When a ladder is no longer safe to climb, it used to be forgotten about and exposed to the elements. In recent years, savvy homeowners have been repurposing these unused wooden gems into some fun home decor projects.
One tried-and-true way to add rustic appeal to your home is to decorate with ladders. A worn-out vintage ladder is filled with character and potential and can provide your home with a charming lived-in vibe.
But ladder projects aren't limited to people who love the farmhouse style. New ladder projects are sleek, modern and complement a contemporary design aesthetic.
Get inspired to add some style and function to your home with these decorative wooden ladder ideas.
01 of 11
Add Architectural Interest by Using a Ladder as a Beam
When a home has a vintage feel to it, a ladder could be hung just about anywhere and it would look good. This blogger decided to use a wooden ladder as a faux ceiling beam where one used to be in order to better define two rooms. If your ceilings are tall enough, consider dangling a ladder in a similar way in a larger doorway.Continue to 2 of 11 below.
02 of 11
Transform a Ladder into a Shelving Unit
The first step to recreating this look is to make the shelves, which is a relatively easy process. This project was made by adhering pine planks to the cross beams of an open ladder using L brackets. If you're having trouble finding a ladder-like this one, you can make your own using 2x2 boards.
Create an alternate version of this shelf by adhering two opened ladders upside down on the wall to create a W. Next, add planks between the beams at varying heights and widths.
The next step is figuring out what to display. What and how you display it can make the difference between your ladder looking bland or designer-worthy.
Here are some ideas:
Continue to 3 of 11 below.
- Use the entire unit as a bookshelf.
- Set it up in the kitchen for dishes.
- Store in the bedroom for shoes and purses.
- Keep unit in shed or garage for potting supplies.
- Organize office supplies in decorative bins.
03 of 11
Hang Wire Baskets from Ladder Rungs for Extra Bathroom Storage
By adding wire baskets to a leaning ladder, the potential storage space is multiplied. Use this idea in a bathroom to store toiletries as you see here. Also, this project can easily be incorporated into a kitchen or pantry for fresh produce.Continue to 4 of 11 below.
04 of 11
Hang Industrial Lighting from a Vintage Ladder
One common way people decorate with wooden ladders is to chain them to the ceiling horizontally. If adhered to the ceiling correctly, the ladder should be able to support enough weight to store things on top. If you want more design and less function, use the ladder as an accent for light fixtures over the dining table.
Other Items to Hang on a Decorative Ladder Chained to the Ceiling
Continue to 5 of 11 below.
- Pots and pans
- Garland and greenery
- Mason jar luminaries
- Bundles of dried herbs
- Clothing in the laundry room
05 of 11
Adhere Some Family Photos Using Twine
Vintage ladders hung directly on the wall are versatile because you can change up the decor and photos often. If the rungs are thick enough, they'll act as shelves and hold up small items of interest.
If the ladder is thin, stick to simple and lightweight items like antique photographs in varying sizes like you see here. Some people hang painted ladders on the wall and leave the interior completely empty. The choice is up to you.
Since ladders like this are long and narrow, this application would work well over a sofa.Continue to 6 of 11 below.
06 of 11
Create a Library by Adding Castors to a Wooden Ladder
You don't need an entire room to have a library in your home. All you need is one wall of built-ins, which can quickly turn into something of a showpiece by incorporating a vintage ladder that's been tweaked. To get this look, purchase a library ladder kit to convert an old ladder into something much more prestigious.Continue to 7 of 11 below.
07 of 11
Utilize a Vintage Step Ladder as a Plant Stand
Small step ladders work well as nightstands or end tables, but they also make quirky plant stands. To keep your plant stand looking like a designer's, incorporate plants of varying heights and sizes. If houseplants aren't an option, create other small vignettes using decor from around your home.Continue to 8 of 11 below.
08 of 11
Create an Open Concept Closet
There are so many smart clothing storage ideas when closet space is lacking, and this is one of the more creative ones. This ladder project is a variation of the shelving unit seen above, only it uses two individual ladders instead of one that is connected.Continue to 9 of 11 below.
09 of 11
Drape Vintage Linens in the Dining Room
Blanket ladders are popping up in so many homes, likely because this is the easiest ladder decor project to implement. All you need to do is find an old ladder, lean it up against the wall, then choose which items you want to hang on it. If you have children in your home or are hanging items that are heavier, make sure you adhere to the top of the ladder to the wall and the bottom to the floor.
Other Items to Hang on a Leaning Ladder:
Continue to 10 of 11 below.
- Throw Blankets
- Pots and pans
- High Heeled Shoes
10 of 11
Hang a Wreath on a Leaning Ladder
Just about anything can be hung from a ladder using twine, but how and what is used makes all the difference. This look is completed using a faux boxwood wreath works, alternating mason jars, and a framed quote. When the seasons change, change out the greeting and add something more festive, like string lights, to the mix.Continue to 11 of 11 below.
11 of 11
Repurpose a Ladder into a Desk
The best ladder projects are when the piece is completely transformed into something new. This ingenious DIY utilizes two old ladders to create a one of a kind writing desk that is now something of a conversation piece.