ladder collage

I love the look of weather beaten wood.  The soft gray and brown colors, the texture, the instant age it adds to a space are all part of the appeal for me.  Since I began reclaiming some former fence boards, I’ve been on an old wood bender–making projects like these frames and this artwork.  And that’s really got me thinking about other ways to incorporate vintage wood into my spaces.  As I’ve looked around the blogosphere for inspiration, I keep coming back to the pictures of weather-beaten, paint splattered ladders.  Today I’d like to share a peek at what’s in my style files with these  5 Ways to Decorate with Ladders.

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1.  On a wall

Flower Patch Farm Girl found this old, chippy ladder and fell in love.  She brought it home, where it found a place on her wall to help display some of her favorite pictures.  I love the contrast of weathered wood and modern photography.

2.  In a window

Over at Funky Junk Interiors, there’s hardly a room that isn’t graced with a ladder.  One of my favorite ways that Donna has used a ladder is in this vignette at her kitchen window.  The size is so unexpected and whimsical.

3.  From the ceiling

Here to prove that old ladders can be as useful as they can be decorative is It’s a Wannabe Decorator’s Life.  Erin suspended one above her kitchen island to create something like a pot rack to showcase her basket collection.  It’s weathered patina looks great in her farmhouse kitchen.

4.  In a corner

Songbird‘s Marianne found an antique ladder and brought it to her bedroom, where it found new life as a corner shelf.  She tried out three different looks for accessorizing her “shelf”, and I love every single one.  Take a look for yourself and have your eyes opened to all the fun you could have styling a ladder of your own.

5.  As a statement piece

So far all the ladders I’ve shown you have been used as part of a display or vignette–those rungs do make great shelves!  But Apartment Therapy demonstrates that ladders can stand alone when it comes to decor.  Leaning unadorned against a white wall, this ladder adds character, patina, and vintage charm to a modern space.

If you could get your hands on a vintage ladder, what would you do with it?


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  1. Ladders always remind me of my dad. He had a southwestern theme going when we lived together. He had an old log ladder that leaned up next to the fireplace. On it was a sombrero my sister got in New Mexico and a Navajo blanket my brother gave him. He used to crack me up with his decorating. 🙂 Late in life, he started to enjoy baking and cooking and decorating. He was like Martha Stewart sometimes. 😉 I sure do miss him.

  2. We have one just like your #5 image, and we hung it along my son’s bed, horizontally. It’s FULL of all his favorite books, facing out, so he can find just what he wants when he’s reading in bed at night! Not to mention, it looks amazing!

  3. Wow…just had an epiphany after viewing this post. Been wanting to find an easy way to display some smaller pieces of fabric in my workroom..I currently have them in boxes. Out of sight…out of mind. I was thinking about several curtain rods….but this would be super simple and cool. I might even find a way to work a ladder into a display for my ribbons or wrapping supplies. Hmmm. Wow…I feel like I just got him with the “duh” stick.

  4. I have one in the living room to display antique blankets and one in the bathroom to hang towels…could use one in every room of the house and outside too!

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