An object isn’t generous enough if it only performs one function. And we, urban folks, living in tiny apartments, are especially in need of clever, multifunctional objects. Luckily designers are happy to oblige. Here is an interesting project by Hsiang Wang, called Complete Me, Please! and comprised of three pieces: a broom and dustpan / rubbish bin combination (my personal favorite), a lamp with an integrated fly swatter, and a coat rack with hooks that double as shoehorns.
Here is how the designer explains his vision: ‘Not all objects are easy to store as people might expect. People have no idea how to deal with some objects even though they are useful utensils. The aim of this project is create a series of objects related to the household environment which combine two individual utensils into a single appliance. Each must be bi-functional, pertain to a mutually beneficial relationship, and provide a home for the two component products.’
This piece is called Astgabel and created by Weimar based designer Sebastian Schönheit. And this is one of those items that give you ‘why haven’t I thought of that’ nightmare, so simple and straightforward it is. Two planks of wood with notches/hooks crossed into an X shape and leaned against the wall – and there you have it, a functional and minimalistic coat hanger. The rubber tips add traction to the points of contact with the floor. So, the more you hang on it, the sturdier the Astgabel coat rack becomes.
The Piano hanger, designed by Patrick Seha for the Belgian company Feld, is completely flat when not in use. When you need to hang something – you can unfold numerous wardrobe hooks on the different levels of the panel (so, the piece is child-friendly as well). The fold mechanism functions according to a simple principle – when one side is pressed down, the other one moves upwards. Just like a piano…
DMY Berlin’11 festival is in full swing, giving the stage to many delightful designs. This coat hanger, called Mr. T, is a vivid example. Marcel Kieser and Christof Spath of German studio Kieser Spath, the proud authors of the piece, have this motto for it – ‘plain, simple, intelligent.’ And indeed – what can be simpler than two wooden T-shaped strips with a metal rod in between? And when not in use – the item can be disassembled and quite intelligently stored flat even in the tiniest of closets. Light, minimalistic, adaptable storage… Something every small space needs.
The Sey hanger (‘say’ means ‘thing’ in Turkish) takes the simple idea of a string with two hooks and brings it to perfection. The powder-coated metal string can hold great many items in relatively compact space, which makes Sey a perfect storage tool. You can use it for books, coats, linens, jewelry. Anything that can be thrown over it – will be held. And that’s the thing, really… Sold in MoMA store.
The City Coat Rack by Michael Rösing and the Radius studio team celebrates urban landscapes by bringing them to your doorway. The laser-etched silhouette of landmarks and architecture will make a sophisticated statement, and nineteen hooks will provide more than enough space for your jackets and scarves. The City Coat Rack is available in the skylines of Paris, London, Berlin, Stuttgart, and New York. You can purchase them here.
Since we are on the subject of coat hangers, here is one that any minimalist home can use. The Star hanger from Thai design studio Aesthetic was recently presented at the International Furniture Fair Singapore 2011. The best feature of the piece is its compactness. It arrives to you flat, and you assemble it in a few easy movements. You can also dissemble it just as easily and store it out of the way. The Star hanger is handmade from one single piece of ash wood, covered with nothing but oil, so it looks and feels natural.
One great man once said that it is the useless things that make life worth living. This inspired design object does not add a lot of functional goodness to the interior, but I want it anyway. Traffic Jam coat hanger, created by serbian designer Vukašin Vukobratović was one of 11 winning projects of the 2011 ‘Young Balkan Designers’ competition. And you can clearly see why. The beauty and humor of this thing are irresistible. To be fair, the signage is interchangeable and can provide an actual direction to human masses in schools, hotels, offices and other public places. And for us, shoebox dwelling creatures, it can become a much needed eye candy.
Here is an idea, striking in its simplicity – a coat rack when you need it, an easy to store plank of wood when you don’t. No more piles of guests’ coats in your bedroom during dinner parties. An elegant solution from the Swiss designer Carlo Clopath, called Gardaroba, allows us to deal with the known outerwear situation with grace. The setup process is easy – just slide hooks and legs into the slots. When disassembled, the piece takes only a few square inches of storage capacity. And that is what we, small space dwellers, want to hear…
It is not enough for our furniture to work, we also want it to work hard and multitask. As does this piece from Brazilian studio Baita Design. Reindeer chair and coat hanger is a perfect solution for any entrance area, especially a cramped one. You can sit, relax, take off your shoes and hang up your things without even lifting your bum. The chair is made out of polyethilene, which allows for any color imaginable. It also comes in three sizes to fit any space.