Great storage solutions are born one of two ways: in a frantic effort to make sense of an ever-expanding universe of things or as a surrender to the knowledge that space is, in the end, limited. In the case of most of our houses — and particularly our kitchens — that limitation seems to be more stringent than ever. There are only so many pots, pans, paring knives and gadgets that can fit.
When you empty the dishwasher, do you end up with a bowl/saucepan/oversize utensil that’s like the last kid standing in musical chairs? Are kitchen gadgets creeping beyond the accepted boundaries of the kitchen? (Yes, keeping that Cuisinart under the bathroom sink IS crossing a line.) If so, you need storage help. We suggest swiping inspiration from the ultimate kitchen pro: Julia Child.
Not only was Child the person who brought French cooking to American kitchens, but she was also 6-foot-2. And she worked for a World War II-era spy agency. Her weakness? Kitchen tools. A look at photos of Child’s home kitchen reveals that it was not a tiny, overflowing room. It was a generously sized room plus three additional pantries.
Yet, still overflowing: Knives are hung on magnetic racks on what appears to be every available vertical surface, utensils fill crocks, a Cuisinart sits in disarray on the butcher block and then there’s the pegboard. Miles of pegboard, hung with everything from skillets to ladles to whisks to fish-shaped molds. Child had so much kitchen stuff that it was literally climbing the walls.
The pegboard system kept things within reach and orderly (the outlines of pans were traced onto their spot on the boards, and a small Polaroid picture was taped underneath each one, so that pans were never misplaced). And it has been widely copied (check your home design boards, Pinterest lovers).
So when I, in a fit of tiny kitchen angst, went looking for storage ideas, I knew pegboard would pop up right away. I didn’t really want to jump on any bandwagons, but I realized that pegboard, done right, could be a tidy way to use a tight spot where a cabinet would never fit. Behind a door, for instance.
My search revealed a twist, however: A company called Wall Control (motto: “the organization you crave”) offers a modular, metal pegboard system made to hold everything from small kitchen tools to beefy pots and pans. Offered in a few bright colors, as well as galvanized silver, the metal pegboards are sturdier than classic pegboard and have a slick, industrial look that would be at home in a garage or a more modern kitchen.
It’s a nice update that means you can pull together a pegboard to corral your stuff, and you won’t have to jump on Julia Child’s bandwagon. Wall Control has already done it for you.