shopping for umbrella stands

You would think that something so mundane as an umbrella stand was easy to find.  But it isn’t.  They’re either very cutesy (in the shape of an umbrella or a flower petal or all together cheap looking) or terribly boring (like something found in a 19th century English manse).  Below are a handful of stands I think would do extremely well in a polished modern interior.

For the über modern and sophisticated room, this spiral shaped umbrella stand is a wowzer.  Designed originally in 1932 for the Manik Bagh Palace of the Maharaja of Indore by Dutch designer Eckhart Muthesius, the “Usha” stand is chromium-plated with a black painted wood base. Good heavens this is chic!
This stand is not really a stand, but a tall glass vase used for floral arrangements that can certainly double as a place to put your wet umbrella.  It’s simple, (cheap), chic and unobtrusive.
The Brazilian Campana Brothers devised this stand as part of their “Blow-up” series for Alessi at the end of last decade.  The form of the stand is created with the random superimposition of the steel rods that form its structure.  Very cool.
The “Casa con Colonne” stand by Piero Fornasetti adds a little of stylish whimsy to any mud-room or entrance hall, regardless of its décor.
Lastly, Alvar Aalto’s 1936 bent birch and brass stand is still in production by Finnish company Artek, the only licensed company to make versions of the original.  Its compact size allows it to be tucked away in a corner for minimum visibility.  A very stylish alternative for a very stylish modern interior!
Which do you prefer?
image credits: (top to bottom) Classicon,  Richard Rabel, Alessi, Piero Fornasetti,  Artek
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