Whenever I go somewhere new, I love to come back with a little trinket or picture that reminds me of my time there. There is only one problem, I don’t have anywhere to set them. Maybe they take up some space on my kitchen windowsill, or they sit on a bookshelf for a bit, but somehow they always end up in the way, or broken. And despite my best intentions, I still cannot find it in me to get rid of the ones I have.
Perhaps you are like me and just have lots of little items you want to display, or maybe you are in a dorm or studio apartment with little storage space. It’s possible you are just doing a renovation and are looking for new home decor; whatever your reasoning, ladder shelving is a perfect option for you.
Ladder shelves or ladder bookcases, are designed to look like a ladder leaning against your wall. They come in many different styles and types. Some ladder shelves have four legs that give the appearance that the shelf is shrinking into the wall. Other ladder shelves look like actual ladders and are used to hang towels on.
There are even some ladder shelves that look like they are freestanding with the pyramid shape coming to a point and the shelves running through the rungs. Basically any type of shelf you could want, a ladder shelf is available in that style.
New Ladder Shelf Designs
People are coming up with new and interesting ways to configure these shelves in their rooms. Some people have been using them as open storage for kitchen plates and cutlery. Others use the shelving in bathrooms for hand towels, bath salts, and even candles. And my personal favorite is using the shelving as a stand for all your books and plants.
Ladder shelving is so versatile that the amount of options out there are tremendous. You can get ladder shelving in any color, finish, material, or preferred design.
Types of Ladder Shelves
Wood: Wood is a perfect and versatile material that can be carved or painted or anything really. Wood is the classic material that you will find most ladder shelving made of, mainly because of its ability to fit any style.
Metal: Another popular material for ladder shelving is metal. It is well suited for an industrial look or even for school-room vibes. Metal is more sturdy and less versatile than wood, but it can come in crazy colors and bright colors too.
Bamboo: Bamboo is a great option for any outdoor storage options. The natural material is quick to wick away water, and is sturdy enough to take on some strong winds. It is an easy to clean, versatile material that works with any space or design.
Combo: Some people just can’t make a decision and want the best of both worlds! You can get some shelving units with metal legs and wooden shelves, or vice versa! Adding a little bit of a rustic chic vibe to the room.
Picking the Best Ladder Shelf
Don’t worry I couldn’t pick either. That is why I created a list of the top selling ones I could find. It’s easy to see just from this list how unique and different each shelf is. With so many options it can be hard to know which one to choose, but maybe this will help.
The 10 Best Ladder Shelves for Your Home
Key Feature: The cross-hatch back of the bottom shelf for added stability.
First up on this list of top selling ladder shelves is this rustic industrial style ladder shelf. A perfect example of the combo style this unit is made of iron and wood for a rustic chic style. This shelf has four legs with a crosshatch flourish on the back to add a little bit of a modern flare to it.
This shelf fits into a bohemian or rustic style with ease, and can comfortably house books, towels, or cutlery. The perfect mix of style and utility you can easily imagine a plethora of handmade ceramic bowls and plates filling the shelves within easy reach of the sink.
Key Feature: The clean, minimalist and sleek appearance.
Second up to bat is this white wood shelf begging for a pop of color. This simple, neutral-toned shelf screams for succulents and ivy to be filling its space. This ladder shelf is a simple construction waiting to be decorated to your style. An empty canvas waiting for your artistic eye to create a masterpiece.
It can easily fit into any room, and is sturdy enough to hold multiple pounds. And if you like the style but aren’t a fan of the color, this shelf comes in two other colors besides white.
It adds a clean and sleek element to any space, and would be perfect next to a clawfoot tub. You can easily imagine yourself soaking in a warm bath with candles, a speaker, your favorite book, a little plant, and some bath oils to its shelves next to you.
Key Feature: The slotting shelving for easy cleaning.
The slotted formation of this bamboo bookshelf is meant to make watering plants easy and mess free. Made of 100% bamboo, this lightweight shelf is easy to move but sturdy enough to withstand your heaviest objects. It is easy to see this shelf in a sunroom or greenhouse overflowing with greenery and gardening tools.
The shelf is made with an easy to clean design; the bamboo allows spilt water to slide off and in between the slots and turned over soil to wipe off with ease. The shelf comes in two colors, this dark stain, or a light stain that look more like bamboo. The design aesthetic fits flawlessly with a modern, rustic, bohemian, or naturalistic style.
Key Feature: Iron construction great for indoor or outdoor use.
Industrial chic comes to be in this iron ladder shelf. The metal material of this shelf allows for it to be used outdoors or indoors. With multiple of these shelves set next to each other, it is a great option for garage or workspace storage. All items can be laid out and arranged so they are in an easily visible location.
The mesh shelving allows for no smaller items to potentially fall through. No more searching high and low in multiple plastic bins for that “one hammer” that you have “somewhere.”
These shelving units allow for easy visibility and easy access to your every need, and with the iron material you never have to worry about rust or wood rot. This makes this ladder shelf perfect for either indoor or outdoor use.
Key Feature: Simple, rustic design and look.
Typical ladder shelves are designed to look like ladders, but some people have decided to just go back to the original. This ladder shelf is a perfect example of taking something old and making it new.
Coming in either a white or brown color, this wooden ladder is perfect to hand blankets, towels, or even polaroids off of. Sitting in the corner of the room this rustic ladder brings a little bit of the farmhouse to your living room.
Use it to display your homemade quilt or even just a beautifully designed blanket/throw. Functional and aesthetically pleasing, this ladder was built to serve any purpose.
The company also gives a 100% guarantee on the item, so you know it’s a quality product. In fact, the wood is even individually hand-selected by the manufacturer.
Key Feature: Floating design with two legs.
Two legs, four shelves, and zero worries. Designed to look like it is floating or just resting against the wall, this shelf is an architect’s dream. This style is similar to the first one but is designed to be much simpler, with no crosshatch and two legs instead of four.
This ladder shelf is a combination of metal and wood that fits effortlessly into any design style, but flourished in a modern or industrial room. Imagine two of these set against the wall on both sides of the couch, with a modern artwork hanging between them. They will look like they are part of the artwork themselves.
Key Feature: Cross beams in the back for added support.
The ladder shelf looks like it jumped right out of a 1960s home catalogue. It is a perfect and seamless blend of modern and vintage style. The simple structure speaks for itself, with X-style support beams in the back that gives the shelf its modern edge as well as durability.
This ladder shelf has a combination of wood and metal that begs for attention from your guests. I imagine this behind a bar with decorative alcohol bottles and cocktail glasses delicately arranged on its shelves. Pops of gold and crystal would really bring this stunning shelf to life.
Key Feature: Space-saving stand that is able to fit into any corner.
Are you looking to add a rustic touch to the corner of a room? Need shelves that are both sturdy and fit a wide variety of different sized items? Well, this rustic corner ladder shelf is perfect for you.
As you know, sometimes it can be difficult to figure out where to put your furniture where it makes the most sense. You can easily optimize a limited space with this simple and practical corner ladder shelf.
The design takes an unforeseen twist on ladder shelving. This shelf is designed to fit into any corner of a room, yet still somehow maintains the appearance of a ladder. It’s also super functional, sturdy as all get-out, and extremely durable with its steel powder coating.
A great addition to any guest bathroom, the shelf is breathtakingly beautiful. The shrinking shelf size as the ladder ascends allows for an elegant pyramid-style appearance. It is a stunning work of art and a great addition to your home.
It can also be placed on both sides of the Hofma Vintage Bookcase Shelf for added shelf space and a truly chic design, as pictured below.
Key Feature: X shape design with pointed top.
If you are a fan of the open shelving concept, but aren’t fond of the ladder shelf, this is the perfect middle ground for you. This ladder shelf is designed to appear as though two ladders are leaning against one another to create the perfect teepee-like design. The shelves also appear to run through both ladders to create an optical illusion.
This ladder shelf is a rich cappuccino wood that works perfectly with dark decor. The shelf can be set against a wall, angled in a corner, or even set up as a space divider. However, there are no sides so do not place anything expensive near the edges.
The unique design concept of this ladder shelf allows for it to be both functional and aesthetically pleasing. All in all, great quality and a great design for a ladder shelf.
Key Feature: Many style designs to match any decor and matching coffee and end tables.
Need to compliment any space? With so many different color options, this French country style ladder shelf is sure to grace any room in your home. This ladder shelf comes in blue, green, white and the black/dark walnut mix pictured above.
The sturdy wooden structure is painted and given a top coat to create a glossy appearance that is sure to stand out. The coating also adds durability to protect the shelf against wear and tear as well as scratches.
The shelves themselves are tilted at angles so everything is easily visible, and they have little rails on the side so nothing falls off. The shelves get wider from the top so you can place small lighter items on top and bigger, heavier items on the bottom.
This ladder leans against the wall and can be secured easily with the provided bracket and a few screws.
Summary: The Best Ladder Shelves
It is difficult to make a decision with so many options out there, but to help you narrow it down it’s important to really think about what would work for you. Try to imagine the shelf in different rooms of your house and how it would look. Imagine you putting different items on the shelves both big and small.
Also, ask yourself some questions. What color do you want? What material? What style are you trying to fit the shelf into? Do you want two legs? Four legs? No legs? Brainstorm all the right questions and think it through.
Ladder shelves are some of my favorite shelving units. I love the idea of lining up three side by side to display all of my fun little vacation memories. With everything displayed in an aesthetically pleasing way, it will be a great talking point with my guests.
Whatever type of style of design you are trying to fit, there is something for you. I hope this made your decision a little bit easier and helped you find some options that suit your needs. Be sure to share your pictures and don’t forget to comment below!