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pots and pans

While in college, I spent plenty of time at my best friend’s house. Her mother had a set of well-loved pots and pans that hung on the walls, their weight supported by tiny hooks. They had been there so long that whenever a pot or pan was removed the ghost of it remained on the wall, a faded outline in the exact shape of the pan.

Kitchen storage and pot racks – a question of space

When I moved into my first apartment, the walls were chic white brick, and hanging anything on there involved messy adhesives or serious drilling. My pots and pans wound up relegated to the bottom cabinets, where they were always in disarray, clanging and clacking against each other as I tried to find the one I wanted.

When I moved up from that apartment to a nice little house, I now had plenty of space for the pots and pans, but not enough do-it-yourself know-how to install a pot rack on my own. So the pots and pans were in a slide-out drawer, a marked improvement from apartment living, but still in disarray. And besides, I was getting tired of fishing around in cabinets and drawers anytime I needed to make a simple omelet!

Fast forward to today. I’m in the midst of designing my dream house, and the kitchen is definitely going to have an attractive pot rack over the island, one that makes reaching for the proper cooking vessel an easy feat. But which one to choose? And how to keep it within budget.

Pot Racks that Hang on a Budget

While it is admittedly tempting to go with a sleek, shiny pot rack that costs more than the pots and pans themselves, let’s stay realistic. A pot rack is something that should look good, but first and foremost, it should be entirely serviceable. Easy to clean is a big bonus — because really, who wants dust hanging above their food prep areas?

Savings can be had if you choose items that do more than one job. Pot racks can do double-duty if you choose one that has built-in lights. A chandelier style pot rack can offer plenty of hooks on the bottom and at least three lights on the top, so you get the overhead illumination and the ease of use all in one.

Ideas for pot racks and antique effects in the kitchen

Since I have an affinity for antiques and unique surprises in a somewhat modern house, an old ladder suspended from the ceiling and adorned with simple hooks appeals to my aesthetic sensibilities. An old window frame can also work well.

But there are other options that bring that old-fashioned look to the kitchen, such as an ornate cast-iron pot rack — just make sure it’s securely anchored to avoid the unthinkable crash of falling pots and pans! For something a little less intimidating, try a lightweight iron grate that has been painted a complementary color to match your kitchen.

Kitchen storage and tight budgets

If you’re looking for something that works for seriously tight budget, consider basic wire shelving mounted firmly to the wall. Not only does this allow you to line your pretty pans up in a row, you can place pots on the top, thus making a great pot rack for those spaces that are just too small to hang one in the center of the room.

Those lovely pots and pans deserve a place to showcase them, and you deserve an easier way to cook. Rather than bending down to fish around for the pots and pans you want, be kind to your back — and your patience — by choosing a pot rack that makes finding each and every pot as easy as boiling water.

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Shannon Dauphin Lee

Shannon Dauphin Lee is a journalist and occasional novelist with a serious weakness for real estate. When she's not writing, she and her husband are taking road trips to explore covered bridges, little wineries and quaint bed-and-breakfast inns in their beloved Pennsylvania.