Interior Design Ideas: How to Add a Library Ladder Artistically

If you have a library in your house with books that cannot be reached without a ladder, then here are some tips to help you get one in a creative and useful way.

There are many spaces in the house that can be used if they can be reached. You may not use some items regularly, but you need them every now and then, and also, need a way to access them when required. If you know how to use a library ladder, you can reach that storage space just as easily. However, to add a ladder to a décor needs planning and artistic sense so that it complements the rest of the design. Here are some design ideas to help you get started with adding a ladder to your house.

When you finally decide to add a ladder to your library, you need to make sure that your space meets the following conditions.

Make sure that there is enough support


[Image – The Works]

When installing a ladder to your room or library, there need to be enough support. In case, there is not sufficient amount of support, then you need to add it in order to install the rail. The rail should be capable of not just holding itself, but also the ladder, as well as the person who would be using a ladder. However, you may not require additional support if you are installing a ladder on the wooden cabinet made of solid wood, like in this picture.

However, make sure that if you are installing the ladder directly on the wall, then extra support would be necessary if the wall is not made of concrete. The problem with the ladder mostly arises when it is being pulled outward as that it when it requires maximum support.

The level of the floor must be even


[Image – blurrdMEDIA]

If your house has a floor with a slope, then you may not be able to add a ladder to your room. What makes the floor ideal for the installation of the ladder is that it should be made of tile or hardwood. You need to make sure that there is no unevenness on the floor when installing a ladder as it may get caught on the bumpy surface.

Adequate amount of clearance

You would require a minimum of 7 inch clearance between the track and the ceiling. This is the standard measure used by many manufacturers. However, this dimension can vary depending upon the availability of the space. You must verify before you leave the clearing.

Meet the standard weight requirements

Make sure that the ladder you are using is compliant with the weight standards so that it can hold a human weight.

Choose the right style


[Image – Ascher Davis Architects, LLP]

Straight: You must select the right kind of angles and ladder shape depending upon the usage and other structural elements. However, the most appropriate style would remain a straight ladder. It can go vertically up on a wall or cabinetry.


[Image – Olson Lewis + Architects]

 Bent: A bent ladder, like in this image, is bent around the centre to accommodate an obstacle. You can get this customized from the manufacturer depending upon the height of the obstacle and other dimensions that you can give.


[Image – Interiors Studio Martha’s Vineyard]

Loft: This ladder style is mainly to access the mezzanine. The extended side of the rails will help in sliding to the mid-level floor.

Materials used for ladders


[Woodham’s Cabinet Shop, Inc.]

Wood: The wooden based ladders in the library will look appropriate and suit the interior décor. You can get the one with simple steps of cast like star pattern for a more Victorian look. These ladders are built using the hardwood, which includes walnut, oak, mahogany, cherry, birch, etc. You can get them in finished style or for a distressed look can even get the stained.

If you are not a fan of wood grain, then you can also paint the ladder. They can be a fine blend of traditional and unconventional. There are many finishes available in the ladders design.

traditional-kitchen (1)

[Image – Cameo Kitchens, Inc]

Metal: These types of ladders don’t look like the traditional wooden ones, but look lighter in appearance and can be streamlined as per the available space. In this image, the metal ladder complements the traditional looking kitchen.


[Image – Rikki Snyder]

Mounting Style: You can choose between the j-style hook that needs to be manually adjusted when the ladder needs to be slid and the other option is to have an inbuilt mechanism of rollers that are attached to the railing and can help in its movement.


[Image – Board and Vellum]

Hook: This type of ladder is only required if you would be moving a piece of ladder to the other unconnected section. However, there are also people who like to design their ladders in hook style. If you are getting this type of ladder in your room or library, be sure to check the weight ability and also consider the height if you are going to face any obstacles in between. For instance, if you have pendant lighting, it can interfere with the movement of the ladder.

In this image, the ladder has been designed in hook style and has been customized to suit the customer’s needs. It can be moved from the living room to the kitchen without interfering with any other object along the way.


[Image – Thompson Custom Homes]

Rolling: The striking red colour of this ladder in the image is the rolling ladder that has been installed in the library. This type of ladder has been attached to the track permanently and cannot be removed like a hook ladder. The wheels guide the ladder along the track from left to right.

traditional-family-room[Image – Gordon Gibson Construction]

In this image, the elegance of this deep red library has been enhanced with the use of rolling ladder, which has a curved track. It is impossible to adapt the curves to the outside corners and can be only installed if you have corners on the inside. You can only use rolling ladders on the curving track, which is not an option with the hook ladder. The user has to lift the ladder in order to manoeuvre the ladder along the curved trail.

Moved inside or outside

traditional-kitchen (2)

[Image – Tim Barber LTD Architecture & Interior Design]

Many people fear installing a ladder in their rooms or libraries because of the tripping hazard as they stick outside the wall. However, manufacturers give the provision to stick the ladders in when they are not in use. This solution makes the ladder a safe option to use inside the house.


[Image – 2D3D Design, INC]

The manufacturer in this type of ladder uses the top slide feature, which can be used for both rolling and hook styled ladders. You can push them vertically and conserve space when they are not being used.


[Image – Bartels Exclusive Designer Doors]

This one has a telescoping feature that will allow the ladder to be pushed in when it is not being used and can be pulled out when you need it.

Safety measures 

contemporary-living-room (1)

[Image – Smith & Vansant Architects PC]

If you use the ladder properly, it is not only the safest option, but also can be used by anyone in the house. There are just three simple things that one needs to remember while using the ladder – don’t try to overreach, shift the ladder to its new position, don’t attempt to slide the ladder while using it and always stand with both feet and hands firmly on the railing.

Mostly the manufacturers maintain safety standards while creating their ladders and there are also additional safety options. For starters, there can be handrails for a firmer grip when using the ladder.

There are also other features like auto lock, which holds the ladder in place when someone uses it.

Cost factors



When you want to get a ladder in your home, make sure that you involve a professional like an architect, who is capable of accurate measuring, estimations, and skilled drawings, etc., which are needed for its safe installation.  The price of the ladder varies on several factors like the material, length of the railing, wood used, labour charges, and location, etc.

To get a ladder in your house needs aesthetic planning and compliance with all the safety measures to get the maximum utility out of it. It is better to seek help from a professional, who can do that for you and make sure that you have an artistically safe addition to your house enhancing the interior decor of the room.

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