Ladder Shelves + Living Wall

By Kate Riley January 21, 2021

I assembled and secured two ladder bookshelves to the back wall of my studio this week. In 2020, I bought and read a lot of books and stacks of my favorites were piling up. I wanted a place to store them and I was eyeing the CB2 brand ladder shelves for a year because I liked the shallow depth but I wasn’t willing to spend $400 per shelf.

A few weeks ago, I spied some ladder shelves for $160 each and that I was willing to spend. I chose them because I liked the dark wood with matte gold medley, the contrast looks good against the off-white walls.

I decorated the shelves with books and plants in little pots. On top and in between the shelves are botanical and natural artwork from my print shop to create what I like to call my “living” wall. I keep the palette mostly black and white with greenery, I find this combination very calming.

artwork displayed: leaf sketch I & II / black sand I / silver yucca 

agave print will be available soon

I’ve had this armless IKEA sofa and mudcloth print pillows for two years and still love them. I wash the slipcovers a few times a year. I love spending my days working in this space, it brings me so much peace and joy. It feels good to have little plant babies all around and to see my artwork on the walls.

I linked to the shelves in my studio up above, but here are a few other styles of ladder wood bookshelves if you’re interested in adding a set to your home or office. The nice thing about this style is it is open and airy and because they are not very deep they take up too much space.


wood & white / black frame & wood

black & wood / wood & silver



  1. These are great options! You always seem to post about the exact thing I am looking for. Mental telepathy :)

    I love your style and all the thought you put into your posts. I appreciate you, and I look forward to reading them every time they pop up!

  2. I love those ladder shelves. I actually have a ladder that i want to repurpose and turn into a shelve for my loft. I need ideas on what color stain or style to do it. Thank you for your ideas.

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