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The $15 Hardware Store Find That Will Change the Way You Organize |

The $15 Hardware Store Find That Will Change the Way You Organize

Leave it to the woman who demystified French cuisine to bring to light an enduring, no-nonsense storage solution still widely used by home cooks today. Not one to fritter away time rummaging through cabinets, Julia Child and her now-iconic kitchen pegboards represented an unfussy, roll-with-the-punches approach to organizing. She even used them outside the kitchen: In a workspace, pegboards (yes, plural) were hung floor-to-ceiling to keep her tools within arm’s reach: “Since we needed more wall space,” she told Architectural Digest in 1976, a window was covered up with pegboard, on which her husband, Paul, “worked out a stunning arrangement of copper saucepans and skillets.”

While sacrificing sunshine in the name of storage might be a step too far for modern home organizers, pegboards remain a timeless space-saving superstar. They free up cabinets and counters by accommodating pots and pans but can also act as decorative storage solutions in other rooms of the house. (Bonus: You won’t draw the ire of your landlord or neighbors by hammering a constellation of holes into the wall.) Get a pegboard cut at your local hardware store to suit your exact dimensions; it shouldn’t run you more than $20. Most come in unfinished plywood or galvanized metal, an industrial-looking option for garages that we’d love to see in more interior rooms. Want one that’s bare-bones but also ready to go? We like these. Or, for something a bit more polished, try a bespoke design like this.


Here’s how to put it to good use.

Shelving and a decorative neon sign were easily mounted on a whole wall of pegboard, painted the same white tone as the room’s other walls to make it blend in.

Consider a coat of paint. Semi- or high-gloss paint is ideal for coating a pegboard since it’s easier to wipe clean. Julia Child’s Cambridge kitchen evolved over the years from a muted blue to a forest green, but you might also experiment with a punchy, mood-boosting color that works with your room—this will make the board feel built-in, containing odds and ends thematically.

Start in the kitchen. There’s a reason pegboards usually wind up in the kitchen: The rhythm of the room lends itself to constant rearrangement. Use S-hooks to hang rows of measuring cups or add larger knobs for containing aprons and oven mitts. A smaller pegboard can even masquerade as a backsplash and house a paper towel holder or metal knife strip. Need some hardware to pull it all off? A formidable 43-piece accessory kit will only set you back $11.

In Dimes’ co-founder Sabrina de Sousa’s kitchen, pegboard holds up all manner of tools and cookware (and would make Julia Child proud).

Flip it horizontally. Get a few smaller pieces of pegboard cut the size of your drawers and tuck them inside so they lay flat. Strategically place pegs to demarcate where plates or bowls should go so everything fits neatly and won’t jostle around. You can use this same technique vertically to prop up plates for display.

Think outside the kitchen. In the bedroom, large-scale pegboards can pull double duty as headboards. Trust us! Use them to anchor lamps or try adding a contrasting wood frame (sanded and measured by your local hardware store employee) around the perimeter. Securely installed, a floor-to-ceiling pegboard in the living room is the perfect backdrop for adjustable shelving brackets instead of bulky cabinets.

Use open shelving. Set lightweight shelves on large wooden pegs to perch smaller items that are too pretty not to display, and then rotate them as you wish. Think of it as an improvisational collage: stuffed animals and blocks in a children’s room, small succulents and tchotchkes anywhere else.

No room? No problem. Even if you don’t have swaths of open wall space, surely you have doors. Affix a board to the back of a door to stash coats, totes, or towels for an easy work-around.

Category: Skillets  Tags: ,  Comments off
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