Friday, 25 May 2018

A Peg Rail Shelf

Hello! Everyone ok? It's Friday and half term next week so I'm smiling. I'm also high on DIY because I'm so excited to share with you a little project we've had going on here over the last month of so: the creation of a peg rail and shelf in our porch. 

The porch (or you might call it a lobby or mudroom) is a small enclosed area between the front door and inner door into the our hall. It serves no purpose whatsoever other that it holds a shoe rack and some of our shoes, but the main bulk of shoes, boots, coats and scarves etc are stored in a big built in cupboard at the end of our hall, so you still have to walk through the porch to hang up your coat anyway. I would happily remove that glass wall and door tomorrow which would instantly make the whole hall bigger and brighter but that's an ongoing discussion for John and I to have.... ;-) 

But the porch is the first thing you see upon opening the front door so I like it to look nice. You can see more photos here.

Anyway, before I warm to my theme too much and get out a sledgehammer, it all started after the millionth wet dog walk we endured over the endlessly rainy Easter holidays back in early April. It must have rained every day over those two weeks and I got sick of trying to find somewhere to hang our dripping wet coats so that they could dry off. I couldn't put them in the hall cupboard, because they'd make everything else damp. I needed some hooks!

Opposite the shoe rack in the porch, we have a funny glass wall, a window that looks into the garage. The idea is that it lets borrowed light into the garage but it also provides a hideous view of, well, the garage, and no-one wants to see that so I covered it up with window film three years ago when we moved in. The window film was always peeling off and looked terrible so we decided to cover over this glass wall and create somewhere to hang wet coats.

My brilliant Dad took me to the local timer merchant - that was an education, you have to take your own saw! - and we bought some wooden tongue and groove panels and then he kindly spent one Saturday building a frame then fitting the panels on top to cover up the window.

I swear, I could hear angels singing when I saw that panelling. The difference! No more peeling window film looking onto cobwebs, just a smooth wall of beautiful wood. I set about filling in the nail holes and undercoating and painting the tongue and groove panels with water-based eggshell suitable for wood. 

Knowing we wanted to hang a shelf on this wall, my Dad positioned one of the horizontal batons behind the panelling at a pre-agreed height so that we could screw the shelf into that, to give it extra strength and security. (I told you he's brilliant, thanks Dad.)

Then I just needed my hooks. After hunting high and low for a simple and affordable set of peg hooks with a little shelf on top, I gave up and asked John to make me one. We bought wood and a circular baton, and a drill bit with the same diameter as the baton, and John made me a beautiful shelf. Ever the perfectionist, he is annoyed that the top of the shelf bows a little. (I didn't want brackets. Maybe I should have had brackets?) But I put a trailing plant on it and said I don't care, no-one will notice. I've deliberately left it unstained and unpainted for now, although I might change that later. 

But I could not be happier with our affordable homemade solution to the dripping coat problem and of course since we made the hooks the weather has been absolutely glorious, and I haven't needed a coat, never mind a rain coat. But don't worry because I've got a few, just one or two you understand, crochet bags to hang on those pretty peg hooks, what a relief....

Shall we look at a before and after? Oh go on then, if you insist.

I hope you like it. Of course, since we boarded up the window to the garage it's dark in there and you need to switch the light on when you go in, but that's really not remotely inconvenient and a small price to pay for a beautiful panelled wall. Discussions about how and when we will remove that internal door are ongoing. I will keep you posted. 


  1. Nicely done. I have been toying with the idea of making one from driftwood for hanging necklaces on, you have encouraged me. I could do with a longer one for my hall as well in fact, and the shelf above is an excellent idea. I may have a solution to the garage problem. Turn it into a gorgeous craft studio, then it will be a pleasure to look at it as you pass by... But in the meantime, the wood panelling is lovely. I always love how you attend to every little detail. Let me know what John thinks about the craft studio idea. CJ xx

  2. Now, how clever are you three, making an overlooked area into something lovely. I did laugh at having to take a saw with you. I'm sure ours come in pre-cut lengths & then you deal with them at home & have leftover bits. Thanks for sharing. Have a great weekend & take care.

  3. Great. Aren't pre-made coat hook sets so ridiculously expensive and indeed rubbish - I have looked in the past. We hang our coats on an old saddle rack I found up at dads farm in the end - bit of sanding and waxing job done. Your porch looks great but I have to say I was a little sad to see that wonderful green colour go a while back, I'll get over it! Jo xxx

  4. What a great project, it looks wonderful.

  5. It looks great. I think you came up with good solutions for a part of the house that has been challenging for you. I have numerous sets of homemade peg racks around here and find them very useful for all kinds of things. I love reading about how members of your extended family come together to help with projects, it's really nice.

  6. We took our front door off and made our porch part of the hallway. It can get chilly in the winter so we put a radiator in and have a curtain that we pull across in the winter if needs be.

  7. This is a great solution. Looks much more usable too.

  8. Your new rack is beautiful and I love the tongue and groove panelling. I'll be interested to see who wins the porch debate! :0) xx

  9. Here's to brilliant Dads and Husbands! *cheers*
    The shelf looks so welcoming, and that paneling really could make angels sing, I guess :-)
    The only thing I would have done different is that I'd fitted the pegs into the back board at a slight (very slight) angle upwards. That way, if more than one item is hung on the same peg (as it will eventually, I'd bet 100 quid on it), nothing will fall off.

  10. Beautiful project so far , but I’m supporting you in the removal of the glass partition! I think your house is about the same age as ours with all the glass features are of that time. I have gradually removed most of them but have kept the inside glass door and panel as it was because I think it’s so 60s and probably the house’s only redeeming feature. Have a good half term.

  11. I would love a porch like that! We have carpet in the hall and mud gets trekked in every time it rains. And nowhere - but nowhere to hang coats except the cupboard in the kitchen where everything gets cooking smells! Love the peg rack and the panelling

  12. A lovely transformation from cobweb viewing (why would anyone want a view into a garage? Even a neat garage...) to wooden panelling and gorgeous pegs. Looking oh so stylish!

  13. I love the new wall and the peg rail. shhh I agree with John, leave the inner door where it is....


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