Tuesday, December 13, 2011

climbing the (crazy) ladder

When you live your entire life at home in two rooms (practically 1-1/2), you spend more time decorating odd spaces, like say, a bathroom, than any sane, normal individual ever does...or should.

That's what led to my recent obsession with having a ladder in my bathroom. I've been seeing them all over the blog world and Pinterest and thought it would be handy as a towel rod, magazine rack, and tp holder in one. I really wanted a vintage one but they were kind of pricey on Etsy and I knew they would be ridiculous at any NYC flea markets. That's when I decided I could build one myself.

Here is the "before" situation. There isn't a good place for a wall mounted toilet paper holder because of all the bathroom tile, and I inherited this freestanding one from the former tenant.

After quickly patching and painting the holes from my previous, single purpose towel rod, I ran to Lowe's for supplies. I decided to use 2x2 furring strips for the verticals and 3/4" dowels for the rungs. Luckily, a helpful Lowe's worker was able to cut down the 8' furring strips to my desired length but he wasn't allowed to cut the dowels on the big saw. It was a little annoying that they can cut down huge pieces of wood but couldn't manage to make a few cuts of my puny twigs.

So now I am the proud owner of a little hacksaw so I could cut them at home :)

I planned on attaching the rungs to the verticals with conduit clamps but after getting the 3/4" ones home, I decided they were too big. They didn't hold the horizontal pieces tight enough and the ladder immediately fell apart. Plan B required another trip to Lowe's (luckily I live 2 blocks away) for extra long screws.

They worked much better! The ladder is pretty sturdy but I left one row with conduit clamps so the rod can be easily removed when replacing rolls of toilet paper.

Now I just need to stain it. I'm leaning towards Early American from Minwax but may go with something darker due to the low quality of the wood. While I consider myself a pretty experienced painter, I have never actually stained anything. It should be an interesting experience! I guess I can always use my painting skills if the stain turns into a big fail. Wish me luck!


  1. love this idea! and i am still loving the stripes in your bathroom.


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