A couple of weeks after we posted the versatile tinkertoy plate holder we’d bought at Crate and Barrel and hacked…er…tailored it to suit our big platters, we discovered that Crate and Barrel had done some hacking as well. They added an edge and painted them rustic white, and are using them throughout the store to display all manner of goods, from CD’s to framed pictures (photo at bottom). We bought another set, thinking we’d found the perfect customizable holder for all kinds of things…

That is, until we stumbled on the Rationell Variera storage rack at Ikea. For $4.95 you get an accordian-style expandable stainless steel baseonto which you screw upright steel dowels. Rubber grips keep the rack from scratching surfaces. You can expand and contract it as needs dictate (and, like the Crate and Barrel stand, you can leave some of the upright dowels off giving bigger spaces to store wider items). Although its uses in the kitchen as a pot lid or cookie sheet holder are obvious, we’re using it to keep bags and satchels organized in the coat closet…

We find it makes a great, expandable desktop file holder:

Between the Ikea steel Rationell stand, and Crate and Barrell’s paintable wood one, we’ve got a lot of mutable storage options.

What would you use them for?

Related posts: wooden plate holder hack (for big platters, lids, racks etc)
how to store fruits, vegetables and eggs without a fridge
d-i-y vintage-box furniture (and obsession)
‘shelf of stuff’: what’s on yours?
birch logs for book cases and other household accent
tree trunks and rocks as display cases + stoolsx

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5 replies on “customizable upright holders for storing…just about everything

  1. Just when I thought I had my IKEA addiction under control! They have such great storage solutions–and the best thing about them is how their simplicity and elegance makes them so versatile.

  2. Before I read any of your post, I assumed that thing was like the wood accordian pieces of various sizes to hang on the wall for hooks. I still have 2. I’d take a pic but I’d have to take everything off to do it.

  3. The metal accordian racks could definitely go on the wall. Thanks for reminding us.

  4. How can I purchase the wooden racks from Crate and Barrel? They don’t sell them at the stores.

  5. If you do’t see them in the stores or online, then I imagine they don’t carry them any longer. You might call them as well. That said, they were quite simply made as you can see. Lengths of wood with parallel holes drilled in, with dowlels inserted.

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