If you like the look of a pot rack, suffer from a lack of cupboards, or have a big blank wall, you can get this culinary "Euro-look" for a fraction of the cost!
My kitchen is long and narrow with a tall, blank wall at the end. I needed something dramatic but useful to put on the wall that was fairly flush so as not to interfere with opening and closing my cupboards and drawers.
I thought a pot rack would bring interest to the end wall of my utilitarian, rather plain kitchen and make it a more user friendly space to work in.
Pot racks can be costly, running into the several hundreds of dollars for good quality. Yes, you can find cheap, less well-made pot racks for about double what you'd pay for a sturdy curtain rod. For the price of a curtain rod you can create a pot rack for under $20.
To attach the rod brackets it's best to drill into a wall stud, if possible. If not, use plastic anchor sleeves to attach the bracket screws more securely (most curtain rods come with plastic anchor sleeves).
Just don't try to screw the brackets into drywall and expect the loaded rod to stay put. The weight will eventually (probably sooner, rather than later), pull it off the wall with a loud crash and clatter!
The heft and bulk of sauce pots, pans, and kitchen accessories can be considerable when amassed on the rod. Save your large pots and cast iron for cupboard storage.
You can salvage a lot of cupboard and drawer space by hanging some of your items on the wall while achieving a European, "working chef's kitchen" look.
You'll want to purchase an expandable curtain rod that is the length of the space to be covered before the rod is expanded, or extended. So, if you want your rod to span a space 24- to 30-inches long, buy a rod which is 24-inches in its un-extended state, but can extend to 48-inches (although you won't do this).
Plan to extend the rod no more that a quarter to one-third beyond the closed or collapsed state of the rod. This way you have - for all or most of the rods length - double the strength of the rod (one part within the other).
Here's how to create your own curtain rod pot rack...
After measuring to insure a level installation, attach your rod brackets as suggested above.
Hang heavier items like pots and pans near the bracket to prevent potential sagging of the rod. Or, you may wish to buy a third bracket (two come with the rod, but additional brackets may be purchased) to secure the center of the rod if you want to hang heavier items all along the rod's length.
When I drilled to attach my first bracket, I was thrilled to find a wall stud. I wasn't so lucky for the other bracket. That side was stud-less and required the use of plastic anchor sleeves.
Hooks will be required to hang your items. Hardware stores sell many types of S-hooks, but I created my own using re-bar wire which is cheap, has a vast array of uses, is bendable but sturdy, and I happened to have some in my storeroom.
A drill, plastic anchor sleeves, re-bar wire, screw driver, wire cutters, and a pair of pliers was all I needed to create a "culinary kitchen look". All I had to buy was the rod.
To hang heavier items - pans and a pot - I cut double the length of wire I actually needed to make my hook, plus a couple inches more, so I could twist the wire to make the hook stronger.
I cut the doubled length a couple inches longer than needed because as the wire is twisted around itself it will shorten the finished length needed for your hook. Any excess can be cut off after the wire is twisted.
To twist the wire, I bent the cut length in the middle bringing the two sides close together. I used a pair of pliers to hold the center bend or loop while I twisted the wire around itself with the fingers of my other hand, then bent the twisted wire into an S-shaped hook.
You can bend the wire for the larger loop of your S-hook around the handle of the screwdriver for a smooth loop. The smaller loop of your "S" may be formed using the rod itself or a smaller screwdriver's handle.
I snipped off any excess beyond what my hook required with wire cutters before hanging it on the rod.
For lighter weight items I used a single length of wire and bent it into an S-shape.
After hanging the hook on the rod, squeeze the smaller loop closed over the rod leaving enough slack so the hook can slide along the rod.
I hung another rod below the first to hold my dishtowel so it can dry between uses. The towel is within grabbing distance of the kitchen sink saving steps and adding convenience.
The end wall of my kitchen is now more interesting than the tall, blank wall that met my eyes each time I entered the kitchen. And, I got "the look without spending the bucks"!
I chose brushed steel-look curtain rods to mimic more closely the "look" of a pot rack. I got my rods at Target.