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Pot racks - yes or no?

My husband and I got married and purchased a house 3 years ago. It has quite a nice kitchen (which I looked for, as I like to bake) but I've never been a huge cook. However, this last year I have started cooking a LOT more, discovered the Le Creuset outlet 1/2 an hour away, and inherited a set of flawless All-Clad from my mom when she downsized.

When we bought the house, it already had ceiling mounts installed for a pot rack. While I need the space under my stove (I have a LOT of bakeware!) I wonder if pot racks are too visually cluttering and ugly. I also wonder about banging my head, the noise, and what happens if there's an Earthquake (we're in California.)

I've attached a picture to get your thoughts. We ended up removing the upper cabinet doors to display our dishes and glassware. It would hang above the island.

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  1. A pot rack wouldn't be any more risky than open cabinets of glassware and dishes in an earthquake, maybe even less because they might just swing instead of becoming projectiles.

    1. I am not a fan of pot racks because my much loved and much cooked with pots and pans don't look 'pretty' as they did when I first got them years ago. But, with that in mind, I'm happier to have them on pullout shelves in my island. I agree with the respondent that it's not likely that they will fall but I would want to put the really heavy LeCreuset above my head... hard to get down and would make me nervous.

      1. I was planning to move my Le Creuset to the cabinets and hang the All-Clad, since it's lighter. Even if it could support the weight, it would freak me out too much to hang that amount of cast iron!

        1. Hi, nararabbit:

          The aesthetics are strictly up to you, and I bet you already have some strong opinions about that.

          Space and accessibility are other matters. Leaving the room or digging in the back of a crowded cabinet for a pan gets tiresome very quickly. If the pan is instantly at hand (whether hung or in cabinets), you save time.

          You might also consider, either as an alternative or supplement, a floor-standing étagère or pot stand. Enclume makes several sizes, and many kitchen stores display their LC offerings on them. I have a home-made 6-tier étagère at both my beach and city houses, and like them very much. Obviously, these take floor space, but less than you might think.


          1. I had a pot rack over my island for many years until we redid our kitchen and made the executive decision to get rid of it. Best decision ever.
            Now, my storage has improved by orders of magnitude do to more drawers and pull outs. Amazing. So, that has to be a consideration, of course, but I can tell you that the look is so, so, so much cleaner.
            My 8-foot ceilings look more like 9-foot ceilings.

            1. Congratulations on the house the marriage and the All-Clad windfall!
              Things to consider with a pot rack also include ergonomics (are both you and your spouse easily able to access cookware stored on such a rack?) and general cooking/cleaning habits. I don't mind, aesthetically, seeing clean, well-used pieces "displayed" in a kitchen, but dusty or scorched? Not so much.

              1. Late FIL (gone one year yeasterday), continued to treat me as his duaghter even after his son & I divorced. He always gave me $50 as a Chirstmas gift and I went out of my way to spend that money on something that would remind me that HE made it possible. A few years ago, bought a rack/shelf from one of the home improvement stores... L's or HD?!? Main part of kitchen is a box with SOLID soffet (?) all the way around. Rack isn't directly over counter, so no head banging. I LOVE it!

                1. I'm in the "I Love My Potrack And Would Take It Out Of The House In Case Of Earthquake" camp. The potrack is approx five feet long and hangs over the island, which is approx. 5'X12'. Because we built this house from the ground up, a very large beam is placed over the island and the potrack is secured with heavy-duty all-threads screwed directly into the beam. I've just counted and there are 10 pieces of Le Creuset and 9 heavy copper pots on the potrack. It has served me well for the eleven years we've lived here and did duty for many years in a previous house. Even though I have plenty of storage, I wouldn't like to part with the potrack since it keeps my well-used collection right where I can see - and use - each piece. It is wired for lighting but I have never found the need to complete this project. There is no head-banging problem and I'm sure that is due to several factors, inc. size.

                  Is a well-used potrack 'visually cluttering'? Probably so, but since it is in my well-used, busy kitchen, I gladly trade an antiseptic look for utility.

                  1. our kitchen is so not asthetically pleasing very function over form we have a shelf with our pots and pans in eay reach.. I would love a pot rack over the island but that is the only light source in the kitchen :(

                    1. Based on this photo it appears to be a little on the sleek side, but a few well placed pot racks could fix that!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: tim irvine

                        Plus they work well with kitschy magnets!!!

                        1. I've never liked the look of decorating with audiovisual components and feel the same about cookware :) I have pullouts and lazy susans that hold everything. And for OP's space I think it would definitely detract aethestically. My two cents.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: c oliver

                            I am in general agreement with you, and every room but our kitchen is fairly minimalist. We have lived in larger homes where the kitchens could hold everything in cabinets, but not this time. I would willingly redecorate my living room in a Klipschorn/McIntosh theme, but for budgetary and space reasons it is done in Bose Wave on the entry table, suitably unobtrusive!


                            (__8 ])

                            1. re: tim irvine

                              :) Some years ago, I had nothing but a toaster on my counters. No more.

                          2. I live in California and have lived through earthquakes (which destroyed my beautiful Baccarat and the latest mini earthquake last year where the epicenter was less than a mile from me destroyed a beautiful decorative ceramic teapot), but the pot rack is still standing firm.

                            I couldn't live without a pot rack. But then I have a small kitchen and not sufficient drawers and cabinets to stow the pots and pans. I also have beautiful copper pots and pans, so even if I had sufficient drawers and cabinets, I wouldn't want to hide them.

                            1. Because you need the space, I'd give it serious consideration. They needn't look cluttered. If you hang only your most-used items on it, it will function well with 2-3 pots and a couple of frying pans. Because they'll be used very often, dust won't be a problem. It looks like you've got 9' ceilings, yes? That's enough visual height, imo, to keep your space from looking cluttered. But I would also make sure there wasn't much 'stuff' on the island or your counters, and nothing much larger than a knife rack on the island itself.

                              Another consideration is line of sight. When working at your island, are you going to be frequently interacting with people across the island? A low-hanging rack could be a problem. In one home, my island was 9' long and separated the kitchen from the family room. I had my pot rack (10' ceiling) hung high so that the bottom of the pots was about 6' high, above my sight line. Both my Dude and I could still reach them easily. We're 5'9" and 6'.

                              In my current home, I've got quite a few things on the counters and on my island, so I decided against a pot rack and put a ceiling fan over the island instead. Smart move here in Tampa, where my kitchen can get pretty toasty. That said, I moved seldom-used items to a garage pantry rack. This gave me plenty of cabinet storage in the kitchen.

                              As the original respondent mentioned, earthquakes shouldn't pose a problem, provided you use heavy bolts/chains and large hooks. Any shaker that brought down your pots would first send all your open storage items crashing down.