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Choosing a Bakers Rack

Home Styles Oak Hill Baker's Rack in Oak Finish

Bakers Racks in General

Because bakers racks come in a wide range of styles and sizes, decide first where it will go and then take measurements; you don’t want to end up with a unit that’s too big or too small. What are you using it for? If you are purchasing a bakers rack for display purposes, you might want one that includes a number of adjustable shelves. Or if you want to use one solely for baking, select a bakers rack with large drawers and/or cabinets to provide storage space for bowls, cookie sheets and utensils.

Take into account any special features that you want your bakers rack to have, such as wine bottle storage, a stemware rack, a cabinet with doors or one specifically designed to hold a microwave and other small appliances.

If you are purchasing a metal bakers rack for your patio or balcony, make sure that it is designed specifically for outdoor use.

Different Kinds of Bakers Racks

Standard bakers racks are intended to rest against a wall. Available in a wide variety of sizes and designs, they can be used as a focal point of the room or to convert a small unused space into a handy work area. Because many types of bakers racks include open storage shelves, they can be a handy place to store a small appliance such as a blender or toaster. They can incorporate features like compartments for wine bottles, stemware racks and enclosed cabinets with glass doors. They might also include drawers, storage baskets or a removable serving tray.

If space is limited or if the room you are purchasing a bakers rack for is an awkward shape, consider selecting one intended to fit into a corner. Corner bakers racks are designed to be both functional and decorative. Although they tend to be smaller, more compact and hold less than a standard bakers rack, corner bakers racks are ideal for displaying china, mementos, pictures, cookbooks or kitchen accessories. A perfect place to store bath products, towels and decorative soaps, they make a charming statement in a bathroom or guest bedroom.

Combining shelves and drawers with the features of standard bakers racks, a storage bakers rack is the ideal way to display and store collectibles or decorative items in a family room or a kitchen. In addition to common storage options such as drawers and cabinets, they can include cup rack holders, decorative plate rails, utility hooks, wine bottle storage and stemware racks. They are available in a variety of materials like wrought iron, copper, glass, wood, and wood and metal. Since they also come in many styles, from traditional to contemporary to modern, it shouldn’t be too difficult to match one with your existing décor.

Bakers Racks Features

A wine bakers rack allows you to store and display small appliances, utensils, collectibles and wine bottles in one convenient place. Wine bakers racks that include counter tops are ideal for providing extra counter space for food preparation, displaying china and ornaments or serving as a sideboard or buffet. They are usually designed to hold a limited number of bottles, anywhere from five to twelve. Ranging from simple and tasteful to artful and elaborate hand-painted detailing, a wine bakers rack gives you a built-in space to store your best vintages while adding versatility and style to your kitchen or dining area.

Etageres resemble a bakers rack in that they are a set of open shelves intended for decorative display or storage. However, they are considered to be lighter pieces of furniture than bakers racks. Originally, etageres were crafted almost exclusively as decorative furnishings for the corner of a room. Today they are available in a wide range of shapes, sizes and styles. They combine the features of a bakers rack with display shelving for showcasing ornaments, providing additional storage or holding a collection of books. Etageres not specifically designed to be placed in a corner, can provide alternative shelving options that are whimsical and appealing. Since their primary function is for decoration, they can be welcome additions to virtually any room in your home.

Bakers Rack Materials

Considered to be the most durable material for furniture, genuine wood furnishings are constructed from wood cut from the trunks of trees like beech, oak or maple. Because it is not made from recycled or processed materials, it is usually more expensive. If your budget allows for a bakers rack made of real wood, choose one with a protective finish to minimize scratches. A resilient finish will also allow for easy cleaning.

NOTE: Both the terms "hardwoods" and "softwoods" refer to whether the timber used to make the furniture is from a deciduous or coniferous tree, and not to the hardness or softness of the wood itself.

Engineered woods are made by gluing multiple wood fibers together using heat and pressure. Since they are made from recycled materials, they are more affordable than genuine wood and are as durable. The most common type of engineered wood is medium density fiberboard or MDF. MDF can look and feel like real wood when finished with laminates or veneers.

Wood veneers are produced when thin slices of real wood are adhered with heat and pressure to the piece of furniture. Because it can be applied to any smooth, flat surface, usually made from recycled materials, this is a popular method for giving furniture the texture and appearance of genuine solid woods while keeping costs down. Wood veneer furnishings are lighter and therefore less expensive to ship.

Coaster Dirty Oak Bakers Rack with 2 Drawers
Steve Silver Company Hamlyn Marble Top Bakers Rack

Laminate, Metal or Glass?

Laminates are produced by pressing layers of materials such as plastic, metal and wood together, applying it to a wood frame and then sealing it with a thermosetting resin. The laminate sheet is then applied to furniture's surface as a finish. It doesn't fade and has no grain that can cause variations from one piece of furniture to another. Laminates are commonly used for bakers racks because they are strong, durable and easy to care for and can withstand heavy use.

Fashioning metal into functional items like weapons, furniture and artwork has been done for over 5,000 years. Pure metals are too soft, too brittle or chemically reactive. Alloys are made by combining two or more metals together. The purpose of creating an alloy is to make the metal stronger and more stable. Since all metals are subject to the effects of time and oxidization, you will want to choose a corner bakers rack with a durable finish or one that is made of scaled metal which is resistant to corrosion.

Tempered glass is made by either treating it with heat or with a chemical solution, which makes it stronger than regular or annealed glass. It is designed to break into small fragments rather than large shards, like untreated glass. When selecting an etagere choose one that uses tempered glass for the shelves, since this will make it stronger and safer.

Marble veneers are produced when thin slices of real marble are adhered to a piece of furniture using heat and pressure. This process is used to give a bakers rack the beauty of real marble without the cost and weight. Not only is it economical, but it is an ideal way to give furniture the look of marble while strengthening it, since natural marble can be fragile and time consuming to care for. Marble is typically used for the countertop of a bakers rack or as decorative accents.

Choose Your Bakers Rack Style

Traditional style is characterized by medium to dark finishes and graceful curves. Classic accents like inset panels and leaf motifs are reflections of past eras and trends such as the Victorian era. Traditional bakers racks can include rich detailing such ornate brass finials or elaborate scrollwork.

Modern bakers racks are characterized by polished surfaces and geometric shapes. Features of modern design are angular lines and asymmetrical detailing. The focus of this style is on form and function. Metal and glass are common construction materials.

Contemporary style bakers racks, like modern, is also known for its clean lines and geometric shapes. However, unlike the modern style, contemporary furnishings are often softened by curved or tempered lines. Contemporary style will mix finishes and materials that create visual interest.

Transitional bakers racks merges elements of both the traditional and contemporary styles. Lines and forms tend to be simple yet sophisticated. The emphasis is on uncluttered detail. Demonstrated by the use of straight lines contrasted with tapered legs, a transitional bakers rack will blend easily with contemporary or more traditional furnishings to complement your current décor.

Country bakers racks are scaled down versions of more traditional furniture pieces like French Provincial, English Country or Colonial. Country style is characterized by milk-painted woods, muted colors, simple lines and a comfortable feel. It can also include whimsical details like hand-painted stencilling, hand-carved insets and soft, graceful curves. Country-styled bakers rack will add a tranquil charm to the room’s atmosphere.