Moving On Up With a Ladder Shelf

Minimal office, computer, desk

Source: iStock

The ladder shelf is becoming a very popular choice among homeowners. Its simplistic design, rustic look, and ease of assembly make the style very desirable. Homeowners considering the investment in their library should consult with a handyman about the installation if they’re uncertain about how to proceed or need a hand with the installation.

Ladder Shelf Designs

A ladder bookshelf is available in two different styles. The first is a unit with two main “posts” and shelves that are placed like rungs (which will now be referred to as “ladder shelf #1″). Ladder shelf can also describe a bookcase that is literally made from old ladders (“ladder shelf #2″). In the latter scenario, there are two ladders on either side of the unit and boards are placed on the rungs in between them to form shelves.

Both designs have certain similarities. They are both generally made of wood, have a rustic appeal (though ladder shelf #1 would also seem at home in a more contemporary setting), are simplistic in design and easy to construct or install.

Ladder Shelf #1

Department stores are the place to find ladder shelf #1. The simple design makes it a less expensive option than many other bookshelves, but the construction is just as sound and sturdy. It is meant to lean on but doesn’t need to be fixed to a wall. It will come in a variety of colors and finishes and will also vary in depth and height.

Ladder shelf #1 is a good choice for those who need a quick storage space for books, movies, and the like. It will look like it belongs in almost any room, as it will blend in with most existing decoration.

Ladder Shelf #2

A ladder bookshelf of this nature is more of a project for fun or a conversation piece than it is a quick fix to a storage problem. While constructing one (and it must be constructed, you cannot buy ladder shelf #2) is a fairly simple process, it may still be considered a labor of love.

To create the basic shelf, get your hand on an old wooden ladder and cut it into manageable pieces of the same height. Next, find some old wood planks to lie on and between the rungs as shelves. Tie, screw, or nail the planks to the ladders to secure the shelves, then bolt the whole thing to a wall.

Depending on your tastes, and the way your home is already decorated, ladder shelf #2 might need some special care before you put it together. Old wood is often a dull gray color. It has rustic appeal to spare but might not be the best fit aesthetically. Old wood can also be very rough or splintery. You may want to sand, seal, or paint the shelf components before you put them together. Local interior decorators have ideas on how to personalize a ladder to match your interior decor, so consider speaking with them if you want to get just the right ladder for your home.

Once again, this type of shelf should be anchored to a wall as its stability may be circumspect with only its own support. It is also a good idea not to make it too tall.

More From Life Cheat Sheet: