Simple Scandinavian Ladder

I never throw away cut-offs and wood scraps! They have a special place in my small backyard, where they often prove to be little treasure troves of pain, especially when feet find them. But they are treasures nonetheless; throw-away scraps are perfect for odd jobs, and their size and shape largely dictate what you can do with them; which is how this ladder came into the world.

This ladder is not the most original DIY, but it is practical and pretty. Initially, I left it unpainted, but when I saw this West Elm version, I was convinced white paint had to be part of my ladder.



Difficulty: easy

Time: 1 hour without drying between paint coats



  • 2 x 35mmx35mmx3.0m timber battens
  • 16 wood screws
  • Cold wood glue like Alcolin, or a strong wood bonding glue
  • white water-based paint
  • Painter’s tape or masking tape


  • Jigsaw
  • Drill
  • A piece of sandpaper (or electric sander)
  • Screwdriver
  • Paintbrush
  • Carpenter’s square
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil


rustic decorative adder

Measure and cut battens to 2x 1.5m pieces for the legs and 4x 0.5m pieces for the rungs.

Pro tipUse a carpenter’s square to ensure the pieces are cut perfectly square. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a wonky ladder.


make a ladder

Sand down the pieces to the desired smoothness. I only sanded the edges, because I wanted a rougher texture.


vintage ladder

Mark the positions of the rungs on the sides of the legs: I spaced mine 300mm apart. Remember that the rung will sit in the middle of the measurement. Drill two pilot holes for each rung, one a little higher than the other. This will prevent the wood from splitting and will ensure a stronger hold.


wood ladder

Put a drop of cold glue on the edges of a rung, wait a few seconds, and press it against the inside of the leg where you drilled the pilot holes. Move the wood against each other until you feel the hold securing. Use your carpenter’s square to ensure a 90-degree angle.


diy storage ladder

Fix the two screws in place for each rung and then allow the cold glue to dry.

Repeat steps 5 and 6 for each rung until your ladder is complete.


timber ladder

(If you want a smoother finish, now would be the time to sand!) Use painters tape to demarcate the areas the be painted. I measured 20cm from the outside leg.


make your own storage ladder

Paint the sectioned area of the ladder. Allow to dry between coats until you’re happy with the finish. Lightly sand in between coats if you want a smooth modern appearance.

Pro tip: Brush away from the painter’s tape, to avoid the paint bleeding. And don’t use too much paint.😉


Remove masking tape. I love this part – it’s stressful and exciting!

Optional: Apply a clear sealant or treat the exposed wood. Wait to dry…and you’re done!

DIY storage ladder 2

Congratulations! You are now the owner of a self-made Nordic-style ladder ready to hang your towels or blankets! Well done!

Happy DIYing!



Home Decor with Distressed Wood

Earn some serious personality points for your home by adding texture to your home decor with distressed wood. It can be as easy as sanding down a door or furniture piece or by displaying a vintage collection of chopping boards.

Exposed furniture

The most common mistake a lot of us make is to use too many different types of wood in one space – especially the orange-undertone-varnished variety. Sand down furniture pieces to expose their grain and seal it with a clear matte coat to see the world of difference it makes. marthebo agentlewoman


Chop chop

I have an unhealthy fascination with vintage chopping boards. I simply can’t resist the ones with interesting shapes and cuts on the surface that tell stories of moms cooking up delicious meals day after day for their families. That’s why this simple display of wooden beauties on the left really appeals to me. mydomaine tarteletteblog


Quick fix

Display a beautiful rough tree branch as a clothing rail. The contrast of the rugged branch with the detailed lace dresses are simply gorgeous on the left. Tree disks have been popping up everywhere as decor items and you can buy them at your local nursery and stack them up to create an informal coffee table with lots of personality. kickandconkers refresheddesigns


Beaming beautiful

These exposed wooden beams add a structural element by emphasizing height in these interiors. Use them either raw and distressed to create a barn-feel like in the example on the left or slightly more refined like the whitewashed beams on the right. mydomaine style-files


Delightful doors

Sand down and treat doors with a whitewash or coloured wax to achieve this look. The wax goes into the lines to emphasize them and the end result is beautiful with lots of character. mechantdesign cozycottagecute



Use scaffolding planks to create this look. I simply love the open basin cabinet on the left with its textured wall and sink. It’s got a lovely relaxed feel to it. Large floor-standing mirrors are also still a very trendy item to display in your house so emphasize it by using a bulky frame. decodesign lostintimepl


Windows to the soul

These raw wood industrial floor to ceiling windows look spectacular in this loft-style bedroom. The whole setting has a light and airy feel with different textures playing together, like the bricks, wooden floor and coarsely woven curtain. decordemon


Floating wood

I love these little benches with their exposed tops and organic shapes on the left: it’s a fresh way of contrasting exposed and painted wood in one furniture piece. On the right we have raw wooden shelves that have been turned on their sides and attached to the wall. It creates bands of texture in this alcove and makes a beautiful place to display some of your personal treasures. nordichouse residencestyle



Combine dark distressed wood with grey ceramics, cement and weathered steel to create this dramatic look with an artistic feel. voorhaven7


Eclectic charm

This kitchen on the left has lots of old-world charm with touches of modern sophistication. The contrast of the worn distressed door and bin with the black and white floor is very quirky. The metal  lamp shades in different heights just add a bit of fun to the space. marieclairemaison


I am off to install my chopping board collection on the kitchen wall! Hope you found this post inspiring and will be trying a few of these ideas.

Happy styling,


DIY copper dipped collection

In the spirit of all things lovely I have decided to give a few of my favorite items around the house a quick makeover by dipping them in copper paint.

I had a tin of left over Fired Earth Brushed Metal – Cosmopolitan paint from a previous project and I simply love the final result. This copper colour is subtle and feminine – perfect for the month of love.

Read Germarie’s post on the copper trend for more inspiration on the subject.


You will need:

1L Brushed metal paint (color: Cosmopolitan) from Fired Earth | Wood items, old glass vases or containers and feathers | Unprinted newspaper or just normal paper will do | No paint brushes required


Dipped wooden heart

Simply dip your wooden object like this heart I got as a present from dear friends. Just dipping the tip in copper adds a bit of subtle sophistication to an item that I’ve had for more than 10 years.


Dipped feathers

My goose and duck (Splodge and Gina) have been scattering the garden with their feathers. I love collecting them and do all sorts of crazy things for shoots. Recently I dipped them in Annie Sloan chalk paint so I went one step further and gave them a second dip (only the tips) in copper paint and grouped them together in a glass jar. It looks great and lasts much longer than flowers. I also now use them as a gorgeous finishing touch when wrapping a gift.

Stick the wet dipped feathers into a piece of Styrofoam that’s been placed on a sheet of unprinted newspaper and leave to dry. This is the easiest and least messy of all the methods I’ve tried.


Dipped glass

I have been wanting to do something with my dust-gathering collection of glass jars, vases and bottles for a while now and dipping them in copper paint was the perfect solution. You don’t need to prime the surface and because the paint has a brushed metal quality it gives it a slight grain that is simply lovely.

The circular effect the jars made on my unprinted newspaper got me thinking … this would make the most amazing gift wrap so I left them to dry, rolled them up and will use them as such.


The collection

My new collection of dipped items are proudly on display in what used to be a dull corner at the end of a dark passage in my home.

Now go forth and have fun! Just be careful as dipping is highly addictive.

Oh, and if you’re wondering what surface I’ve used as a backdrop for the picture … it’s the lovely distressed wood panelling wallpaper also from Fired Earth available at Builders Warehouse and no, this is not a sponsored post – sometimes we just love. Promise!

Happy styling,


Wonderful wood

If like me you grew up with the fairytale Pinocchio you probably also have a fascination with wood. It’s a beautiful living element in the home that also creates a sense of warmth. Especially if left raw so that the true beauty of the medium – its grain – shows.  Herewith ten ways of incorporating wood into your home. I hope it inspires!

1.  Spool coffee table


Create a conversation piece by using a reclaimed spool as a coffee table. Clever and practical.

2.  Headboard made of wooden planks


With wood clad walls being all the rage right now, why not start by making this inexpensive headboard. Simply secure a few planks to the wall above the bed and paint an inspiring word on it. I love the echo of the yellow word and the scatter cushion.

3.  Mirror, mirror on the floor


Give an over sized mirror a rough raw wooden frame and place it slanted against the wall in a low traffic area. Always make sure that the mirror reflects a pretty scene and see how it opens up the room.

 4.  Focus wall


This beautiful wood-clad wall has a bit more of a shabby chic feel with the introduction of color on some of the planks. If you are not comfortable with salvaged wood then opt for wallpaper instead.

5.   Side table on wheels


I love the fact that the bark was left on this stump to add texture to the side table. It was given a modern twist by adding castor wheels and makes it easy to move around to where needed.

6.  Power slide


Salvage old barnyard doors from a reclaim outlet and add it to a rail to transform it into a stunning bathroom sliding door. Sliding doors takes up much less space than the usual variety and truly makes a great architectural impression.

7.  Flat or stacked


Stack wood nicely in a open shelf to add texture to a space. Here it’s interesting that the wood cladding was extended to the floor planks to create a seamless effect. The grey washed color is gentle on the eye.

8.  Kitchen cupboards


These kitchen cupboards with their raw textured facades contrasts beautifully with the sleek stainless steel used in the kitchen. It gives the kitchen the warmth it needs to be inviting instead of sterile.

 9.   Shelf life


Open raw-wood shelving creates the perfect graphic element with the use of eclectic items like the industrial light and retro black and white chairs. This would work great as a room divider in an open space. Just remember to put your prettiest objects on display and not let it get cluttered with family paraphernalia.

10.  Coffee in bed


Wooden disks are readily available at nurseries and are very inexpensive. Why not use it as a breakfast tray? It also makes a lovely base for a center piece on a dining room table and of course as stepping stones in the garden.


Objects of desire

Surf the net to see what beautiful wooden items are available. Here is four of mine.

1.  I love hooks and believe one can never have enough hanging space in the home. The wood grain on the timber has a lovely texture.

  1. The wooden cup is simply to die for and I would put in on display rather than serve coffee to my friends in it. It’s just too pretty!
  1. This hanger would be perfect on a wall displaying one of your favorite items of vintage clothing.
  1. The wooden faceted door handles are perfect to give an old dresser a new look. Especially a plain white one as they will show off nicely against it.
 Happy Styling!