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Remodeling 101: How Shaker Peg Rails Saved My Summer Sanity


Remodeling 101: How Shaker Peg Rails Saved My Summer Sanity

Christine Chang Hanway May 20, 2016

With summer on the horizon, and the imminent arrival of my teenage sons’ out-of-town friends to our place in Connecticut, the thought of all those wet towels, clothes, and bathing suits on the floors prompted me into action. “Provide them with as many hooks as possible,” I told myself, “like the Shakers, who hang everything from pegs including chairs.” My designer brain started to whir away and before I knew it, I had envisioned Shaker peg rails running around all four walls in every bedroom–bespoke, long lead time (summer would be over!), and without a doubt, too expensive. It was time for compromise.

In my search for lengths of Shaker peg rails that would allow me to maximize the available space on my walls, I discovered I could order them in increments of 6 inches (the recommended peg spacing) from Peg and Rail in Highland, Michigan. I proceeded to order 54 feet of Shaker peg rails in varying lengths for every bedroom as well as the back hall. The 10 rails arrived within a week of my order. And the results? Clutter-free floors for the summer. They may not have been custom made by a carpenter, but they’re utterly serviceable (and sanity saving).

The Inspiration

Above: A while back, we became obsessed with Ilse Crawford’s designs for High Road House, a 14-room hotel and members’ club near Heathrow Airport in London. See Steal This Look: Ilse Crawford Shaker-Inspired Bedroom.

Above: Another of our favorite inspirational spaces: London stylist Twig Hutchinson’s studio and summerhouse wrapped with a bespoke rail of Shaker pegs. Go to House Call: Summerhouse on Lorn Road to see the rest of Hutchinson’s studio.

Above: Shaker pegs in the Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill in Kentucky. Photograph courtesy of  Design Tripper.

The Implementation

Above: Thanks to the 8-foot length of rail that I installed in the master bedroom, my husband and I became neater as well. While sweaty tennis clothes and damp bathing suits hang from the teens’ pegs, I display my favorite pieces of clothing, such as this artist’s smock from Margaret Howell. See Artist Style: 7 Studio-Inspired Smocks for some of our other favorites. Photograph by Christine Chang Hanway.

Above: I purchased my Shaker peg rails from Peg and Rail, which offers a shelf and various finish options. We went for the shelf because it allows us to display art without having to commit to hanging it. Photograph by Christine Chang Hanway.

The shelves on our rails freed up the way we think about displaying artwork. See The New Art Gallery: Paintings in the Kitchen for more ideas. Browse our Gallery of Rooms and Spaces for more Hooks & Hardware ideas. On Gardenista, have a look at 10 Easy Pieces: Sturdy Mudroom Hooks.

N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on September 13, 2013 as part of our Get Organized issue.

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