Thursday, August 18, 2011
New Uses for Vintage Ladders in the Home
It has been a wet winter at Eight Acres of Eden but I have not used my dryer once. I cannot actually remember when I last used the dryer and this is all thanks to a ladder. An old wooden ladder that was turned into a drying rack which sits above the beams in my dining/family room.
I have wanted a ladder for a drying rack for so long but at every garage sale I went to, all I could find were metal ladders. No, it had to be wooden - preferably old and not a modern reproduction. And then I saw it, exactly what I wanted. In a store that sells country home wares and it was being used to display baskets and bunches of dried flowers. I asked the lady behind the counter about the ladder - alas it was not for sale. A few months later I spotted a notice in the paper about a closing down sale. It was the very country store where I had seen my ladder. I rang my husband at work and sent him to this very feminine store during his lunch hour - that's fine, he sends me on enough trips to the hardware store when I am in town on the weekend! Yes, the ladder was for sale and very soon it was mine. My months of ladder hunting were over!
I did for just one moment consider giving it the Dulux antique white USA paint job but then I saw the stamped lettering on the side. I did not want to ruin its genuine vintage good looks. My handyman husband found some rusty or shall I call it rustic chain in his shed and very soon it was lifted into place. It runs horizontally across the room in line with the beams and sits just below the ceiling fan. I have since realized that he hung it upside down but perhaps that just adds to the charm! I like the fact that 'Sydney' is stamped on the side. A little touch of Australiana.
In winter when we light the Stanley stove and turn on the ceiling fan to circulate the warm air, clothes dry in next to no time. I don't really mind that my dining room looks like the dry cleaners but I do try to remember not to hang up any unmentionables if we are expecting guests!
Some friends came over for a visit and saw our ladder. 'We have an old wooden ladder sitting in our shed at home would you like it?' they asked and very soon we were the owners of another vintage ladder. We decided to turn this one into a pot rack for the kitchen after I had seen one in 'Australian Home Beautiful' in a very stylish home. This sits above my Ilve stove which proves that old and new can reside together. Let's call it eclectic style shall we!
Butchers hooks were found on eBay for a very reasonable price and my set of Scan pans are surprisingly easy to hook on and off. I now have a place to display my collection of baskets which have many practical uses around the home. They are no longer cluttering up the top of the fridge. I'm looking forward to harvesting herbs in the summer and hanging bunches to dry from the ladder. I may even attempt to plait the garlic that is growing in my garden which will be ready closer to Christmas.
My previous pot hanger which I still love dearly has been relocated to sit above the Stanley stove where its black wrought iron is more in keeping with the black chimney. This is where I hang my copper pots from Provence. Looks like they could do with a dust!
The Stanley stove is going as I type so it is time to go and make another sourdough loaf. I have made several this week. The dough rises beautifully overnight when the stove is going. The last loaf I made lasted less than an hour - it was devoured before I could even take out the toaster and we forgot to save a piece for dad! Tonight's loaf will be baked in time for breakfast. I do love this apricot sourdough bread toasted and it is the easiest bread to make - sourdough is not high maintenance once you have a stable starter.
Hope you have enjoyed seeing my vintage ladders turned into drying and pot racks. When was the last time you used your dryer? If you have the room and high ceilings why not consider turning an old wooden ladder into a drying rack?