A Ladder Really Is a Great Small-Space Solution, and No, It’s Not Just for Towels or Blankets

published Aug 22, 2022
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When it comes to trendy decor items, wooden blanket ladders are a pretty consistent staple, even across different design styles. Whether you’re into the farmhouse look, minimal design, or a full-on maximalist aesthetic, you can make a blanket ladder work in your home. One small-space dweller in Spain found three different unique ways to use a blanket ladder, and the biggest surprise? None of these ladders are being used for textiles at all.

Irene de Mas lives in a 516-square-foot apartment in Barcelona, Spain, with her boyfriend and their dog. She’s a pretty chill, laid-back person, so de Mas considers her design style to be bright, hygge-inspired, and most importantly, deeply personal. “My home is interesting because you can get a pretty clear idea of how I am just by being in it,” she says. “I don’t like houses that are too generic, where anyone could live.” To create a minimalist foundation, de Mas decorated with mostly neutral colors, clean-lined furniture, and what she considers to be fun, witty elements.

Building off of her color palette and simple but stylish furnishings, de Mas also keeps her space feeling light and airy by being strategic with the way she stores and displays things. “Every corner can be made more personal,” she says. “So having a small home doesn’t mean having to renounce having lots of delightful objects.” One space where she puts this theory into practice is in the corner of her bedroom. Here, de Mas used a wooden ladder bedside almost like a makeshift nightstand meets closet, and it’s a genius solution for such a tiny space.

First, the ladder that de Mas used has a light, neutral finish, so it blends in perfectly with the rest of the other decor and furniture in her space. Instead of draping blankets and towels over the rungs, which can sometimes look heavy-handed, de Mas instead used removable hooks to hang light items like a shirt, a tote, a few necklaces, and — wait for it — a pendant light with a single bulb functioning as a bedside lamp that takes up virtually zero space and requires no installation. The ladder also features a small shelf below the fourth rung, offering a perch for a book, glass of water, or a phone charger (in lieu of a bulky nightstand).

With a little creativity, de Mas gave this simple piece of decor at least three different uses, all of which are both budget- and renter-friendly. “Your home should reflect you, not a trend or someone else’s taste,” de Mas says. “And don’t care too much about what design magazines or other people say. After all, you are the one who is going to live there, so make your home work for you.”