While your cabinets might be the star of your kitchen, there’s one small addition that can make a dramatic difference: a simple rod. 

Typically hung under your upper cabinets, over your range, or even just above your backsplash on its own, a kitchen rail provides a space for you to hang pots, utensils, mugs, and more. If you’re an avid cook, a rail can help keep your go-to tools or measuring cups in reach, and if your kitchen is on the small side, it can provide an extra spot to store pots and pans. Of course, it’s also decorative: a few hanging herbs or a row of copper mugs can add a welcome, country (or cottagecore!) appeal to an otherwise modern space. 

Best of all, this is a kitchen upgrade that couldn’t possibly be easier (or affordable). All you have to do is buy the bar of your choice (IKEA sells one for $18) and drill it into the wall. What style you choose and where you hang it, however, requires more thought. If you need some ideas, these six kitchen rails provide plenty of inspiration.

 

The Cup Corner

Kitchen Rail for Cups

Photography and Design: Yellow Brick Home

A small, under-shelf rail in Kim and Scott Vargo’s Yellow Brick Home makes a sweet spot to stash four brass mugs, keeping them in easy reach for tea time. The shelf above also performs an important duty, holding a few go-to pots (and, of course, a decorative vase). 

 

The French Country Accent

Wall-to-Wall Kitchen Rail

One long wooden floating shelf across the wall of Astrid Gagliardi Reifer’s kitchen is a storage superhero, housing plates, bowls, cups, and more. The brass rod tucked underneath adds an interesting layer and provides a spot to conveniently hang a few brass pots and a ladle just above the range. It’s crucial to be selective though. Otherwise, the space might risk looking overcrowded.

 

The Over-Sink Moment

Kitchen Rail Above Sink

Photography: Jennie Corti; Design: Studio Surface

The blank space above this kitchen sink held plenty of potential for designer Michelle Salz-Smith of Studio Surface. Installing a small black rail gave her a spot to store wooden spoons, a small pan, and a tea towel. With a few floating shelves to the right of it, it’s just the right element to balance out the space. 

 

The Cook’s Station

Kitchen rail above stove

Photography: Kaleigh Gamache; Design: Mara and Geddy Krueger, Oak Trail Home

The above-range bar in photography Kaleigh Gamache’s studio makes meal prep easier, keeping a few select tools (a whisk, measuring cups, and more) out and easy to grab, so there’s no rifling through drawers.  Paired with a few wooden floating shelves, it fills up the simple, subway tiled wall.

 

The Backsplash Addition

Brass Kitchen Rail

The pink walls of this kitchen by Jersey Ice Cream Co. are charming on their own, but it’s a simple golden rail that takes it to the next level. Scissors, pots, spoons, and more are evenly spaced to give the space a slightly rustic appeal, without making it look cluttered. 

 

The Double-Duty Detail

Corner Kitchen Rail

Courtesy of Simple Offerings

Not one, but two rails add extra storage to the corner of Heidi Musser of Simple Offerings’ kitchen. One provides a convenient spot for a tea towel, and the other, an area to hang measuring spoons and fresh herbs—which not only add a pretty pop of green to the space, but also come in handy for dinnertime.

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