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Good, Better, Best: Not Your Average Umbrella Stand

Unless you're a character in The Notebook, or Rupert Holmes, most of you don't like getting caught in the rain. And personally, what I find worse, is bringing that soggy drip into my house. I wouldn't mind it though, if I were the proud owner of one of these fly umbrella stands. Better yet, this Stand Umbrella ($60) has three little feet that allow it to stand on its own, so it doesn't even require a stand!

Good: This Aki Umbrella Stand ($150), designed by former jazz drummer
Rodolfo Bonetto, is simple, minimalist, and comes in a handful of iridescent and solid colors. It's a sharp alternative to the bulky umbrella stands we see in foyers across the country. That is, if your guests can recognize what it is when they arrive wet.

To see two other picks for not-your-average umbrella stands,

Better: Eva Schildt's Umbrella Stand ($155) has a lifelike faux sea sponge holding its light blue metal frame and is ready to soak up any itinerant drips. It's also easy on the eyes.

Best: Sebastian Bergne's Rain Bowl ($180) is a little industrial looking and may not be as pretty as the others. But, it has the compact form of the Aki stand and like Schildt's stand, its aluminum dish collects rainwater as it runs off the umbrella. So, it takes up minimal space, and there'll be no sopping up the surrounding floor.

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