Ellen Silverman

Years ago, when I was putting together my very make-shift kitchen, I searched and searched for a pot rack that was the opposite of the ones that seemed to be everywhere – clunky or “country”-ish, overly ornate or verging on Medieval.  Nothing I found accommodated my personal pot rack idiosyncrasies that includes not liking pots hanging over head, or making my small space looking cluttered. 

So I turned to towel bars. It was a small shift in thinking to envision these sleek steel bars hung with hooks and copper, rather than terry cloth. Why not use a towel bar as a pot rack? (Or simply change its name?)

I installed three towel bars on one wall in a nook behind my fridge, to make three levels of pots, which I hung from S-hooks bought on Canal Street, New York City’s hardware-scavenger’s heaven. I had only to make sure the racks were anchored securely to the wall, to carry the weight of whatever I’d hang on them, from copper cookware to cast-iron skillets and griddles. (Beware, though, of towel bars that hold the towel more than two or 3 inches from the wall and have only one horizontal bar as a bracket; the farther pots hand from the wall, the more they’ll weigh on the rack, potentially putting stress on the anchor.)

Unfortunately, I don’t have a source for my towel bar-pot rack, since it’s been a decade since I bought it. (I’m on the look-out, in case it’s still being made). But the gist is a good one: re-purposing racks of various kinds, from towel bars to curtain rods.

Here’s another source for inexpensive S-hooks.

or S-hooks made for flat bars.

Note: the grapevine wreath is for smoking salmon in an iron skillet…tk.

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11 replies on “towel bars as pot racks

  1. Here’s an email I got from Nina, ‘the improvised life’s wonderful project consultant, with some things to consider:
    “I like the towel bar/pot rack ideas. A couple comments that you already touched on:
    The towel bars themselves are usually meant to carry the weight of towels- not pots. Thus they are usually pretty light weight, and could bend or break under too much weight. Secondly, if attached to the wall, there should be what I call “positive” attachment. In other words, there should be a stud or wood backing behind the fasteners. I would not recommend using the little plastic wall anchors. A molly/toggle bolt could work if it was used correctly, but I would be careful of that, because all that is doing is holding the wallboard/sheetrock or plaster, and could still pull out under too much stress.
    How about shower curtain rods? A little beefier, or curtain rods as you mentioned..

  2. How do you use a grapevine wreath and iron skillet to smoke salmon?!??!

  3. How do you use a grapevine wreath and iron skillet to smoke salmon?!??!

    Also – what is a Trackback/Pingback; how do I know they have come in; how do I access them?

    Thank you much…

  4. AH, well that is a swell technique. Thank you for asking. I have some pictures and will do a post on it.

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