5 Ways to Style a Leaning Ladder

5 Ways to Style a Leaning LadderOne 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.

5 Ways to Style a Leaning Ladder1. VERTICAL KITCHEN STORAGE

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.

Products shown:
• Set of 2 Large S-Hooks
• 8-Inch Ceramic Frying Pan (similar)
• Orange Cast Iron Skillet (similar)
• White Mini Colander (similar)
Nesting Mesh Strainers

5 Ways to Style a Leaning Ladder5 Ways to Style a Leaning Ladder2. MAGAZINE STORAGE + READING LAMP

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.

Products shown:
• 5″ Clamp Light (similar)
• Frankie Magazine

5 Ways to Style a Leaning Ladder3. HANGING PLANT DISPLAY

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.

Products shown:
• 5″ Clamp Light (similar)
• Set of Two Ceramic Hanging Planters
• One Small Ceramic Hanging Planter
• Set of 2 Large S-Hooks
String of Pearls Hanging Plant 

5 Ways to Style a Leaning Ladder5 Ways to Style a Leaning Ladder4. STRING LIGHTS DISPLAY

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.

Product Shown:
• 26′ White Outdoor String Lights
White Dining Chairs
White Globe Lights

5 Ways to Style a Leaning Ladder5 Ways to Style a Leaning Ladder5. HANGING BLANKET STORAGE

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.

Products shown:
• Painting- Milton Avery Print (I used this DIY for the frame)
• Vintage Blankets

5 Ways to Style a Leaning LadderSo what do you think? If you don’t have a leaning ladder in your home, are you itching to make one? Why not try out this project over the weekend? –Mandi

Credits // Author and Photography: Mandi Johnson. Photos edited with Stella from the Signature Collection.

  • F A N T A S T I C World of Ladders!
    They truly imprint a new STYLE in my House!
    Bought twice at www.ellecuorea.it … italian artisan specialized in wood ladders … any colour you LIKE … any style … I’M in LOVE!
    Thanks for all the new ideas… for Home Decor!
    Lilì

  • Hi, sometimes I want to save an idea displayed here instead of scrolling through the whole blog to find it later. But for that I have to save multiple pictures. It would be great if you could sum up an idea in the end by combining all important pictures in the post as a collage for easy saving. Cheers! (From Pakistan) 🙂

  • AMAZING that you guys get FRANKIE in the States!

    Such a nifty little way to display them – they are too cute to stash in a draw/pile!

  • I’m moving into a new apartment that unfortunately has very limited kitchen storage so I love this idea for the pans!

  • Love the idea of the ladder! Especially the solution with the blankets. I constantly make quilts and this is a great way of displaying them!

    http://highheelsbrownhair.blogspot.co.uk/

  • I always see leaning ladders in house tours and am so into them, so I’m not sure why I haven’t added one into my space yet! I think my favorite way to style them is with blankets, but I’m also excited about the idea of using them for magazines! So many great ideas, thanks Mandi! 🙂

    xo Mary
    Mostly Salty Blog

  • I love this! I have been reading Frankie for ages. Great share ABM team.

  • Oh my gosh!! I love posts like this. I could read this stuff all day long. More decor please :))))

  • Simple and very cute ideas, i’ve never have thought! 🙂

  • this is a sweet idea!!! I have a shared living and dinning room this would be a great way to divide off the wall that they share! I could have blankets on the bottom and magazines up the the others and a light. this really is awesome!

    on another note haha im new to this page and via pinterest saw your diy dinning table. I was wondering how is it holding up after all these years? since it is such a large table with no center support (table to floor) has it bowed any? how has the finish held up? my husband and I will be making one for our house in May (bday present to me haha)

    thanx ladies keep up the AWESOME work 🙂

  • I don’t think I ever realized how many styling options there were for this item. Thanks!

  • CUTE!!! I like the blanket & planter idea for a living room space!

    www.littleblackshell.com

  • Love all the ideas, especially for the kitchen and the magazines!!

    www.tusksandtails.com

  • This is such an awesome idea. I especially like the idea with strong lights. Thanks for sharing

    Www.LifeWithSaph.com | Lifestyle Blogger

  • These are awesome ideas. It doesn’t look our of place our cluttered! I especially like the idea with the string lights. Thanks for sharing

    Www.LifeWithSaph.com | Lifestyle Blogger

  • My dad made me a large ladder-like magazine rack years ago that I love, and I recently started using it as a way to store and display fabric that I have for projects. I think this would work well on a regular ladder as well — both functional and pretty! You can see mine in action about 3/4 of the way down the page here: http://www.plasteranddisaster.com/sages-house/ — please just ignore that the rest of the room is a total disaster and the person who sold us the house last fall seemed to think it was a good idea to paint the room like a watermelon 🙂 Making this into a proper “craft room” is on the long long (long) list of house to-dos that we’re steadily making our way through!

  • My dad made me a large ladder-like magazine rack years ago that I love, and I recently started using it as a way to store and display fabric that I have for projects. I think this would work well on a regular ladder as well — both functional and pretty! You can see mine in action about 3/4 of the way down the page here: http://www.plasteranddisaster.com/sages-house/ — please just ignore that the rest of the room is a total disaster and the person who sold us the house last fall seemed to think it was a good idea to paint the room like a watermelon 🙂 Making this into a proper “craft room” is on the long long (long) list of house to-dos that we’re steadily making our way through!

  • I never would have thought to do this but it’s actually such a brilliant idea! Thanks for sharing.

  • Love the idea! I’ll probably use a bamboo ladder and a string of lights! Thanks
    www.newgirlinlahore.wordpress.com

  • Love the idea! I’ll probably use a bamboo ladder and a string of lights! Thanks
    www.newgirlinlahore.wordpress.com

  • I love the idea. Will probably use a bamboo ladder for this and decorate with a string of lights! Thanks for an amazing idea.
    www.newgirlinlahore.wordpress.com

  • I love the idea. Will probably use a bamboo ladder for this and decorate with a string of lights! Thanks for an amazing idea.
    www.newgirlinlahore.wordpress.com

  • Really love every single idea about this! Was slowly scrolling through the post thinking ‘oh, that would be sooo nice! no wait, that would be soooo nice!’
    Going to save this post. Thank you!

  • this is brilliant! I need this in my beauty room! <3
    http://itshalo.blogspot.com

  • We have so many plants in my home that I could definitely use option 3.

    Happy Friday 🙂
    http://www.lovecompassionatelee.com/

  • These are such cute ideas!! 🙂

    Love the one with the plants hanging from it!! Gotta try it sometime

    Dorky-and-weird.blogspot.com

    Xoxo Jessy

  • So inspiring! Love this post!

    xx New on OXANAMUA: Spice up your wardrobe for Spring!

  • this makes me want to go to my local thrift store and find an old ladder and jazz it up a bit. Such adorable ideas. love it!!

  • OMG I’m in love with using it as a magazine + plant holder. So fresh!

    doitfortheirony.com / creative + lifestyle blog

  • Wow! I loved the tutorial for this ladder and these styling tips were so helpful! I’ve been wanting to add something like this to my living room. I think I’m going to go with the plant idea!

    Laura
    www.laurahager.blogspot.com

  • My ladder is tall enough that I wedge it in and it’s super sturdy. I literally have to take a mallet to pound it away from the wall/floor when I want to move it. If you are unable to do the same thing, I would attach these keyhole hangers to the top back of the ladder so you could slip them over anchored screws to keep it from budging at all. Here are the keyhole hangers I’m talking about: http://amzn.to/1BtP0dv

    -Mandi

  • It would be really cute in a bedroom decorated with scarves. I have about a bazillon scarves that are bright and full of color that are just hung on a coat hanger in my closet. Arranging a scarf collection on a leaning ladder would add a pop of color and free up some closet space.

  • Oh I love those plants! I might have to go pick some up. I’ve heard them as ‘rosary beads’ before and they’re beautiful

  • You always have so many ideas! Very good post I have a lot of plants at home and that is a good idea for me!

    Have a nice weekends everyone!

  • LOVE them all! Using some of these ideas for sure!

    http://kristajacobs.blogspot.com/2015/03/casual-work-wear.html

  • Great ideas in this post! I love the idea of hanging plants off of a ladder. I’ve never thought of that before! I think I’ll have to do that in my apartment one day. Thanks for sharing these fabulous ideas.

  • This really is such a versatile piece of furniture! I love things that can grow with you and your home and perpetually be repurposed in some way. I never would have thought about clipping a light on there (you’re brilliant!) but I think my favorite is the idea of using it for some extra kitchen storage.

    x Kathryn
    Through the Thicket

  • I love this post! I’ve been thinking of getting a leaning ladder but never considered using it for kitchen storage or clipped a reading light to it. Was the ladder still sturdy even with heavy pots on it? I’d be afraid of it sliding on a hard wood or concrete floor…

  • This is a great idea, I was going to buy a towel rack to hang my pots and pans, but this idea is way better!

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