Thursday, August 18, 2011

Ladders are chic decoration!

An antique ladder leaning against a wall is an unexpected and wonderful way to add decoration to a room. I have carried my red antique Chinese ladder with me from apartment to house, and there is always a place where it works so well.

Here is my Chinese ladder in the library alcove of my new house.  I may move it around as the spirit moves me, and just think there will be no nail holes to repair!

Elle Decor - Designer: Madeline Weinrib

The designer Madeline Weinrib has a Global decorating style, and in her own apartment dining area she casually leans an antique Chinese ladder against the bookcase. It's so smart looking, and adds decoration to the bookcases in a novel way. 

 Elle Decor - Designer: Michael S. Smith

In a Millbrook, NY house, the designer Michael S. Smith includes an antique ladder that could also be functional for reaching books on high shelves. It looks good just standing there as well!

Designer: Emma Jane Pilkington via Style Court blog

The up and coming designer included a library ladder in Ivanka Trump's apartment in New York. In this case it's totally functional to retrieve books on the upper shelves, but looks great too!

The next Christie's Interiors sale in New York August 30th and September 1st includes this handsome pair of French oak library ladders (Lot 863).  They are 20th century and measure 66 inches tall. I love the decorative carving detail. These have an auction estimate of $1,000 - $1,500.

This English leather and brass folding library ladder sold at a previous Christie's auction for $1,375 off an auction estimate of $1,500 - $2,000. This measures 96 inches tall. This style seems to come up fairly regularly at auctions and the prices can range quite a bit. One at another Christie's auction sold for $6,000. 

This similar ladder sold at a Bonhams auction in Los Angeles. It's taller at 144 inches. It sold for $1,464.

This is a very smart modern carved wood library ladder. This was designed by John Dickinson (1920 - 1982). It has wonderful carved detail, and stands 88 inches tall.  It sold at a Bonhams auction in Los Angeles for $2,440.

For a more rustic style, try this metamorphic chair that converts to a six step ladder standing 43 inches tall. This sold at a Brunk Auction in Asheville, NC for $90. I like the white paint and the signs of age. 

Of course ladders are utilitarian for the most part, and finding a real farm ladder like this one used in an apple orchard would be quite fun for decoration. This is a 19th century ladder (95 inches tall) with wonderful signs of use and age. This sold at a Copake Auction in Copake, NY for $100 off an auction estimate of $50 - $75. 

I particularly like the ladders that just lean against a wall or bookcase. They are quite versatile, and can fit anywhere. Think of one in a hallway, the corner of a room, or as decoration in the kitchen. In a bathroom, they might be used as a towel rack. They add unexpected decorative detail to many rooms in the house, and work with any style of decoration. Have fun with one in your home!

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