Tied in knots

When ties get out of control, it's time to consider a custom solution

Father's Day has come and gone, and for many men the annual holiday leaves a flood of new neckties in its wake.

Combined with all those ties from past Father's Days, birthdays and seasonal menswear sales, it doesn't take long for a tie collection to get out of control.

One Southern Oregon man, who happens to be my husband, turned to a custom storage system to stem his personal rising tie tide.

For the first couple of years of his working life, Ed Battistella of Ashland had just a few, fairly nondescript ties: Regulation stripes, solids and broad polyester ties with "things" on them.

"It was easy to keep the ties in order, draping them over a hanger or on a board with pegs," he remembers. Today, specialists like Lamont Ray with Closet Concepts in Medford can recommend more attractive solutions. For a collection of 40 to 50 ties, Ray suggests either a pull-out or carousel device that is 6 inches wide and hangs from or attaches to a shelf.

In time, Ed's tie collection was no longer reasonable. He owned more than a dozen Jerry Garcia ties with those wild, intense patterns; imported Italian silks; and a tie for every holiday and every occasion. His closet was a chaotic disarray of colors and textures, exceeding the capacity of every commercially available tie rack and hanging system.

Ed's closet demanded attention, craved order, required organization. Michael Moylan of MDM Construction in Medford came to the rescue.

"He designed a wall-mounted frame with rods that, with plastic tie hangers, can fit up to 2,000 ties, all in plain view," Ed says, describing the piece. An impressive 3 feet wide and 8 feet tall, the custom-built unit stands neatly and compactly adjacent to shelving.

"It's unique. It's one of a kind," Moylan admits. "I've never built one for anyone else."

Custom furniture builders can translate your ideas for custom tie racks into beautiful works of functional art. Bettencourt Furniture in Medford will draft your idea with computer-assisted drawing programs. Many independent craftsmen like Moylan work more intuitively.

"I do a rough drawing for a material estimate," Moylan notes. "And sometimes people give me photographs of something they want."

Custom solutions like this one aren't just for ties, of course. Craftsmen like Moylan and those at Bettencourt, or closet specialists like Ray, can design storage solutions for hats, shoes or postcards and unique shelving units for any corner.

Whatever your need, there's a professional way to get organized.


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