For some time now I’ve explored removing our two sets of halogen lights in our kitchen and replace them with a hanging pot and pan rack. Ive looked at a bunch of different styles. Some with lights and some without lights. I didn’t want to have holes in the ceiling and have to patch holes. I wanted something quick and simple.
The builders of our house had installed a box of sorts around the halogen light fixtures. They then took a piece of PVC plastic and spray painted it. It looked horrible. Thus the reason I wanted to change it up.
After bringing this to my wife, she agreed that it looked horrible and I needed to replace it. But what was it going to look like? What is the cost going to be? How are you going to get a rack up there? I searched google for a while. I came up with pictures like this:
But they really didn’t work in our kitchen. While these are nice and heavy duty, I really didn’t want to remove the box and make more work for myself. Then my creative wife came up with a different way. Instead lets take the lights down and add track lighting and then get a wire grate and stick it up there.
Boom! The best idea won for sure. And it was cheaper then buying one of these.
Here’s what I Did
So here’s what I did. I removed the two sets of halogen lights and installed two sets of track lighting with three lights on each side.
As you can see in the picture I had one smaller hole and one bigger hole (and one on the side for some reason). I really didn’t want to patch it with dry wall, thus adding an extra day or two in the process. Instead I found where the studs were in the ceiling and added a 3/4″ piece of birch plywood. I painted the plywood with trim paint and attached it inside the box on the ceiling. Next I added the track lighting. This was the easiest step so far because with most electrical its all about putting white wires with white, black with black and green with green (ground wires).
The track lighting came with three light cans each. Getting them to attach to the track is quite easy. Simply twist and they turn on. Its a great way to get them in without all the extra mess of dealing with wiring each individual lights.
The Crate that turned into a Rack
Now for the fun part: Coming up with a grate that would work and not be super expensive. I googled 2 foot by 4 foot wire grids and the cost was between $60-100. If I wanted to spend that kind of money I would have just purchased the kitchen rack I wanted to begin with. Thus began the creative process again. Where in the world was I going to get a rack, long and wide enough without breaking the bank?
I started looking around my garage and discovered I had an old dog crate from when we would crate him when we left. Now he’s so old we don’t do that at all anymore. So the crate is just collecting dust and dirt in the garage. One side of the crate measured 27″ by 42″. Insert Dremel with metal cutting bit and SkilSaw with metal cutting blade.
I measured back 2″ on one side and 1 3/4″ on the other side to bring down the width from 27 inches to 23 3/4″ total width. Once that was done I inserted the rack into the box for dry fitting. Now I knew that it wasn’t going to be long enough but I started thinking that I would need to be able to get back in there and change the light bulbs one day so having the extra space would be good.
I took the rack back out and added some casing moulding around the edges on the inside where the wood was placed. It gave it a nice look. Now (as of now) I need to caulk the edges, fill in the nail holes and paint the board once more.
The Sneaky Snook Hook
Now that the rack was up I had to figure out how the pans were going to stay up there. I looked at decorative S Hooks but they were too thick for the eyelets on the pans. I looked at stainless steel S Hooks but they weren’t long enough. Again, I had to use my creativity. I went to the gardening section of Lowes and found these garden hooks.
Here’s where the fun starts with the hooks. Since I needed 10 total hooks, I purchased 5 of these steel garden hooks (picture above). I then cut the hooks in half with my Dremel, giving me 10 total I needed. Next I took my propane torch, heated up the straight end and bent a small hook in the other end (Picture below).
Now I have ten of these amazing hooks, for have the cost and do exactly when I need from them: hold the pots and pans
It was an awesome project to do and I’m glad that we did it. It makes the kitchen a bit more snazzy and gives us some more room where the pots and pans once lived. Now we need to invest in some (more) better pots and pans.