I’m the type of person that likes to have my clothes laid out in the morning. I frequently need to wake up at four-o-clock. I don’t like to count on my ability to grab the brown belt and not the black, or worse yet, insure my socks match when I’m only half awake.
I have considered my options and I want a butler. But after running the numbers, I’m not sure a manservant is in my future. That reality is oh so disappointing, but I will endeavor to persevere.
After reconsidering my options, more realistically this time, I think I may have to settle for a Danish valet. I know from English manservant to Danish valet is quite a step-down.
In all seriousness the valet is a very often-overlooked piece of furniture. I know what your thinking — small space living is cramped enough, and you want to add more furniture. In short, yes.
Small space living is all about organization that streamlines your living conditions. Used properly, a valet can serve several proposes. Most have a drawer or tray that can be used to store your wallet and keys. Once you make a habit of always placing the contents of your pockets in the same place, it makes life much simpler. A valet will also help to sharpen your creases and let the crumples out of your clothes.
There is a wide array of valet options available. Some are simple racks, others have small storage areas and still others are chairs with clothing racks and seats that open for storage. The price is also varied; you can buy a simple valet for $50 or a designer model for $6,000.
Here are a few of my favorites.
Mark Wilson produces a handsome valet in cherry, maple or walnut with bright nickel fittings and a faux ivory handle. It is the valet pictured at the top of this post.
Horchow sells a wonderful valet chair — not for everyone’s décor, but it has a rugged classic look. The seat lifts for storage. I do like the chair valets as they provide a nice place to sit and tie your shoes.
I also love the Wegner valet chair. This is a classic piece of Danish modern furniture. The sticker price of the new production version of this chair is likely to cause you to need a chair. It can be found used from time to time at around a third of the cost. It is a truly great design. The seat lifts to reveal additional storage, but the seat also becomes an additional hanger.
Valets are a unique piece of antiquity from a simpler time, and sometimes that can be very refreshing. And we could all use a bit more elegance in our lives. Now if I could just find a valet that also makes a perfect dry martini. Then I could feel better about not having the manservant.