10 Easy Pieces: Overhead Train Racks for the Entry and Beyond

London Transport Museum salvaged luggage rack.

I met my husband on British Rail. How could I not be a train buff? These days I commute into Manhattan on a Metro-North route that winds along the Hudson. And in addition to chance encounters and scenery, I love the design details that are holdovers from far more luxurious rail days—namely, the overhead stainless-steel baggage racks and accompanying coat hooks.

I’m not the only one who appreciates this space-efficient solution: Train racks have been adopted and customized for all sorts of household storage. They’re widely available new and old in a range of styles, sizes, and materials, and are ideal, of course, in the entry. They also work well in the bathroom for holding extra towels—you can spot them in most hotels—and in bedrooms they can be put to use as an open closet. Wherever you have a stretch of unused wall, the possibilities are limitless. Here are 10 favorite in situ examples and sources from near and far.

black Portis Hat Rack from Ikea by Matthew Williams
Above: At home in Mill Valley, CA, Michelle of Gardenista corrals coats, shopping bags, dog leashes, and plants on a black Portis Hat Rack from Ikea, now discontinued. For a similar rack, try Ikea’s Hemnes Hat Rack, $49.99. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Gardenista.
Metal restaurant dish rack as hat shelves and coat rack in Christine Chang Hanway London entry. Photo by Kristin Perers.
Above: After her husband’s many hats kept getting bumped off their hooks, Remodelista’s London editor Christine installed stainless steel Draining Shelves that are made for restaurants (but similar in design to train racks). These are from UK company Alco Engineering; from £47.94. Photograph by Kristin Perers.

For a similar look, consider mounting a series of train racks. A luxe version is the Urban Archaeology Train Rack, $910 in brass (nickel and chrome also available). Restoration Hardware offers a more affordable series of train racks, such as the Spritz in satin stainless steel, $285. Christine and her husband are both architects and they live in tight quarters; see more of their solutions in Rehab Diary: Finding Storage in Unexpected Places.

Train-style wall-hung storage: The Otto luggage rack with mirror from Graham and Green
Above: The vintage-inspired Otto Luggage Rack from Graham & Green of London has a pivoting mirror in the center; £289. For antique luggage racks, search online purveyors, such as eBay, Etsy, Chairish, and 1st Dibs.
Farringdon steel Luggage Rack from Garden Trading.
Above: The steel Farringdon Luggage Rack with moveable S hooks is £55 from Garden Trading, who also make some of our favorite Boot Racks.
Vintage Dutch train shelf and coat rack in the entry of Momo Suzuki and Alexander Yamaguchi's LA house. Photo by Kikuko Usuyama.
Above: A midcentury Dutch train shelf and coat rack hangs in the Black Crane designers Momo Suzuki and Alexander Yamaguchi’s Pasadena entry. Tour their house in Midcentury Meets Zen. Find similar Teak and Chrome Wall-Mount Vintage Racks for $265 from Amsterdam Modern, Dutch vintage importers in LA. Photograph by Kikuko Usuyama.
London Transport Museum salvaged Metropolitan Line luggage rack. A limited number are available for sale in the museum shop.
Above: The London Transport Museum sells replicas of the original luggage racks, similar to the one pictured, used on the Metropolitan Line trains. Its Recommissioned Luggage Racks come in small and large; £100 and £150.
Banquette with wall-hung luggage rack at The Grey in Savannah, a Parts and Labor Design. Emily Andrews photo.
Above: A train rack by Trainspotter hangs over a banquette at The Grey, a Savannah restaurant in a former Art Deco Greyhound terminal elegantly overhauled by Parts and Labor Design of NYC. Their polished cast-aluminum and stainless-steel Railway Luggage Rack, £432, is a reproduction of “the classic vintage railway luggage rack once ubiquitous on slam-door trains across the UK.” Photograph by Emily Andrews.
Schoolhouse Electric Swedish utility rack in bath.
Above: Schoolhouse Electric’s Swedish Utility Rack, $199, has birch rails and supports and hooks made of recycled aluminum. They’re by Essem Design: see more in our post Stylish Storage Solutions from Sweden.
An extended train rack as open closet in the bedroom at Hayama House by No. 555 Architects in Japan
Above: An extended overhead rack, just like the ones on trains, serves as an open closet in an apartment in Hayama, Japan, designed–and built—by  No. 555 architects. Tour the project in A DIY (Do It Together) Renovation. Photograph by Masatoshi Mori, courtesy of No. 555.

And for a kindred design to the luggage rack, see Design Sleuth: 5 Bathroom Mirrors with Shelves.

For more wall-mounted shelving ideas, see:

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