A home office is a just like any other room in your house, able to get cluttered at a moment’s notice. With all your files, reference books, notes, and other important business supplies, this is the space that needs structure most, and the best way to get that is through shelving. But since this is your home you’re decorating and not the office, spice up your decor with ladder shelves, a fun take on a traditional bookcase that’s right at home in your office…or any other room of the house.
Ladder shelves are not your typical kind of bookcase. There are two kinds of ladder shelves: leaning and stand-alone. Leaning shelves rely on an external back support to be upright, such as being mounted against a wall. Stand-alone ladder shelves do exactly that — they can stand on their own. Some are uniform throughout, and with others the largest shelves are on the bottom and narrow with each step. This can help you prioritize your accents visually heaviest to lightest.
Just like with traditional shelves, you can stack several ladder shelves together to make any size bookcase you want. This creates a unified look in your room of choice, and keeps a larger collection together across multiple shelves. A compatible desk compartment seamlessly fits among the shelves if you’re also craving a work space that matches your decor exactly, or just need an extra table at times.
You get an open, breezy feeling with ladder shelves like you would with floating shelves, but with more anchorage to the ground. This can help show off your flooring or accent rugs instead of taking away from them. Combine this with how you aren’t limited to just storing books, and you can make a visual treat of your space with bold accent colors across the multiple surfaces.
This is a DIY- chic look for the adventurous spirit looking to move away from your classic formal shelving. Of course if you’re feeling crafty, you can create this look yourself with any out-of-commission ladders you may have, or build from scratch with slanted boards. But be aware that looks can be deceiving, and make sure to know for sure how much weight you’re allowed to put on your shelves. Unlike actual ladders (even if made from one), ladder shelves are not meant to be climbed or stood on and should be treated gently as you would any other bookcase.
Ladder shelves are great for a home office to show off your knickknacks, certificates, and reference material, and provide a spare desk if you need to work on multiple projects at once. That said, ladder shelves can be used in just about any room of the house without looking out of place. From a secondary pantry in the kitchen to a beginner bookcase for a nursery to a towel rack in the bathroom, these versatile bookcases feel more natural than traditional ones while providing extra storage for your home.
If you’re strictly seeking a bookcase that will hold as many books as possible, you may find that sticking to the classics will get you the most bang for your buck. But if you’re hoping to go a step above with your home office (or any room) decor, consider leaning into using ladder shelves for a unique look that makes storing your tax files fun.