Nothing eats up valuable cabinet space like a full set of pots and pans. And for cooks who like to get serious in the kitchen, rummaging through stacks of pans in the heat of preparation is a major inconvenience. That’s why many home chefs prefer to store their most-used cookware on an overhead rack, where all of the pieces are visible at a glance and you can easily reach up and pluck down what you need without having to search through a cabinet.
The three custom pot racks shown on the following pages combine the space-saving convenience of pot hangers with a deep storage shelf above-perfect for storing stock pots and other hard-to-hang pieces or a collection of your favorite cookbooks. The simple designs can be customized with any finish and hardware you like, and you can size your unit to fit any space in your kitchen. Because the racks are wallhung, you don’t need an island or a high ceiling, like you do with many ceiling-hung pot systems.
All of the materials for these racks are available at most home centers and hardware stores. You can also shop online to choose from a wide range of specialty hardware, including shelf brackets, hanging rods, and hooks in various materials and finishes such as stainless steel, wrought iron, nickel, chrome, and brass. For a built-in look, choose a shelf material and finish that matches your kitchen’s cabinets and woodwork. Lumberyards and hardwood suppliers carry solid and edge-glued 1 x 12 stock in almost any species of wood. For a painted shelf, use 3/4″ poplar, or use basic melamine-coated shelf stock and leave it unpainted.
This design features a standard-size closet rod supported by two shelf-and-rod brackets. Home centers carry the 1 5/6″-diameter closet rod in chrome, painted steel, and wood, and you can find other finishes online. Chrome and brushed nickel rods look good with sleek decorative brackets, also available online. For the individual pot hangers, you can use standard S-hooks so the pots face out, or combine rings and S-hooks so the pots face to the side for greater storage capacity.
Tools & Materials:
Work Gloves; Eye Protection; Circular saw; Straightedge; Orbital sander; Hacksaw; Drill driver; Metal file; Closet rod; Brackets; S-hooks; Wood screws; Finishing tools; 3/4″ Finish-grade oak shelving (or shelf stock as desired); Finish materials; Decorative rod end caps; Construction adhesive.
Cut the shelf to the desired length using a circular saw and edge guide. Sand smooth and finish the shelf with th ree coats of polyurethane, or paint it with primer/sealer and two or more top coats. Cut the closet rod to length with a hacksaw. File the cut edges as needed.
Assemble the shelf. Anchor the shelf brackets to the wall studs with screws, making sure the tops are perfectly level with each other. Attach the shelf to the brackets with screws. Add hooks to the rod, and then set the rod on the brackets with dabs of construction adhesive to prevent movement.
A variation on standard shelf construction, the suspended shelf design has its shelf mounted to the bottoms of inverted brackets. Inverting the brackets gives you built-in bookends above the shelf and leaves the pot area below open for easy access. Large decorative key hooks or cup hooks serve as fixed hangers for the pots. Remember, this rack should only be used for lightweight cookware or cups.
Secure the brackets to the shelf with nice-looking panhead (or other) machine bolts and nuts. The bolt heads should go on the bottom of the shelf, and the threaded ends should be flush with the top of the nuts.
Fasten the brackets to the wall with heavy-duty pan head (or other) wood screws. Make sure the shelf is perfectly level and drive the screws into wall studs or use heavy-duty, hollow wall anchors.
How to Build the Built-in Pot Rack
Install the cleats flush with the level lines using finish screws. Draw a level line along the wall and supporting cabinets 3/4″ below the desired height for the top of the shelf. Finish the molding for the cleats as desired and cut to length, mitering the inside corners and beveling the exposed front ends at 30°. Cut the shelf to fit snugly between the cabinets. Finish the shelf as desired.
Cut the tubing to length with a plumber’s pipe cutter. Add rings and/or S-hooks for the pot hooks. Fit the railing brackets over the ends of the tubing and mount them to the shelf bottom with screws.