Get cozy with the “Birkin of the Home,” also known as the Hermès Avalon blanket. “The quality of construction and desirability often leads to these throws selling for 90% of retail,” says Tracy. “Note that the thickness of the pile, spacing and size of logo, in addition to horsestich placement are all easy indicators of the real thing versus many imitators.” If you’re keen on the French brand but looking for something as delightful as it is useful, opt for Hermès tableware. “The Cheval d’Orient line was inspired by the 16th century golden era of Safavid Persian Miniatures, bold forms and rich colors that evoke the feel of the Silk Road,” says Tracy. “It also retains 70% of its retail value.” Another home classic you’ll love is a Goyard steamer trunk. “Whether appropriated as a coffee table or extra storage in your bedroom, steamer trunks evoke the glamour and excitement of luxury travel,” says Tracy. “Originating in the 1800s, the collectibility of steamer trunks has never waned. These pieces often appreciate in value.”

Mostly Es: You Should Invest In…
Luxurious Athletic Equipment

Chanel CC Tennis Racket; Supreme Takashi Murakami Skateboard Decks; Louis Vuitton Monogram Golf Bag

Hiking, swimming, running, golfing, volleying… you do it all, rarely spending time at home except to recharge. Invest in impeccably crafted luxury gear you know you’ll use on a regular basis for the ultimate cost-per-use. “Looking for logomania on the court? Chanel’s bold interlocking Cs make this tennis racket a fun addition for any player,” says Brenna Tracy. If skateboarding is more of your jam, Supreme’s highly collectible decks multitask as both functional equipment and art for your wall. “The streetwear label has a cult-like following and has collaborated with multiple brands artists since its founding in 1994,” says Tracy. “Quality and symmetry of appliqué, box logo location and artist signature location are tells for spotting the real deal. Plus, their limited releases and covetability frequently result in appreciation in value.” If hitting the golf course is synonymous with Sunday afternoon, then opt for the ultimate bag to tout your clubs. “Always a strong performer in durability and quality of craftsmanship, this Louis Vuitton golf bag is the classic choice to elevate your weekend outings at the course,” explains Brenna Tracy. “The iconic LV monogram was originally designed to prevent counterfeiting in 1896. The perfect alignment of each panel and interior date code let’s you know it’s the real thing. And when your golfing days become fewer and farther between, you can sell your LV sporting accessories and recoup some of the cost, up to 60% of the retail value.”

Looking for more recommendations? Shop our editors’ top home & art picks.

All items are pre-owned and consigned to The RealReal. Trademarks are owned by their respective brand owners. No brand owner endorses or sponsors this ad or has any association and/or affiliation with The RealReal.

Please note: Brand standards, logos and other identifying features may have changed since the time of publication.

Honoring heritage brands and extending the lifecycle of luxury items.