Kitchen rails – useful, versatile and budget friendly storage solutions

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Kitchen rails are universal and can be used in any kitchen. For every housewife, the design of the kitchen is especially important. This is the heart of the home and whether it is a separate room or an open plan concept, this is the place where everything should be comfortable, cozy and functional. Organizing the kitchen can be a challenge in both large and small space. There are many organization systems that help finding the right place for every utensil and appliance. We will focus your attention to one of the simplest and most popular ideas for storage – kitchen rails. We shall look at the advantages and disadvantages of such open storage systems, the materials, the types and of course, the way to create a balanced and harmonious interior. The convenience of placing some useful little things on the kitchen wall is obvious and it helps the proper organization of space. The days when you could see a nail in the wall are long gone and nowadays modern manufacturers offer stylish and functional kitchen rails from different materials and in various modifications.

 kitchen reiling pros and cons storage and organization

Let’s begin with answering the main question. What is a kitchen rail? Generally, this is a pipe of a certain length with round or square section which is attached to the wall, tabletop or ceiling with special holders, the number of which depends on the length of the rail. Typically, kitchen rails are equipped with hooks and you can add a variety of accessories to increase their functionality. Rails came to us from restaurant kitchens. They were used as a space saving storage and organization system as well as to improve efficiency since everything needed was at arm’s length. The multi-functionality and convenience of such an accessory was appreciated by housewives and rails became popular in domestic kitchens.

Advantages and disadvantages of kitchen rails

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When you want to create a pleasant and convenient kitchen, it must be properly equipped. This means that every item must occupy a certain place, since there are a large number of them. Kitchen rails are a great way to organize various appliances and accessories. They allow you to keep at hand everything you need. There are a number of advantages that one needs to know, so here is a short list:

Mobility – kitchen rails can be installed in any convenient place, even in the corner zone, regardless of the size of the room and the location of the furniture.

More free space – having a rail allows you to get more free space on the working surface. You can place buckets, colander, saucepan lids, graters and other kitchen appliances which will leave your countertop free of clutter. In the kitchen rails help you maintain order, offer you comfort and add a very special elegance.

Convenience – all necessary devices and arranged comfortably and are easily accessible. For example, all seasonings can be located above the stove on a special shelf.

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Additional accessories – the market offers numerous accessories which you can add to your rail system and improve its functionality. You can add or remove hinged accessories at any time. There are special hooks or shelves for storing cups, pans, ladles, colanders, cutting boards, scissors, spices, etc. Mesh shelves or holders for paper towels may also be included in the additional accessories.

Kitchen rail systems do not require any special maintenance. It is enough to clean the surface with a soft sponge and detergent.

Durability – the structures are strong and reliable. They can withstand significant loads without losing their original shape. Depending on the material, the surface is resistant to moisture and chemicals. Except for DIY models made of wood, the majority of kitchen rails are made of metal which also guarantees a long service life.

Installation – Rails are easily installed and the process does not require special skills or tools.

Visual appeal – the market offers a wide range of different style solutions and accessories for rails. This will allow you to add a special touch and individuality to your kitchen interior design.

Affordable price – last but not least in the list of advantages, is the price. Obviously, cost will depend on the material. Custom made wrought iron models will be more expensive than factory made stainless steel ones. The good news is that kitchen rails are not expensive and one can start with a simple rail and add accessories later.

 What are the most popular types of kitchen rails?

scandinavian kitchen design with horizontal wall railing


Nowadays kitchen rail systems are produced in a wide variety and can fit into any room interior. This is due to the fact that manufacturers offer their products in various colors, combinations and from different materials. Given the individual characteristics of kitchen interiors, customet preferences and most of all installation method, manufacturers offer three main types of kitchen rails.

    • horizontal;
    • vertical;
  • suspended.

open kitchen wall storage brass rail with hooks


Horizontal rails are the most popular option. The basic design is a straight bar with S-shaped hooks for kitchen utensils. These rails are usually wall mounted, at a distance of up to 10 cm from the bottom wall of cabinets. There may be a single rail on one wall or around the perimeter of the room. In small kitchens, horizontal systems can be arranged one above the other so that they occupy minimum space and offer maximum efficiency. Metal hooks allow you to place not only individual kitchen utensils, but also systems of shelves, containers and other type of holders.

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Vertical rails are not attached to the walls, they are installed on countertops or between the floor and the ceiling. Shelves and all kinds of supports can be attached to the main vertical rod.

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Suspended rail systems are very convenient and are usually installed above kitchen islands and bar counters. Suspended systems are attached to the ceiling and have many hooks for kitchen utensils, including glasses, cups and other utensils. This type of rails gives the kitchen an additional comfort and free counter space.

kitchen rails materials finishes

What are kitchen rails made of? Modern production offers several options – stainless steel, anodized aluminum, steel, nickel, brass, etc. Almost all products get a chrome finish but there are also products with matte finish. To create a harmonious combination between the rail system and the interior of the kitchen, the rods may have different finishes and imitate silver or gold coating. Coating adds additional protection against corrosion and moisture. Stainless steel is among the most popular options. It is able to withstand considerable loads without suffering any deformation. Anodized aluminum is used for small sections or hidden mini-systems.

What is the best location of kitchen rail systems?

small kitchen organizers and storage ideas stainless steel rail

Kitchen rails should be installed so that you can easily pick up items that you need. When deciding where to place the rail, carefully look at the characteristics of the room. It may be convenient for you to group several small rods into a work triangle or, fix just one long rod.

Do not neglect safety. This question is particularly important for suspended structures. Objects falling from the shelves can hurt you and cause damage to household items or appliances below them.

Think practically. It is logical to put closer all the items and accessories that you use regularly. The accessories that you rarely need can be placed in the distant ends or corners.

The configuration of the kitchen affects the location of the rails. Traditionally, they are installed horizontally above the working area. The metal rod can be installed on any surface – ceramic tiles, painted plaster or other type of backsplash. The exception is tempered glass backsplash since tempered glass cannot be processed after production. In such cases one must know in advance where and how the rail will be fixed and have it in mind when he orders the backsplash.

When installing a horizontal structure, the most common question is what is the best height for the rail system? As per experts, it should be installed at a distance of 40-50 cm from the countertop and when you mount the rod under the kitchen cabinets, the distance to the railing should be no more than 8-10 cm. In order to provide a strong structure and to be able to load it as much as possible, hooks and holders should be installed every 50 cm.

copper rail in modern white kitchen

Corner rails are also a popular design, especially for small kitchens. A multi-layered arrangement provides better optimization of available space and you can combine rails with open shelves or other type of kitchen storage.

Before going to the store, it is a good idea to determine the size of the rails as well as the number and purpose of the hanging elements. Try to imagine how they will look in the interior of your kitchen and whether it will not become too cluttered. It is best if you can resist the temptation to buy all sorts of accessories. You can always buy more hooks and storage shelves when you need them.

Keep in mind that in a small-sized kitchen, a large number of objects hung on the walls will create a feeling of a cluttered space. In such cases, it is worthwhile to give preference to simple small-sized rails and place the most frequently used number of kitchen appliances. A multi-level storage system with sections located at different heights is a good option for narrow walls.

In a spacious room, the rail system can be installed along the walls. This is especially convenient when you do not have upper cabinets and you can use the rails to place everything you need for your daily food preparation.

How to choose the right kitchen rail system?

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When you consider what type of rail storage systems are suitable for your interior, you need to keep in mind the overall style of the kitchen. Rails can be harmoniously incorporated into the interior of a kitchen designed in rustic, Provence, modern, hi-tech, industrial, classic styles. Bronze and gold finishes can be used for interior designs in classic style. They will add a touch of antiquity and will make the room particularly cozy. A finish in bronze or copper will be a great accent in a kitchen with wooden cabinets and natural stone countertop.

For French country or Mediterranean style interiors, medium length straight rails with S-shaped hooks will look good Matte finishes are ideal for these styles. To emphasize the natural character of Mediterranean and Provence place wooden spoons, painted pot holders and small wooden pots with spices on the rails. Pans and pots of different sizes and color hooked on a suspended pot rack are a fantastic addition to such interiors.

Fans of hi-tech interiors may choose long flat metal rods with rectangular cross section and matte finish. Black rails for the kitchen will look stylish and unusual. Rail storage systems with nickel and chrome finish are suitable for kitchens decorated in modern style.

Despite the fact that kitchen rails can be incorporated into almost any style, they will look out of place in ascetic Japanese style as it is based on lack of accessories. Rails for open storage are rarely seen in minimalist interiors. However, when the rail is used with minimum accessories, when it has a straight and strict shape and line, it can be incorporated into the style.

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