In your home or garage, you may have a ladder that is no longer safe to climb, and may have been exposed to elements. These vintage wooden ladders can be used as decorating gems that can be repurposed into something different to add a rustic touch to your home. Decorating with a worn-out, vintage ladder is a tried and tested way to add character and rustic charm to the home. It’s great for interiors with a farmhouse or shabby chic style, but it also suits modern and contemporary design aesthetics.
Here are some creative ways to decorate with vintage ladders:
1. Drape linens on it for the dining room
One of the simplest uses for vintage ladders as home décor is to lean them against the wall and drape cloth on the rungs. Blanket ladders are the easiest décor project to implement. You can hang quilts, towels, throw blankets, scarfs and other types of decorative linen on it. Make sure that the items you want to hang also suit the interior color scheme you have to make the effect more pleasing to the eyes.
2. Hang wreath
With the help of twine, you can hang just about anything from a ladder. You can use the ladder to reflect any occasion or season and set the mood for your home. You can hang a wreath in it that you can design for different seasons (Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, etc.), and also hang some mason jars and framed quotes to complete the décor. As the seasons change, change out the greetings and the wreath, or add some string lights to the mix.
3. Use it as a plant stand or night stand
Low step ladders work great as nightstands or end tables. Place it by the side of your bed or couch and put your favorite book, alarm clock, phone, lamp and framed photo. You can also keep your small houseplants in here. Display plants of varying heights and sizes on it for an aesthetic effect. Succulents are also a great choice.
4. Chain it to the ceiling and hang lanterns
Another common way to decorate with wooden vintage ladders is to chain them from the ceiling horizontally. If this is done correctly, the ladder should be able to support enough weight to dangle items from it. You can use it as an accent for light fixtures over your dining table. If you want, you can hang lanterns on the rungs of the ladder, which will make an instant conversation piece. On your porch, patio or roofed garden, you can hang a ladder from the ceiling to display mason jars filled with candles.
5. Display family photos with it using twine
When your wooden vintage ladders are hung directly on the wall, it makes an instant accent. You can add hooks on the top inner side of the ladder, and use twine to hang your family portraits in it. This makes a charming and interesting way to display your family photos. If the rungs are thick enough, these ladders can act as decorative shelves that can hold up small items you want to display. This works well for the wall over the sofa, or as an accent to a blank wall in your living room.
6. Hang wire baskets to use it as storage
Lean a wooden ladder to a bathroom, preferably next to the vanity table, and hook some wire baskets into it. The potential storage space is multiplied. This way, you can store your towels and toiletry supplies in an artful manner. You can also incorporate this idea to your kitchen or pantry for storing fresh produce.
7. Transform it to a shelving unit
If you have two identical wooden ladders, you can craft it in a way that will create an open shelving unit. The two ladders must lean on each other to form an “A” shape, then adhere planks to the cross beams of the open ladder using L brackets. The planks must rest on the two parallel beams from the two ladders. When done properly, this makes a charming open shelf you can use as a book shelf. You can also set it up in the kitchen to place dishes, pots, pans or spices. You can use it in the bedroom for storing shoes, bags and purses. You can place it in your home office as a shelf for your lamp, organizers, supply boxes and books. You can put it in your living room for displaying framed photos, awards, lanterns, candles and other decorative items. Or you can keep it in the shed or garage for storing your paint, gasoline and other supplies.
8. Add it to your ceiling as a beam
Ladders can also add an instant architectural interest to your interior. If you home has a vintage feel to it, hang a ladder as a faux ceiling beam. This also works as a visual divider for your open floor plan home.
9. Use it to display items
Ladders with flat rungs can be easily transformed into a mini shelving unit. You can place it in your porch to display potted plants, or use it indoors to display your decorative bottles, jars, small figurines, candles, lanterns and any other knick-knacks.
10. Transform it as a pot rack
Do you prefer having your pots hanged from the ceiling instead of having it stored inside the kitchen cabinets? You can use your old ladder for this. Simply suspend it from the ceiling, preferably on top of your kitchen island, and use S-hooks so you can hang the handles of your pots and pans from it.
11. Use it as a coat rack for your mudroom
Your mudroom is the first part of the home your visitors can see, so make it as interesting as possible. You can use a vintage wooden ladder to decorate the wall and double as a coat rack. Suspend your ladder horizontally on the wall, and attach hooks on the bottom side so your guests can simply hang their coats in there. Fill the “squares” created by your ladder steps on the wall with small mirrors, sconces and any other small wall-mounted décor.
12. Make it a storage for your high-heel shoes in your mudroom
Do you have an old metal ladder with round rungs? Simply prop it against the wall at a steep angle, and hang the heels of your shoes by the rung, while the rest of the shoe faces downward. This is a great way to keep your shoes fresh, and it doubles as a decoration too, especially if you have fancy stilettos you want to show off.