As we prepare for our November issue, which is all about small spaces, we’re thinking small, and that often means creative use of otherwise wasted space above the main floor. Getting to these spaces always requires an equally space-saving vehicle. Enter the ladder, that age-old device that may have its ups and downs (we couldn’t resist), but whether helping us reach for that top-shelf book or getting us to our sleeping loft, can be rendered in so many oh-so-modern ways. Here are some that have graced the pages of Dwell.
In law professor Carole Goldberg and sociology professor Duane Champagne’s Los Angeles home, books are stacked to the rafters of the 13-foot-high ceiling. Reaching them, as well as an adjacent sleeping loft, is a snap with library ladders (about $1,500 each from Alaco Ladder Company).
For the Victorian house architect Christi Azevedo shares with her partner, Katherine Catlos, in San Francisco, Azevedo conceptualized the downstairs kitchen and office, complete with a traditional library ladder.
In a young Charleston couple’s reawakened 19th-century house, a ladder created by Peyton Avrett serves as an unorthodox way to the upstairs, and it also serves as a fire escape since the house only has one stairwell.
Architecturally minded Im and David Schafer got very creative in their 426-square-foot San Diego rental; the stairway to the sleeping loft is a riff on a ship's ladder. Instead of a handrail, sail cleats are bolted to the walls as hand-holds.
While it’s not technically a ladder, this metal-tube staircase fabricated by a maker of ship’s ladders gets the residents of this converted restaurant in L.A.’s Chinatown to their sleeping loft in style.