Coat stands make for a neater look
- The San Francisco Chronicle, 09/06/2009

The clothes piled on the floor make your home seem like a multicolored molehill. And with fall fast approaching, bulky coats and jackets threaten to send your wardrobe through the roof.

We say: It's time to think ahead.

Coat stands may seem quaint, but this decorative addition to your doorway may do you good - especially if you treat your enemies better than your belongings.

One classic option is the coat stand by Thonet, which was designed in 1849 as part of the company's first big commission from Café Daum in Vienna. Thonet founder, the German carpenter Michael Thonet, developed a method of steam-bending wood that was revolutionary in its day, and his creations remain icons of Industrial Age design.

The coat stand is sold for $489 by Bauhaus2YourHouse (bauhaus2yourhouse.com), an Oakland online retailer of contemporary furniture, and comes in a variety of natural wood colors. Bright lacquer finishes, like lobster red and maize yellow, are also available for an extra $50.

A less-expensive alternative is the Coming and Going Coat Rack from Urban Outfitters (urbanoutfitters.com), which retails for $68. At 6 feet tall, the coat rack is 5 1/2 inches shorter than the Thonet design and is made of iron instead of the other's distinctive bentwood. But both have hooks that unfurl like fronds from their tops - six large hooks with six smaller ones beneath - and a base that fans out from a circular belt. Made of iron, the Coming and Going coatrack comes in nine fun finishes, ranging from pink, light blue and red to more mellow silver and gray.

Better, we think, to hang your hat on one of these than throw it on the heap.

$489  Thonet coat stand

$68 Urban Outfitters  Coming and Going Coat Rack