The landing strip is the first part of your home that you and visitors see, so it's no surprise that you'd want to make it beautiful as well as functional. Here are some options for well-designed pieces that serve double duty as art and as places to hang your hat (and coats, and bags, and umbrellas…).
1. Clip Tree by Matthew Plumstead: Clip Tree is designed to be an easily configurable valet with a variety of useful, simple, and elegant attachments that clip onto a notched dowel. Clip Tree won the ICFF Studio Award at ICFF 2012, and Plumstead is currently running a Kickstarter project to fund its production.
2. Hang-It-All by Charles and Ray Eames: We've all seen the Hang-It-All, but there's a reason that it's a design classic. Charles Eames once asked, "Who ever said pleasure wasn't functional?" The Hang-It-All perfectly embodies the playful-meets-functional ethos that has made so many Eames pieces staples of modern design.
3. Pipework by Nick Fraser: Using standard pipework pieces and a soft, pastel palette, Nick Fraser has come up with a way to make the mundane into something lovely. I love how, from a distance, these pieces almost look like metro maps, which adds another layer of interest.
4. Driftwood hooks by Kiel Mead: Made of driftwood from the Great Lakes beaches of New York, these hooks are available in ten different colors. Each hook is between 7-12 inches, and because of the staining process that he uses, Mead estimates that he ends up touching each hook ten times, making each one a true labor of love.
5. Ivy by Michael Meredith: Made out of Y-shaped components and connectors, Ivy is a modular system that will "grow" to cover as much wall area as you desire. In the words of its creator, "Ivy is a coat rack for people who hate coat racks and wall art for people who hate coats."
6. Splash Coat Rack by BluDot: Available in bright blue or gray powder-coated finishes, the Splash Coat Rack elegantly mixes industrial and organic materials in a contemporary, minimalist design.
7. Spruce by Misewell: Misewell is a Milwaukee-based company founded by two brothers, Vincent and Paul Georgeson. All their pieces are manufactured locally with environmentally conscious materials, and their designs are marked by a clean-lined aesthetic that would fit well with a variety of decor styles.
8. Latva Coat Rack by Mikko Laakkonen for Covo of Italy: The Latva Coat Rack is based on the organic lines of Latva birch branches, and it's available in floor and wall versions in green, white, and black.
9. Hang On by Jade Barnes-Richardson for Normann Copenhagen: Hang On, a humorous play on the tangle of wire hangers that can so easily occur in a coat closet, meshes chaos with order. Hang On comes in black, white, pink, and green, a color palette that's varied enough to suit most tastes (except perhaps Joan Crawford's).
10. Symbol by Desu Design: Symbol's hooks lie flat when they aren't in use, and pull down smoothly when needed, making for an unobtrusive yet beautiful piece. It's available in either monochrome or color.
Bonus — Affordable design option:
11. Sticks Multi Hook by Umbra, $25: It's a joy to look at beautifully crafted, innovative design pieces, but sometimes great design can seem price prohibitive. Sticks is a simple and stylish option for those who want a high-end look without a high-end price.
(Images: 1. McCartyQuinn Design Studio, 2. DWR, 3. Inhabitat, 4. Coolhunting, 5. Ivy, 6. Y Living, 7. Misewell, 8. Unica Home, 9. Y Living, 10. Desu Design, 11. Umbra)