One of my first projects for A Beautiful Mess back in 2013 was this leaning ladder, and it remains a very favorite piece in my home, being moved about depending on my mood. It's a pretty simple project for the beginner woodworker, and so versatile as a decorative accessory in the home. You can also find old weathered ladders at antique shops and salvage stores too if you're not keen on making one.
If you already have a leaning ladder in your home, or are considering making or purchasing one, here are some ideas that will help you decorate confidently.
Do you have a spare section of wall in your kitchen? Lean a ladder against it and you've got some practical and beautiful vertical storage. All you need are some large s-hooks and you can get to hanging pots, pants, and even linens. This would also be a great place to hang herbs with some twine for drying.
This idea is a two-for-one! Lean a ladder beside a chair or sofa, and hang your favorite magazines for a fun combo of convenience and decor. Need a little light for reading? All you need to do is clamp a light onto the ladder for an element of industrial style.
House plants add such a fresh and cozy feel to a home, but if you've run out of surfaces for your potted plants, have no fear! You don't need to hang a hook in your wall or ceiling to display hanging plants— all you need is a leaning ladder, special hanging pots, and some large s-hooks.
If the windows in your home aren't giving your plants the light they want, you can also hang a clamp light on the ladder for supplementary light.
Brighten up a dim corner of your home by stringing lights on a leaning ladder. I think this look adds just the perfect touch of whimsy without looking too dorm-room chic, if you know what I mean. You can use seasonal lights to decorate for holidays, or just leave up some plain lights as I have done here for some every day charm.
Using a leaning ladder for vertical blanket storage is a look I've always thought of as traditional country, but lately I've seen this functional decor idea in more contemporary homes. You can make this look more modern by using a sleek ladder or minimal blankets with graphic patterns.
Credits // Author and Photography: Mandi Johnson. Photos edited with Stella from the Signature Collection.