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Decor Tips

10 Ladder Décor Ideas That Make ‘Vintage’ Cool

If you’re in the mood for vintage-chic designs, a blanket ladder could be just the thing you’ve been dreaming of. These babies are elegant, rustic – and bring tons more character than a bookcase (while still being able to carry out the same basic functions of a bookcase). Here, we’re sharing our favorite ladder décor ideas that prove ladders aren’t just for garages!

What Is a Blanket Ladder?

A blanket ladder is a decorative ladder that is designed to hold and display blankets. Most of these types of ladders have thin pole rungs, over which a blanket can be draped or folded. Since the rungs on a ladder grow bigger in size the closer they get to the ground, the easiest way to style a blanket ladder is with larger blankets towards the bottom and smaller blankets and cloths towards the top. In many homes, blanket ladders are also used for towels, especially in bathrooms. These kinds of decorative ladders can also feature wider rungs for holding and displaying small objects (similar to a bookcase or wall shelf). Of course, blanket ladders and shelf ladders don’t have to be decorated – even just by themselves, without any blankets, towels or decoration, they work as elegant, vintage accents for any corner of the house.
ladder bookcase tips

1. “Live Edge” Ladder

We’re calling this look “live edge” because of the way its silhouette – raw and unpolished – looks straight from the forest. This is the type of ladder whose edges are bumpy, as if it was handcrafted out of a block of wood by some carpenter’s apprentice, on some cold night in the 19th century, a boy who knows he wants to be a carpenter one day but still has a lot to learn. (Okay, we might be getting ahead of ourselves, but you get the idea.) It’s full of character and slight imperfections – making it the rustic-chic decorator’s holy grail.
living room ladder aesthetic

2. Layered On

This aesthetic turns a practical need (storing blankets and towels) into a look. Firstly, the cool grey of the ladder makes the perfect “sounding board” for any layers thrown onto it. (Above, the white blanket contrasts beautifully.) If you love throw blankets and tend to have more than you know what to do with, we recommend this look for you: you’ll get a chance to display your collection, stylishly. If you’re feeling punchy, try a mod-grey ladder like the one pictured here, or else stick to the won’t-ever-let-you-down browns and beiges.
ladder shelf ideas

3. Entryway Ladder

We hope you don’t roll your eyes when we say that the most perfect thing in the world is a ladder in an entryway. Once you warm up to the idea, it can change your life. The main reason: it can hold coats and scarves – and not only hold them, but turn the coats and scarves themselves into décor! (Plus, it’s hysterically easy to grab from as you run out the door – and toss onto when you’re coming home.)
ladder shelf idea

4. Mirror Ladder

This design is sheer awesomeness. Whether you see it as a mirror with a ladder base or a ladder with a mirror top, you can’t deny its style. It’s shown here in a dining room, but the mirror makes it work in a hallway, bedroom or even bathroom, as well. While it’s designed to be leant against the wall, you can also try installing it (with back hooks) onto the wall, as a sort of wall art piece in and of itself.

5. Living Room Ladder

This living room ladder adds height to the space (it’s the tallest piece of furniture in the room). As such, it draws the eye upward and expands the room’s feel, while balancing out the tree on the right. Here, it's shown doing what it does best – storing a blanket! Next to a sofa, reaching for the blanket during movie night will never be easier.
ladder storage ideas

6. “The Easiest Garden in the World”

Creating an indoor garden via ladder is the easiest thing in the world! Simply grab a few small plants (in planters), find a ladder with wide rungs, and place one planter on each rung! Here, white planters evoke contrast against a dark bookcase-style ladder and complement the large standing planter next to it.
ladder decor tips

7. Step Up to Decor

Each rung of this ladder is like a little story! On the bottommost, it’s a literary delight. Then, you’ve got a coastal breath of fresh air via a sweetheart plant. Above that, a white jar and statement modern figurine gives all the sophisticated vibes. Finally, up top, you’ve got quickly-growing vines and lush, wild leaves – to take you on a little “trip” to the rainforest. Also, note where the ladder is placed; the side of a sofa, where two walls meet is usually too small for a bookcase – but perfect for a decorative ladder!
ladder bookcase wall ideas

8. Lighten Up

As with bookcases and shelves, you’ll want to consider the color of your ladder. (A ladder is a large piece of furniture, so whatever color you pick will turn up or down the color temperature of the room; light colors like cream and white will turn it down, and dark colors like brown and beige will turn it up.) This white ladder brings out an unexpected color palette – namely, its light neutral hue brings out all the other colors around it.

decorative ladder for living room ideas

9. Storage Ladder

This smart design is part bookcase, part ladder and part storage drawers! We also love the way it’s designed flat along the back (instead of slanted, like a traditional ladder), so that you can push it up against a wall (and take up less space). Perfect for a kitchen or entryway, where you can use the drawer closure to store (and hide) recipes and mail, respectively.

decorative storage blanket ladder ideas

10. Bookcase-Ladder Hybrid

This unique design is part bookcase, part ladder. Like a bookcase, a column of shelves allows for arranging objects for décor. Like a ladder, each “rung” decreases in size as it gets closer to the top. These types of designs don’t take up as much space as a bookcase and can fit almost anywhere. Our suggestion? Replace your home office bookcase with one of these; you’ll get your money’s worth for storage – and style.

Bonus: Try This Shelf Ladder Decor Tip! When styling a ladder-bookcase combo, keep heavier, bigger things on the bottom shelves and lighter, smaller things towards the top. This will reflect the design of the ladder (a wider base and small “peak”) and create focus, balance and symmetry.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Articles featuring tips and advice are intended for educational purposes and only as general recommendations. Always practice personal discretion when using and caring for furniture, decor and related items.