By Kelly O’Roark
When it comes to decorating around a TV, there are multiple options from which to choose. Once you’ve figured out the optimal flat screen TV height for your space, you’ll need to come up with a design that supports this focal point. Since VCRs and DVD players are pretty much obsolete, there’s no need for a ton of equipment, which eliminates the need for a large entertainment center. Twenty years ago, having large wooden cabinets for all of your VCR tapes was a must-have, but now, those types of cabinets take up unnecessary space and are usually an eyesore.
So what’s the alternative? While a wall art collage is commonly used, it can easily get too crowded or busy and take away from the focal point (the TV). If you’re looking for a simple, clean look, decorative ladder shelves are an ideal option. With the right type of décor, these unique shelves will catch attention in all the right ways with an open and uncluttered design.
Here are four tips for decorating leaning ladder shelves in your living room.
1. Choose a Style, Material, and Color
When decorating your TV wall, you want to make sure that your ladder shelves will complement the TV and the rest of your living room décor. Two main options for ladder shelf material are metal and wood, and most come in various shades of white, black, gray, brown, or a combination of those colors.
You can also find various widths depending on how you want to decorate the shelves. Since this room has a modern farmhouse design style with black trim on the coffee table and end tables, two black decorative wooden ladders with medium-width shelves are a perfect choice.
2. Choose the Location
Once you’ve chosen the best style, material, and color, determine how much space you want on either side of the TV. You don’t want them to stand too far away from the TV since they’ll act as a frame, but you also don’t want them touching the sides of the TV, as that will be a distraction. 6 to 8 inches is usually the sweet spot, as it’s an optimal amount that gives the TV “room to breathe,” so to speak, and doesn’t leave the shelves oddly sitting off to the side.
As a safety note, be sure to attach the ladders to the wall so that they don’t accidentally get knocked over by children or pets! While decorative ladders for the living room bring amazing aesthetic appeal, they can be a safety hazard if they’re not affixed to the wall.
3. Choose decorative items for each shelf
There are five shelves on each of these ladders, so ten unique décor pieces were chosen – one for each shelf – to keep the look clean and uncluttered. While it can be tempting to fill each shelf with several knick-knacks, it’s best to limit it to one or two items per shelf. It’s good to have empty space because that’s what gives it a sophisticated look.
When it comes to ladder shelf decorating ideas, items such as faux succulents, intricate vases, pillar candles, and wooden and metal sculptures are great choices. Each of these pieces is a work of art in and of itself and has enough uniqueness and chicness to be eye-catching without being a distraction. If you can find distinct décor pieces that make a statement on their own, such as a real hourglass or an ampersand sculpture, it’ll add a whole new level of sophistication.
4. Decorate around the shelves
If you have empty space on the outside of each ladder, find another statement piece to add some extra visual interest. Keep in mind that you still want to maintain a clean look, so keep it to one or two large décor pieces. These tall floor vases with decorative willow branches bring out the main colors of the room and provide a stunning contrast to the solid black ladders and television.
If you still have a fair amount of space above the television and you want to completely frame the TV, you can place a rectangular canvas or other piece of artwork above it (as seen at the beginning of the article). Depending on your wall size, you may or may not have room for other décor items besides the ladder shelves. However, it’s always good to have options if you have the extra space!
As you can see, ladder shelves are a great way to add a unique look to your living room, and make the room look larger by eliminating bulky entertainment centers. It’s amazing how decorating around a TV with ladder shelves can turn your flat screen TV into a work of art!
Images used with permission, courtesy of Kelly O'Roark