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?


Renata said...

Hi Ann
I love your ladders - they look fantastic & are perfect! I've always loved that style of decorating - I remember reading in an Emile Barnes book that she had her baskets hanging above her kitchen (was it on a ladder?? - I can't remember the exact details) anyway I always thought I'd love that too! We do intend to get a pot hook for our pots for in the kitchen - we had one in our old house & I loved it, but left it for the new owners when we left as it matched the kitchen so well.

I just have to add that the parts of the song you mentioned on my blog post were the same parts that made me laugh!!
Hope you have a wonderful evening - ours is wet which is wonderful as we desperately need the rain - in fact I heard it's wet all over the state - are you guys getting the rain too?
Have fun

A Bite of Country Cupcakes said...

I love that look and the practibility! Just beautiful!

Evi said...

Hi Ann, I have washing drying over our wood heater too! And at our previous (larger home) we used an old wrought iron gate for a pots and pans holder over the kitchen bench. We painted it the same colour as our cupboards and it was oh so handy! I had planned on using an old wooden ladder but it just didn't fit quite right so the gate it was!

jean said...

I just love the ladder ideas! Think I'll steal your ideas. Your sourdough looks sooooo gooood!!

Camille said...

How fun! What a great idea Ann...I haven't ever thought of using a ladder to dry clothes. :) I'm so happy for you that you were able to finally purchase the ladder you had your eye on. wonderful that your friends offered you another old ladder that now holds your pots. Enjoy! :)


Pam said...

Oh, this is really a great idea, and very cute. I have my mind spinning on some ideas of how I could make that work here. I don't really have any high ceilings... but somehow, I would love to figure out something. I liked Evi's idea of a gate too. The sourdough bread looks yummi. I was thinking recently of starting some sourdough bread. I used to have a starter that was given to me by a neighbor, and I used it for quite sometime, but then stopped, and haven't made any for years. I saw a recipe for starting your starter the other day... its tempting me. Hope you are all doing well... I still have a hard time remember that you are having winter, while we are so hot here.
Many Blessings to all

Fruitful Harvest said...

Beautiful. I love the ladders. Great idea.
Your bread looks delish!


Lynn said...

Just found your blog. I certainly will enjoy following!

Kendra at New Life On A Homestead said...

Very cool idea!! I love old ladders. I just put one in my daughter's room as a quilt rack :)

Saminda said...

Ann - I LOVE it!! What a great idea! I unfortunately have been using my dryer quite a lot as it's been raining so much and I don't have an outdoor line here! I just have 4 lines strung up in the laundry which is often not enough. That ladder really is beautiful. :)

Anonymous said...

Loved the look of the ladders. We have one bedroom we turned into a laundry, clothing and drying room. We strung clotheslines across the room and use it for drying everything but linens. The room is small and there is not enough space to hang long bedding, so it gets dried. However, we save enough to be able to run the window air conditioners as it often gets in the triple digit heat index here.
Mrs. J.

Katy said...

I absolutely love it! What a fantastic idea, Ann! It looks great and serves great purpose(s)!

I hope you are enjoying your week!!
Katy :o)

Unknown said...

Oh I LOVE that idea!! It looks awesome! I wonder if I could do that in my house....

Finding Joy said...

What a great idea. I always wanted a ladder in my bathroom leaning up against the wall to ang towels on.


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