scrappy25

Opinions on pot racks?

scrappy25
9 years ago

I noticed that there is a real dearth of pot racks on this site, especially over the islands. Is that more of an 80's thing? I'd like to know if you have had one, where it was, and if you loved it or hated it. It's probably a form vs function thing.

Comments (45)

  • itsallaboutthefood
    9 years ago

    Same here...love pot racks. The one we got is also an Enclume and it looks a bit clunky over the window...but it's totally function over form in a small kitchen. It's so great to be able to wash a pot and hang it up to dry over my sink!

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  • marcolo
    9 years ago

    They're truly stunning.

    Glamorous.

    They make a kitchen so spacious and airy and open!

    I feel like I'm in France!

    Everyone loves them.

    What's amazing is each one is exactly like they appear in a Williams Sonoma catalog!

  • ZacsDaddy
    9 years ago

    Not a fan -- It was the first thing I removed in my old house. While there are examples where they look appropriate, to me they add too much visual clutter to a space. I keep my pans looking nice and shiny and could never imagine wanting to look at them all of the time..

    But like the commercials say -- you're mileage will vary. If you like the look and function, I'm sure there are ones that will work for you and your style.

  • lavender_lass
    9 years ago

    I agree with Sayde, the fact that something may have lost popularity, often makes it more appealing!

    Pot racks are wonderful....and I'm trying to find the right space in my plan, to fit one in. I can't decide if I want it over the work table, or closer to the range...but I definitely want one!

    Marcolo- Great pictures, but I especially like the last two. I agree, very french :)

  • alwaysfixin
    9 years ago

    Here's a recent thread on this subject.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Thread about Pot Racks

  • cooksnsews
    9 years ago

    I'd have nowhere to stow my pots and pans (and I've acquired several more since this pic was taken) if I didn't have this rack. I don't care if it is currently fashionable - it is definitely functional. Mind you, folks taller than us who venture into the cook's zone often bang their heads....they should stay outa my way.

  • isletwoisle
    9 years ago

    We had a pot rack in our old kitchen, and thought FOR SURE we'd put it up after the reno -- we liked it a lot (and really, really needed it). But the new kitchen is more open and has more storage (all pots/pans are in two large drawers now), so we're pot rack-less. I don't think pot racks are passe now, just really depends on your kitchen space/style.

  • beaglesdoitbetter1
    9 years ago

    We're doing TWO pot racks. Sort of. We're putting pot hangers underneath cabinet shelves. I didn't really like the look of cabinets next to my range hood and this was my solution. I do not think they will look 80's at all but someone correct me if I am wrong :)

  • lyvia
    9 years ago

    We have a soffit with a pot rack on the edge - 3 hanging strips from ikea. It is so much easier to grab a pot off the rack than to dig into a stack in a cabinet. But visually, it's clutter, and I would hesitate to put one over an island unless the views somehow made it better. Or hang them above eye level.

  • sayde
    9 years ago

    I have seen pot racks that look cluttered and those that look good. I think you have to take some care with what you hang and how you arrange. I like mine very orderly -- the All Clad on one side ranged from small to large, and some Calphalon on the other, with a few small white porcelain pitchers on one end. In the new kitchen I hope to get some of the largest saute pans into a drawer but will still keep the pot rack fairly filled.

  • kateskouros
    9 years ago

    like marcolo, its a great idea for a page in a catalog; copper pans all shiny and new ...and then you use them. the last thing i want to see in a kitchen is old, used pans. i love tucking mine away in a drawer.

    and the thing i love about this site is you will certainly see many fashionable kitchens but the very best of them are beautiful not for being the latest and greatest, but for being the very best as far as function. they simply work well. so if you don't see something come up all that often i'd bet it has very little to do with fashion. aside from a few "go-to" pieces i don't use every pot and pan i own on a regular basis. keeping things out like that would serve no purpose except create a lot of clutter and attract grease and dust.

  • marcolo
    9 years ago

    I'm glad someone got my point, kateskouros!

    beagles, I'm sure your potrack will look beautiful--because you don't cook! :-D

  • emagineer
    9 years ago

    Have had one for years and couldn't do without. Previous kitchens were very large, but now in a small house/kitchen. The storage it offers and frees up is wonderful.

    I do get into the decorating side with the pot rack in place. Have 4 different strainers on it with some color, but primarily stainless steel which remains looking new. Sometimes I hang flowers and herbs for drying too.

    Current pot rack is also an Enclume hanging over the sink in front of a large window. The issue I find with this is when I run water in hot pans and the steam rising. But found a wonderful rustic one with lights which I'm going to put over the pull out table/island. A small kitchen means I'm not having to go far for cooking needs.

    They do need some organization and kitchen presentation not to look cluttered as some of the photos I'm seeing.

  • beekeeperswife
    9 years ago

    I have a love/hate relationship with them. While I had one in my pre-reno kitchen, that we installed, I don't have one now. I loved being able to free up so much cabinet space by having them hanging. It was very nice to just grab a pot from the rack. It also kept them in nice condition because they weren't stacked on top of each other. But they also got dusty from hanging there, it was the old 80/20 rule, you know, 20% of the pots were used 80% of the time. I found myself having to wash ones in the 80% category before using them.

    And, now that I don't have that pot rack, I absolutely love how much larger my kitchen feels. I don't think I would go back to one again, unless I absolutely needed it due to lack of storage.

    Also, mine was over an island, I can't tell you the number of people who hit their heads on some of the larger pots/pans. I did have it hung almost to the ceiling too, well, it was just an 8' ceiling. I'd post a pre vs post pot rack photo, but Photobucket ate all my photos. :/

  • celineike
    9 years ago

    Im trying to figure out if i should reincorporate mine into my new design too. Im a shorty 5'0" so to have the pans within my reach it had to hang low enough for me to reach (over the island) but that meant it looked pretty cluttered. I was contemplating moving it over the sink, against a wall on top of the window, but now we are thinking about making the window taller and that would deff look weird. But i do love how it looks and it was $$$... looks like im talking myself out of it. :o

  • lfielder54
    9 years ago

    I'm planning on doing exactly what Beagles is doing--two racks on the wall on either side of the cooktop. My husband hates to dig in drawers for pots, and wants a pot rack. I'm not fond of the cluttered look over the island. Compromise!

  • jenny1963
    9 years ago

    marcolo, your point was not lost on me. The problem is that now I'm just reading threads to find your posts, so I can get a good laugh in before I continue my day. Scratch that: it's NOT a problem. Thanks for posting more these days. I'm really enjoying it.

  • viva99
    9 years ago

    We put one in our cramped, pre-reno kitchen to make use of the empty space above the range (no hood back then) and thus free up our meager cabinet space for other things.

    Then I realized that, like Sayde, it was one of the few things from my old kitchen I couldn't live without in the new. The ability to stand at my range and reach for a pan and there it is, like magic, no bending, no lifting of other pans to free the one I want, had spoiled me for good. Especially when it comes to cast iron pans. The only thing more convenient would be an six-foot eye-level shelf with the pans stored side by side, and who has room for that?

    That said, I prefer the pot racks that are a single row of hooks that hug the wall (or in our case, the window) pretty closely. I don't love having them hanging within inches of my head. And I only store my most used pans; and I store pots on shelves on the other side of the range.

    This picture's a bit dark; took it with my phone (lost my camera recently), but you get the idea...

  • mabeldingeldine_gw
    9 years ago

    I couldn't live without mine. Below is a photo from before my mini makeover. Yes, some pots get dusty,, but I can handle a quick rinse.

  • fromthesouth
    9 years ago

    I had a pot rack in my pre-reno kitchen and loved the convenience, ease and functionality. My previous pot rack was a small one so I used the pots/pans hanging from it almost daily and didn't have a dust problem.

    I even tried to rework my layout to incorporate a pot rack in the new kitchen.

    But after a fair amount of time trying to make a pot rack look good and work well in the new space, I decided I needed the upper cabinet storage more and I'd compromise too much to accommodate the pot rack. (Our ceilings are 11 feet high and we have no island so hanging from the ceiling didn't work.) Losing the pot rack is the one thing I hope I don't regret.

    If you can make it work, I say go for it.

    Here's my favorite pot rack inspiration pic. Sigh. . .

    Here is a link that might be useful: Another thread on pot racks

  • Circus Peanut
    9 years ago

    I made mine from leftover copper bar, sheerly on a whim based on one in my guy's former apartment kitchen. (I do prefer the straight bar to the roundy-round French ones. Do not speak to me of plastic ivy or lighting, either.)

    Turns out I adore its usefulness beyond measure. n.b.: I have quite a small kitchen and a need for many pans, so this is the only option.

    We create complicated sauces and courses with multiple pans -- enameled steel, copper, castiron -- virtually every night. Real Cooks Do Use Potracks.

    So there, Marcolo.

    On the left, over the prep sink at peninsula's end, where no sightlines are disturbed or tender foreheads ever threatened:

  • marcolo
    9 years ago

    And some don't. So there, circuspeanut!!

    I will say, the previous owners of our house used to have a potrack right in front of a kitchen window. After we took it down, the neighbor walked through her hedges to personally thank us. Just saying.

  • lavender_lass
    9 years ago

    Fromthesouth- Beautiful picture...it reminds me of Beagles' kitchen plan.

    I've been trying to decide where to put a pot rack, but since I'm tall, I don't think it will work hanging over an island or work table.

    Since seeing these pictures, I'm leaning towards putting a shelf with pots hanging under it, to the right of the range...between the range and oven/microwave. I'll have about 3' and I think it would be wonderful, for the pans I use most often. The rest can go in pull out shelves, under the counter, in the same area.

    Maybe it's just me, but I think pot racks are like every thing else in the kitchen. How comfortable you are with clutter, dictates how much you store on your pot rack. Some people love lots of stuff on display in their kitchen and others don't...they see it as dusty and messy, while others see it as convenient and charming. I think you could make that case about many style/function items in the kitchen...including open shelves :)

  • live_wire_oak
    9 years ago

    I had one in my first tiny bungalow in a tiny tiny kitchen. It really helped with the storage needs, but I HATED the way it LOOMED over me in the kitchen. That made an already small kitchen feel even smaller. And, because that tiny kitchen had totally inadequate ventilation, the pots were not only dusty when I took one down to use, they were GREASY as well.

    When I moved to my second house, a 1911 Foursquare, the kitchen was only a bit larger in square footage, but the ceilings were 12' and made the kitchen seem HUGE! And I hung the old wrought iron pot rack. And I had the same problem. It LOOMED over me and things were always dirty. So, I took it down and made my own wall potrack from a piece of galvanized pipe and some S hooks. That worked great! Not only did it provide me with some badly needed "wall art", but it was also more out of the air currents in the house that carried the greasy dirt from the stove.

    In this house, a 1972 nothing ranch, the kitchen was large enough to not "have" to have the additional storage a pot rack provided. But, I'm thinking of tweaking the kitchen with a new backsplash and maybe a better looking wall pot rack than my old DIY galvanized one. I would have to go shopping for a couple of new "pretty" pans to hang from it, and I'm not sure I'd like keeping them pretty, so I probably would view them as "form" and not as "function".

  • pharaoh
    9 years ago

    Pot racks look great ... .in photos of Sur La Table. Shiny copper pots, unused.

    In real kitchens, they scream CLUTTER.

  • itsallaboutthefood
    9 years ago

    There are 2 kinds of potracks...those that are used to decorate the kitchen with shiny lovely pots on them which will get dusty due to not being used. These are for the form over function kitchens.

    Then there is my kind where I hang my everyday pots, scratched, and stained...like well used pots in a restaurant kitchen. They don't get dusty since I used them frequently. This is for my function over form farmhouse kitchen. Luckily our potrack is over our backyard window with no neighbor to see or be annoyed. Not that my kitchen has no form...it's just functional form.

  • viva99
    9 years ago

    For those of you who find that hanging pans get too dusty, I am curious whether A) you are storing each and every obscure pan you own this way, B) you have so much dust in your house that it collects daily on VERTICAL surfaces, or C) you are disturbed by the idea of dust even on the OUTSIDE of your pan.

    If the answer to any of the above is yes, do you really feel it's necessary to rinse the pan, let alone WASH it, before using? Wouldn't a quick wipe with a dishtowel do the trick?

    Not trying to be glib, just never understood the "dust" angle of the anti-potrack argument.

    I am less puzzled by the "blackened-bottoms" objection, although it makes me wonder if it extends to scrubbing the backs of fireplaces... (okay, now I'm being glib...)

    As for the grease problem, I definitely had it in my old kitchen when we didn't have a vent and the pans were hanging directly over the stove. Since neither is the case anymore, we have no grease problem, at least not so far (it's still early...)

    Also agree with the "looming overhead" objection, which is why I think Circuspeanut's and Live Wire Oak's solutions are great and Beagles' and Fromthesouth's: hang them on the wall, or go single-fine.

    As for clutter, that is, and always will be, in the eye of the beholder. Google Julia Child's kitchen, for example (the one that's in the Smithsonian), and see which side you come down on.

  • beekeeperswife
    9 years ago

    "For those of you who find that hanging pans get too dusty, I am curious whether A) you are storing each and every obscure pan you own this way, B) you have so much dust in your house that it collects daily on VERTICAL surfaces, or C) you are disturbed by the idea of dust even on the OUTSIDE of your pan."

    It wasn't everyweek that I needed my 20qt stock pot that hung up there, but when I did need it, it had dust and grease on it. I had to rinse it. I can't imagine heating any of those pots up without doing so first. This is not an "opinion" that I'm making up without first hand knowledge. (Like so many people who will jump on the anti-potfiller bandwagon and they don't even have one) In my kitchen, the pans got a little greasy (pre "real" vent hood) and the dust stuck to them like nobody's business. I don't know why they got so dusty. Probably the same reason I have to swifter my floor every day.

    And this isn't my angle for the anti-potrack argument. I mentioned it because it was something I dealt with. If it bothered me so much, I would have taken it down. I needed the function of it in my pre-reno kitchen. It was more of the clutter thing that caused it to not return. I had EVERY pot and pan up there. The potrack was an oval that was 4'long. The only things that were not up there were my LeCrueset stock pots because they didn't have a way to be hung. If it had a handle, it was up there, along with the lids which were slid on the handles.

    I agree with a lot of the posters, if you don't like clutter, you won't like a potrack. I'm very happy to have my pots all placed in drawers. In fact they are all located in drawers that were not with us pre-reno. I eliminated all the junk above my cabinets too. I just feel so much free-er (is that a word) now without all that stuff.

    I would love to post a before and after, but Photobucket has lost my photos that included my before shots, so here is an after, imagine a potrack, about the size of that island....it blocked the view, visually made the space smaller. So, here you go.

    Julia's kitchen? Too cluttered for me.

  • baligirl
    9 years ago

    I have to say my dream of how our pot rack will look in our new kitchen was taken down a notch by those photos, marcolo. But we are lucky to have a full set of much loved-copper pots that aren't perfectly shiny but have a nice patina that we plan to hang. Our working pots and pans will be in deep drawers hidden away. We can't use the copper anymore as we're moving to induction.

    In any case, I hope the pot racks turns out how I imagine it, not like the examples here...

  • lavender_lass
    9 years ago

    Copper pans will still be beautiful, you just have to clean the copper bottoms, once you use them. Just like silver, if you want it to be displayed...and look nice...you have to clean the tea service, platters, or whatever else you want to display.

    I think this all comes down to how much dust/dirt/cleaning someone is comfortable with in their home. I have cats, horses, kids visiting, gardens, fields/pastures all around....and that means dirt and dust are just the beginning of the cleaning 'experience' (LOL)

    For me, I like a home where it's easy to find something, use it, clean it and put it back. That being said, Julia's kitchen is too cluttered for me...but I'm sure she used all those pans, often enough that they didn't get dusty!

  • viva99
    9 years ago

    Beekeeper's wife, I see what you mean. Your kitchen is so airy and serene (not to mention gorgeous); it would be a shame to dangle a cluster of metal smack dab in the middle.

    Re. cleaning, I mentioned I was puzzled by the dust issue, NOT by the grease issue, which I experienced first-hand, and it is definitely no fun. Definitely necessitates a lot of washing WITH dishwashing liquid, rinsing, drying... no thanks. Luckily we seem to have gotten rid of the grease problem in our new arrangement; I was definitely counting on that when we decided to keep the pot rack.

    BTW, I meant "single-file", not "single-fine" (whatever that means) when I was describing a less cluttered way to hang pans. For me this made a big difference, along with weeding out the ones that are seldom-used, or are eye-sores, and/or make the whole thing look too jumbled; in my case, that meant finding someplace else to store my pots and lids and plastic-handled pans.

    All that to say this isn't necessarily a black-or-white issue. You can invent your own shade of grey like many on this thread have done (and Julia).

  • antiquesilver
    9 years ago

    I've had different forms of pot racks for 30 years & doubt if I would ever consider not having one. For me, it's a matter of function but in this kitchen, aesthetics also entered into the decision by making the stand-alone-range less obvious.


    For those with tall ceilings, it can be done. Mine are 11' & I wanted the racks at a height (9') not conducive to hanging pots. The answer is to have hooks made long enough that bring the pots within reach; mine used 18" of stock per hook & the bottom curve is approx 7' above the floor.

  • marcolo
    9 years ago

    If you want copper to stay shiny, you have to polish it regularly--even if you never ever use it.

  • antiquesilver
    9 years ago

    I use BKF to scour all of my pots, copper included, when I wash them & no polish is needed. The copper darkens somewhat if I don't use them regularly but not enough to worry about.

  • kateskouros
    9 years ago

    i've always loved that blue/white kitchen fromthesouth posted. and notice the copper and stainless ...never been used. and if they were they'd soon be stored below and out of site. thank God.

    every once in a while i take a good long look at my twenty year old calphalon (the REAL stuff, before it was nonstick or light weight) and my ten year old all clad copper clad and think, oh, these need a good scrubbing. until i realize they are perfectly clean. they're well used and look atrocious. and so i went to see a friend today and i went nosing around her kitchen to have a look at her cookware. it looks worse than mine.

    i think the vision of a pot rack with pans hanging down is a very romantic idea. but if the pans in that pic of the pretty blue and white kitchen looked like mine the image wouldn't be as appetizing.

    but, to each his own. as long as it works for you.

  • laughablemoments
    9 years ago

    We once had a "pot rack" inside a tall cupboard where we installed pegboard and hooks, a bit like Julia Child's pegboard wall, but it was behind a cupboard door where no one had to look at it. I appreciated the lack of clanging and banging when I got my pots out, and the pegboard let us hang up the lids too. Very handy. Each pot and lid had a designated spot making them easy to put away and then find again. I loved that sense of order.

  • lavender_lass
    9 years ago

    If I were going to do a pot rack over the island, it would be something like this...but you'd have to clean it and polish the copper. Notice that some of the pans in the back, need a good polish...but it is pretty :)

    Three reasons I decided against this type of pot rack...no vaulted ceiling, so pans would hang down too far...changed from island to work table and it's too heavy IMO...and I can just see one of my kitties, in particular, swinging from it!

    {{!gwi}}

  • scrappy25
    Original Author
    9 years ago

    wow, come back after a day of work to 38 comments! Thank you! I particularly like the ideas of a few often used pans hanging from the wall or under a cabinet near the cooktop. I appreciate both the nice and ugly pictures. Circuspeanut's is really nice in that it is not in the way or visually encroaching. Antiquesilver's and viva99's in front of the window is not something I had thought of but if you have a private backyard without neighbors in line of sight, great idea. It is it is over the sink that is REALLY practical,you could wash them and let them drip right into the sink! thanks for the ideas.

  • John Liu
    9 years ago

    Here's my current pot and pan storage. I plan a larger pot rack in the remuddle. Things are too cramped now. Unearthing the paella, or the other pressure cooker, or my other pans (buried, not shown) takes way too long. My woks keep threatening to fall whenever I pull out the oven mitts (welding gloves). The larger stock pots live on the range because there's no room. It is a pain.

  • kevinw1
    9 years ago

    We just put up a "pot rack" which is like Viva99's, hooks in the underside of the soffit - but over top of the range hood. Only 6 pans hang from it, all frequently used, so dirt is not an issue and there aren't enough to look chaotic. It is so much nicer to reach up and grab a pan rather than have to dig around in a stack on a cabinet shelf.

  • summerbabies
    9 years ago

    My current cooktop is in the island, and I have a giant custom-made pot rack hanging over it. French copper pots on one side, Calphalon on the other three. This kitchen has virtually NO storage, and I absolutely could not live without the pot rack. The ease of use is wonderful. Dust, bleah. I do dust it. And I polish all the copper all at once with BKF--it's easier that way.

    For the new kitchen, I am getting a BlueStar RNB which must be vented outside, and lots of pullout drawers on either side of it in which to store my pots. So I must regretfully bid adieu to my wonderful pot rack. We discussed keeping it, since the range won't be that far away, but decided it would be visual clutter in my new sleek kitchen. I got beautiful Quiozel "Century" lights to hang over the island instead.

    I like the pots hung on the copper bar in a pp. Wish I had the wall space for that, but I won't. No pot rack on range hood, either. *sigh*

  • kitchendetective
    9 years ago

    I prefer kitchens with pot racks. If I had to deal with flying grease, I'd probably feel differently.

  • jenny1963
    9 years ago

    Well, I thought I liked them, until I read marcolo's post. lol!

    This is mine, pre-remodel. I like it. It's handy and not overwhelming (I thought.)

    From Potrack

    Don't know if we'll do one now after the remodel, unless it's against the wall, in a really inconspicuous place, in which case, the purpose of it is defeated. Originally, I liked them because (ideally) they can really warm up a kitchen and make it look less "done," (plus, my kitchen will still be small and I could use the space in other ways.)

  • brickeyee
    9 years ago

    Mine hangs over the bakers rack used to hold all the cookbooks.

    It is otherwise unused space, and s right across the narrow kitchen from the stove.