Upcycling ‘Round the House – Your Living Room

By Ebony Porter, March 11, 2016, Family, Green

In a world where we have so much stuff (and so much trash), upcycling has become the way to give something old a new face lift, complete with a revitalized sense of purpose. With our Upcycling ‘Round the House series, we’ll take you into each room of the house and present one project that turns something so-so into something oh-so-grand. 

Find New Purpose for Old Wooden Ladders in the Living Room

Spring signifies the season of renewal, and for many, this comes in the guise of spring cleaning. This can take the form of de-cluttering closets, revitalizing gardens and pots with a bit of annual spring color, or making over a room. There’s something about the sights and smells of spring that inspires us to make a few changes around the house, and maybe within ourselves.

We begin our upcycling journey this month in the room of the house where most of our relaxation and downtime occurs: the living room.

Upcycling 'Round the House: Your Living Room

Living rooms aren’t particularly good for long-term storage. Perhaps you have the odd floating shelf to house a few picture frames, or a bookshelf to hold a collection of your favorite reads. But what about other knick-knacks needing  a home somewhere besides the coffee table? And what do you with those blankets and throws tossed across the back of the sofa, giving your living room a junky look?

Look no further than an old ladder! Upcycling a ladder takes your storage space vertical, and not only is it functional, it’s downright cute.

If you already have a rustic old ladder taking up space in your garage, wipe off those cobwebs, and assess the situation. It may already have that crackly broken painted surface look that’s hip in design circles. If it needs something more, consider painting it gold or another color that matches your living room. If you like that shabby chic look, then paint it a bold color, and once the paint dries, take a few sheets of sandpaper and sand off patches of the paint to make it look barn rustic.

Upcycle a Ladder for Shelf Space

Let’s create a shelf unit that will house lots of trinkets and goodies!

Upcycling 'Round the House: Your Living Room

1) Open up your ladder as wide as possible.

2) Find wide, long planks of wood that will stretch from one side of the ladder rung to another. Make sure the wood is wide enough to cover the space from one side of the step to the other. In keeping with a rustic look, see if you can locate reclaimed wood, giving your shelf even more character.

3) For a staggered effect, use a shorter piece of wood towards the top, then gradually make your wooden shelves longer as you head down the ladder. This way, when you stand at a distance, your shelves mimic the natural triangular form of your ladder.

4) To secure the shelves, hammer nails in through the top of the shelf and into the ladder rung.

Upcycling 'Round the House: Your Living Room

Be realistic when you’re decorating the shelves, and don’t load them down with heavy books. Also be very cautious of burning candles on old wood. You don’t want to give the wood any excuse to burst into flames!

Upcycle Ladder for Vertical Storage of Blankets and Quilts

Movies are cozier to watch when you’re covered up with a quilt. But if your living room is exploding with pillows and throws on the backs of every sofa cushion, there might be more “comfort” than actual room to sit!

Upcycling 'Round the House: Your Living Room

Unify the look of your living by using an old ladder to house your blankets on. Not only does it visually look stunning, but it shows off the colors, design and textures of your blankets and quilts themselves. Bring the antique family quilts out of their storage chests and show them off. They are the storylines of many families, so it’s time to let their stories be heard through their patterns and well worn colors!

1) Dismantle a two-fold ladder. We’re only going to use one side of the ladder.

2) Again, if you want to have a different look, then change the color and style of the ladder if need be.

3) Lean the ladder up against a wall that has room to breathe, and arrange your blankets on it accordingly.

Upcycling 'Round the House: Your Living Room

When it’s time to grab a blanket, take your pick! Just make sure you return that quilt to the ladder each night to tidy up your space.

Are you a fan of upcycling? What’s your favorite living room project? Share with our readers below!

In our next installment of Upcycling ‘Round the House, we take on the dining room!

Images courtesy of Ebony Porter.

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