Shopping for Wall Hooks

Posted July 16, 2018 1:56 p.m. EDT

Despite their diminutive size, wall hooks can add outsize functionality to a room by offering a place to hang clothing and bags that might otherwise end up on the floor.

“I’m such a proponent of hooks,” said Robert McKinley, a designer who has created interiors for Sant Ambroeus restaurants and for boutique hotels like the Surf Lodge in Montauk, New York. “They’re a good landing place for things.”

The ideal place for them, of course, is in an entryway, said McKinley, who installed a set of vintage metal hooks with wooden finials in the McKinley Bungalow, a rentable, shoppable house he recently conceived in Montauk with his wife, Kate Nauta.

But they are just as useful for holding towels by a shower or a pool, he noted — or for elevating the appearance of an entire room.

“We sometimes categorize them as art,” McKinley said. Used to hold distinctive objects, like colorful swimming fins or straw hats, he added, “they can bring a wall to life.”

— Is it better to use one or a few? One hook is often useful beside a shower or on the back of a door, but multiple hooks usually work better on a long wall. “They can be positioned in a line,” McKinley said, “or in a staggered pattern.”

— What size should they be? It depends on the effect you’re going for: Large, brightly colored hooks can serve as accent pieces, while smaller hooks are less conspicuous.

— What material is best? “Metal is the most popular, and we use a lot of unlacquered brass,” McKinley said. But you can find wall hooks in wood, rattan, stone — pretty much “every material under the sun.”


Play Coat Rack: $75. Five-pronged oak hanger by the design studio Gridy. Normann Copenhagen: 011-45-35-55-4459 or

Charter Hook: $8. Simple, large-scale cast-iron hook. Schoolhouse: 800-630-7113 or

Peg Hooks: $34 each. Hooks with concealed fasteners in various wood finishes by Jonah Takagi. Hem: 310-980-3029 or

Hook Stone: $44. Brass hooks with stone inserts by Ferm Living. Danish Design Store: 877-787-0032 or

Dots Coat Hook: From $25 each. Wooden hooks in various sizes and colors by Lars Tornøe for Muuto (available elsewhere in a metal version). Lumens: 877-445-4486 or