Photo: Via Gil Schafer, GP Schafer Architect
There's something quite charming about the presence of pot racks in a kitchen. I think many kitchens that I see photographed often appear sterile and you'd never know the kitchen was ever actually utilized. But whenever I see a kitchen with a pot rack, it suggests to me that this is a real kitchen...where people cook, eat, gather, etc. It somehow makes the kitchen space instantly feel lived in. Pot racks are a beautiful way to showcase your cookware, especially if you have a serious collection. And although they're a lovely decorative element, pot racks are also quite functional. Let's take a look at some examples of pretty pot racks from my inspiration files...
The kitchen in this photo was designed by Michael S. Smith, one of my favorite designers, and was featured in the November 2008 issue of Elle Decor. Smith partnered with architect Gil Schafer to design this kitchen for the country home of film director Jim Burrows and his family. The photo at the very top of this post is also of the same kitchen. The pot rack seen here is from Ann Morris Antiques in New York. I love that all of the pots and pans look well worn. I don't believe the idea of using a pot rack merely for decorative purposes makes much sense, as your pots will just hang around collecting dust. Pot racks should be both decorative and functional.
I love this kitchen designed by Mick de Giulio. It features a large pot rack hanging over a one of the most beautiful kitchen islands I've seen. Did you know that accessing your pots and pans from a pot rack is much more ergonomically correct? It's much better for your back to reach upward to grab your pots vs having to bend down a million times to reach them from lower cabinets which is typically where most people store their cookware. If you have a large collection of pots, I recommend placing the ones you use most often on your pot rack for easier access.
Full of character, this perfect country kitchen designed by Robin Bell features a custom-made wrought iron pot rack which stores her clients' beautiful collection of pots acquired during trips to France and Italy over the years. One of the practical benefits of pot racks is their space-saving abilities. If storage is an issue, pot racks will allow you to maximize your storage by freeing up additional space in your cabinets.
This kitchen which Antiques collector Susan Dossetter designed for her San Francisco home was House Beautiful's Kitchen of the Month in April 2008. The pair of pot racks hanging above the antique baker's table-turned kitchen island are from Williams-Sonoma but Dossetter customized them with a white powder coated finish.
In this kitchen which was designed by M (Group) Architecture & Decoration, the pot rack is integrated into a very modern light fixture which is suspended above a traditional island. One thing about pot racks to consider is height. You'll want to make sure your pot rack is hung at a level where you can easily access your pots comfortably without having to strain.
This kitchen belongs to another one of my favorite designers- LA based Windsor Smith's. Her shiny stainless steel pots hang on a pot rack between two pendant lamps covered in black pleated shades. The deep navy color is a bold move for a kitchen but works here and adds an edge to her kitchen's cozy feel.
Reclaimed tile, an earthy color scheme and antique pieces such as the 18th century Italian worktable give this Dallas kitchen designed by Shannon Bowers and old world feel. The wooden pot rack adds to kitchen's rustic charm.
The pot rack seen here mirrors the modern, streamlined feel of the kitchen. I love how a few pieces of bright orange enameled cast iron cookware are included among the stainless steel pots which provides an unexpected yet welcome punch of color.
Pot racks are available in many different shapes, sizes, styles and finishes. Most of the examples I've shown illustrate the most common application of a pot rack which is hanging above an island. This photo shows a less traditional wall-mounted style hung above an oven range in a Texas cottage kitchen which was featured in House Beautiful.
Photo: Timothy Whealon Interiors
This tiny Manhattan kitchen designed by Timothy Whealon also features a pot rack above a cooking range. I would caution that hanging your pans directly above your range can cause grease build up on your pots. So unless you're using and washing those pans every day, I would not recommend hanging your pots above a range.
I adore this kitchen in interior designer Sharon Simonaire's home which was featured in the April '08 issue of Domino. It features a pot rack hanging above a stainless steel work table just to the right of her cooking range and directly in front of a window! Not a choice I would think of but it totally works!
My idol Martha Stewart a huge fan of pot racks. Here's a photo of the kitchen at Cantitoe Corners, the 154 acre estate in Bedford, NY where she currently lives. Pots galore!
When Martha was married she lived in a Westport, CT manse which she dubbed Turkey Hill. This photo is from the late 70s. She found the pot rack at a tag sale!
Years later in the late 90s, Martha renovated her Turkey Hill kitchen and embraced a bright, fresh color scheme of white and pale green. I would kill for her collection of copper pots!
If you like the look of pot racks, here are six options I absolutely love that you should consider:
Enclume is an American company that makes some of the best pot racks and kitchen storage products around. This chrome plated oval pot rack by Enclume is the Ferrari of pot racks, sleek, shiny, sexy and expensive! It retails for $1460 at Sur la Table.
Enclume double dutch crown oval pot rack. Williams-Sonoma, $455
Walnut Ceiling pot rack. Two sizes available. $129.95-$159.95 at Crate & Barrel.
This single bar, ceiling mounted pot rack is very compact and perfect if you don't have a ton of space in your kitchen. I'm thinking about purchasing this one for my own tiny kitchen, as my collection of pots and pans is starting to overflow out of my cabinets! It's $49.95 at Crate & Barrel.
I also love this wall mounted pot rack, also from Crate & Barrel. It features a shelf underneath the rack that provides extra storage for lids, smaller pans and cook books. $99.95.
Last but not least is this very economical option from on of my favorite stores - Target! It's a classic pot rack style that stores up to 40 pounds of cookware. Classicor oval pot rack, $49.95. Available here.
So what's your take on pot racks? Do you love them? Hate them? Would love to hear your thoughts!