If You Had To Grab One Thing (Or 10)...

by Foster Huntington SOURCE The Burning House Blog
Photo Credit: Foster Huntington [Francis Kelly, Austin]

If your house was burning, what would you take with you? It's a conflict between what's practical, valuable and sentimental. What you would take reflects your interests, background and priorities. Think of it as an interview condensed into one question.

The latest "objets de la vie laid out in photos" blog comes from New-York-based Foster Huntington, a man obsessed with "clothes, photography and American lifestyles." Huntington's Burning House blog asks creatives around the world, "If your house was burning, what would you take with you?"

The answers are a tad stilted, as most contain more than 15 items—that must be the slowest-burning fire ever—but interesting nonetheless, as it's really a question of personal curation cloaked in a "smoke"screen question of immediacy. 
Jamie Apostolou

Name: Jamie Apostolou
Location: New York City

Occupation: Engineer

website: http://thestandardedition.com/


  • Destroyed Barbour Beaufort
  • Vintage Arsenal FC scarf
  • New South Wales club tie
  • Oil on canvas ship painting - gift from Grandmother
  • Aidan Gill shaving brush
  • Antique British maritime crest
  • WWII French Adrian helmet
  • September 1960 LIFE Magazine featuring PAPA
  • Book gifted from Great Grandmother - The Power of Positive Thinking
  • US Passport
  • Hamilton Khaki Mechanical with canvas band
  • Brass bottle opener acquired from Dutch sailor
  • Glasses - Austrian frames, prescription lenses
  • RL loafers
  • Vintage L.L. Bean duffle

Jennifer Maree Rouse

Name: Jennifer Maree Rouse

Age: 23 (Aries/Taurus)

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Occupation: Undiscovered 
Website: www.arousing.posterous.com / www.flickr.com/photos/jennifermareerouse


  • My cat amber *not shown
  • Nikon FE2 - My first and favorite SLR
  • My grandmother’s Pentax ME Super
  • iPhone - music / contacts / emergency computer
  • The negs Stash
  • Universal Waite tarot deck
  • 5mm crochet hook
  • Claddagn ring- The first piece of jewelery I bought myself 
  • Giant solid brass key my brother gave me for my 21st birthday
  • Tardis earnings my partner made for me
  • The Chucks I lived in from 2005-2007 which is also the time period i spent with my best friend, Beth.

Jeff Staple

Name: jeffstaple

Age: 36

Location: An airport lounge near you.

Occupation: Self-Employed.

Website: www.stapledesign.comwww.thereedspace.com


  • Stpl “Gondry” Hooded Technical Jacket. Taped Seams. Completely Waterproof.
  • Acronym Softshell Hooded Jacket. The perfect insulator piece. When the world ends, you will want Acronym on your side.
  •  Mountain Research Long Sleeve tee. The key to temperature management is proper layering.
  • Staple x Kangol “Pigeon” Suncap. The fabric has built-in UV protection.
  • Staple x Oakley  ”Pigeon” Frogskins. Nobody protects your eyes better. Nobody.
  • Waterproof Matches. Works even when they’re drenched.
  • SAS Pocket Survival Guide Book. Just in case you need to learn how to skin a deer
  • Swiss Army Knife: SwissChamp XLT.
  • Nike x Sophnet “Oasis”. Waterproof, Goretex, Breathable and super comfortable.
  • Smartwool Socks. (not pictured)
  • TripShell International Adaptor. For whatever country I might wind up in.
  • Eton Self-Powered Emergency Radio and Flashlight.
  • iPhone + Headphones. (Protective case by Uncommon.)
  • Potable Aqua Water Treatment Tablets. Purifies water anywhere you can get it.
  • Casio G-Shock x Qubic GA-100 Beacon Watch. Takes a licking and keeps on ticking.
  • Staple Stern Chino pants. The best pants money can buy.
  • US Passport in back pocket. (not pictured)
  • Haglöfs Intensity Series Endurance 12L Backpack.

Hannah Queen

Name: Hannah Queen
Age: 20
Location: Blue Ridge, Georgia
Occupation: Photographer
Website: http://www.honeyandjam.com


  • basket of family photos, old and new
  • macbook
  • iphone
  • wallet
  • cast iron skillet
  • leather bracelet with mustard seed charm, which was my grandmothers
  • leather bracelet, a gift from my mom
  • l’occitane lavender hand cream
  • l’oreal voluminous million lashes
  • lancome teint idole ultra
  • letters & postcards from friends
  • favorite tea towel, which was a gift
  • the complete works of jane austen
  • blue ball jar, filled with river rocks. souvenirs from a perfect day.
  • minnetonka moccasins
  • favorite wooden spoon
  • two forks from old family silverware
  • twig spoon, a gift from a friend
  • not pictured, canon 5d mark ii

Tyler Klifman

Name: Tyler Klifman

Age: 22

Location: East Lansing, Mich. 

Occupation: Recent college grad.

Website: fieldtheories.tumblr.com

List: (clockwise-ish from top)

  • 3 year old lucky bamboo plant
  • Whatever’s left of the house gin (Beefeater’s today)
  • Jack Purcell Limited Editions
  • My best worn Patagonia Stand Up Shorts
  • Wintergreen Northern Wear Canoe Belt
  • Favorite Pendelton shirt 
  • Volcanic rock from Mt. Kilimanjaro
  •  Coral from the Indian Ocean
  •  Leica D-Lux 4
  • Kiehl’s Musk (the next best thing to a shower)
  • Timex Field Watch
  • Anon Optics Aviators
  • Box of important letters
  • Trout Fishing in America; Richard Brautigan
  •  Photos, including polaroids from good summers, my girlfriend at the beach, and one of my grandpa smoking out of his college dorm window.
  •  all packed inside my dad’s old ‘the everest’ backpack

    Henning Heide

    Name: Henning Heide
  • Age: 31
    Location: Hamburg, Germany
    Occupation: Photographer
    Website: www.henningheide.com


    • Jacket: Dr Denim Steve- pretty new present from my girlfriend
    • T-Shirt: Keine Musik Label
    • a role of duck tape- if you can’t fix it with gaffa it’s not worth to fix it
    • Hasselblad 500CM- to take a picture of the burning house
    • Ray Ban shades- fake ones, cause I steadily lose or crush them
    • toothbrush+ toothpaste- i hate the feeling to miss these
    • chessboard- to keep calm
    • mac book pro and two portable hard disks with all my stuff
    • brown note book- once bought in capetown and way more important than all that electronic gadgets
    • pair of Nikes
    • not pictured: girlfriend of course, Letherman, camera backpack

    Brett Rogowski

    Name: Brett Rogowski
    Age: 38
    Location: Pennsylvania, United States
    Occupation: Programmer, Photographer, Runner


    • Trusty knife
    • Willow Tree Dad with baby (we had such a hard time conceiving our first child - this gift moved me)
    • Medals from many, many, many marathons
    • Wallet
    • My favorite Mizuno Racing shoes
    • Change of clothes for my two girls / pacifier from the hospital. Only one that works
    • Paper mache cat that my wife and I both had when we met
    • My guitar (the only item that has survived more than 15 years with me)
    • Wine from 2008 the day my first daughter was born (Big Sur Marathon)
    • Gimli my trusty pug
    • Gimli’s treats
    • Illegal fireworks
    • Box of misc flowers given to me from my wife over 11 years ago
    • Red Pepper
    • Glasses
    • My favorite pen
    • Memory cards
    • iPhone and iPad
    • 50mm and 125mm leneses
    • Canon 40D (not shown)
    • Dell 2600 - my life is almost completely digital now
    •  Painting from 2005 of a moth in monochromatic.


    My stuff

    Name: Aurélien
    Age: 23
    Location: France
    Occupation: Designer
    Website: unfaithfully-yours.tumblr.com / www.aurelienlongo.com


    • One of my beloved black t-shirts
    • My leather gloves made in the french-factory my grand-ma used to work in.
    • A scarf which belongs to someone I care about
    • A box of my three favorite pens, to draw
    • All my Moleskine sketchbooks
    • A pair of “Shwood” sunglasses, made in Oregon and bought in Portland, where I used to live
    • My hard-drive, containing all my design-files & photos
    • A miniature of a red Ford Mustang, souvenir from good moments spent with a friend of mine
    • A finger-skateboard
    • A shirt gifted by the same person I care about
    • My “Mondaine” swiss watch and my favorite belt
    • An iPod for the musics, and an iPhone to call my family and friends
    • A photo-album containing photos of my family, a gift from my beloved brother
    • My camera (not pictured)
    • My wallet and my bag to contain all this stuff
    • And a pair of shoes (not just one, cause I would have thrown the 100 others by the window before!)

    Kate Jones

    Name: Kate Jones

    Age: 29

    Location: Nolita, NY

    Occupation: Jeweler/Designer

    www.ursamajorcollection.com, www.pointerstars.blogspot.com


    • Watercolor painting of Ursa Major, our beloved sailboat
    • Mom’s 20+ yr old striped sarong from our days in the Caribbean, been in my possession for the past seven years and I wear it as a scarf in the winter so I always have a reason to keep it close.
    • Family canvas boat bag- same age as the sarong.
    • My cap, perfectly salted and sun aged from hours at sea and countless runs- advertises Hodgon Yachts, local boatbuilders and family friends home in Maine
    • Ceramic Heron (sitting atop glass jar next to passport)
    • Passport
    • Kate Wolf wax carving tools
    • Edward Curtis photo gravure from mom’s 175 volume collection
    • Vintage men’s white pique vest (taken and never returned from my friend John Dowd’s costume closet)…it has the most beautiful lapel and fabric I have fallen in love with and I can’t bear to part with it
    • 45 rpm bandana
    • Cigar box in which I keep most Ursa Major jewelry
    • Sitting on the box: Thyssen ceramic owl and a terracotta owl rattle (shake it and use it to center yourself-I think from an American Indian tradition) made by family friend Barbara Eldred
    • And lastly…my collection of antique silver wishbone sugar tongs