The Kitchen Designer

Thanks for stopping by! I'm Susan Serra, certified kitchen designer, and my mission is to take kitchen design style, function and analysis to a higher level. Here's why the kitchen has the most honored place in the home - all five senses reside in the kitchen.  Best...Susan  Contact: susan@susanserraassociates.com

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The Secret To Life - The Pot Rack

I couldn't resist the title and the philosophical tone of this post. Here's an email from Rosemarie:

"I haven't been able to find this information on your blog, but I am new to it - any suggestions or taboos for hanging a pot rack in a semi open concept Kit, DR, LR area? I love the idea, and had a wrought iron rack custom made for my copper pots, but now I think maybe it will look cluttered."

I get to be the advisor on "the secret to life" so here goes:

BellacorSure, there may be some pros and cons as well as ideas and suggestions about the best way to display a pot rack in your situation, or if it even should be displayed. 

Better yet is to do this: Be flexible. In this case, we are not talking about a permanent fixture or design element that truly is a decision which you may have to live with for many years to come. I highly recommend that, especially since it is custom made, you hang it where you originally felt it should be. There is no right or wrong answer...the answer is do you perceive "clutter" as a negative or do you perceive it as visually interesting, a positive?

Live with it. If you find you don't like it, I would chalk it up to a minor error in judgment. The point is, don't think of this as a decision one way or the other forevermore. If it works out, great...if it doesn't, go to plan B.

So often decisions like these are looked at as permanent. Give yourself room to try it. 

Of course, if you were planning on having pendants or other lighting fixtures in place of the pot rack, then here's what I would do. I would have the wires run into the ceiling in the general area with enough slack so that they are in place if you decide you do not want the pot rack. A licensed electrician will advise you as to the proper code involved, I cannot do that, but most likely, you should be able to have wiring in place. Not the most inexpensive solution, but if you are indecisive on this issue, this may help.

Hubbardton ForgeThat said, some time could be spent on considering what types of items, decorative or functional, might look interesting visually. Maybe the pot rack serves a purpose to hold decorative items only. Take time...lots and lots of time to explore a wide variety of items which will result in some very different looks. 

I like to change decorative arrangements in my home on a fairly frequent basis, at least a few times a year. It takes time to create an arrangement that really "speaks" to me. Once it speaks to me, you know it...and then, take a photo of it and if you want to keep changing around the pieces, you'll have a record of an option that worked. This will take time, but be open creatively and the possibilities will reveal themselves to you. 

One more thing...if You are unsure, it's quite possible that part of you likes it up and another part does not. Keep it up for part of the year, then take it down. That is living flexibly and living flexibly is FREEDOM!

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Reader Comments (10)

What a great response Susan! This could apply to many, many design decisions in the home. Whether a space is "cluttered" or "filled with interesting vignettes" really is a choice of personal taste. (I think I fall into the latter category.) What I truly appreciate is your comments about having the freedom to experiment, switch things out occasionally, and just have fun with it. And also pointing out that this is not an irreversable decision. I would like to point out (as the owner of a pot rack and lots of other "chochkies" on display in my home) that if one lives in area prone to dust (which I also do in a farming community) that one should be prepared to dust and will need to rinse cookware off before using it if it's not just there for display.

December 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPam

Pam, that's a good point and one which you have chosen to work around by creating lemonade out of lemons!

It's all good!

December 5, 2010 | Registered CommenterSusan Serra, CKD

I have this exact pot rack (Hubberton Forge) and could not love it more. I think I am somewhere in the middle with the clutter/not. Things are hung in a very organized and structured way. Plus, I think it warms up our space. Good advice~

December 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShelly

The pot rack raises lots of questions for me: Is the kitchen large enough? Will it be hung in a central place of pride or in its most useful location, which might not look as picture perfect? Are you willing to commit to a carefully curated collection of top-quality pots and pans -- lots of them, all sizes, and always always clean and shiny. Nothing worse than reaching for a hanging pot to find a fine film of greasy dust. Move in together but don't get married until you know it's going to work.

December 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSean Sullivan

Pobrecita Susan,

This, and all, pot racks are ugly as sin! Just watch any HGTV episode where the decorator encounters a pot rack. It's not even controversial, just a 'big loser.' It would be best to erase this post and any others with positive spin on such racks. Visual clutter sucks, Batwoman!

December 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermoat hoosbg

Love this post as I am getting ready to purchase a pot rack!! Linda merill sent me your way Susan!

Remember to come & enter my $200 Giveaway from Fifi Flowers!

Art by Karena

December 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKarena

Shelly, I love that pot rack, I bet it looks great in your kitchen. Such a modern elegance..

Sean, superb advice! It's certainly a controversial piece. I was just in a somewhat busy NYC apartment kitchen with a big pot rack and loved it. I'll show images soon.

moat...Batwoman? Hmmmm...in any case, you're entitled to your opinion! :)

Karena, hope this was helpful!

December 9, 2010 | Registered CommenterSusan Serra, CKD

Every time I see a hanging pot rack I think of the scene from Uncle Buck where, during the climax of the movie, he leans on it and pulls it down -- CRASH!

December 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterReplacement Windows

My kitchen is small and my pots take up all my storage areas. I would love to use a pot rack. I even have a wall version picked out. My question: Where could I put it. I have only one wall area that 's part of the hall leading to the kitchen. Is there ANY hope for pot storage in small kitchens?

January 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterOpinion02122

Every kitchen deserves a good pot rack, if you can mix it in with your lighting, then better still.

January 27, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterplumber in baltimore

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