Tall Cabinets? A Kitchen Ladder Might Be Your Smartest Addition

We are constantly thinking of ways to make our lives a little easier. Difficulty finding a parking space? There is a app therefore. Too tired to turn off your lights after a long day? There is a at a distance therefore. Too short to reach the tippy top of your kitchen cabinets? There’s a – wait for it – ladder for that. If you feel like you’re losing precious storage space due to über-tall cabinets that rise to the ceiling, we’d recommend going on board with this solution, but of course make it stylish.

New Yorker Nicolette Starnella says that “without kitchen stairs” [my husband and I] would not be able to function so seamlessly on a daily basis.” Fortunately for Starnella, the old-fashioned feeling was already there when they entered their rental apartment. Despite the accidental inclusion, her love of the design detail is evident as the dark walnut ladder was even featured in the couple’s engagement photos.

But doesn’t it get in the way more than it gets you where you’re going, you might ask. In Starnella’s case, the structure doesn’t just move back and forth, but pulls in and out, which helps if you want a little less steep climb. “Or you can push it all the way up to stand next to the counters, leaving more walking space when you’re hosting a dinner party,” she notes. When not in use, it sits next to the dishwasher, while on a job day, it’s ideal for deep cleaning tricky spots like the hood or watering the plants on top of the couple’s fridge.

Before. Photography by Silka Weiss
ladder in a garage

Design process. Photography by Silka Weiss

For the low cost, installation and design, we contacted an experienced designer Silka Weiss, who, while renovating a Crown Heights, Brooklyn, brownstone, killed two birds with one stone for her 5-foot-3 customer. By adding an industrial-looking ladder with elements of steel and bronze, Weiss brought “a lot of art to the space,” while also allowing the homeowner easy access to her ever-growing collection of cookware and small appliances, regardless of her height. Weiss recalls that the price of the custom ladder was $12,710, making it a splurge, but a worthy one at the end of the day, given that the house has 14-foot ceilings.

Installing a ladder is not easy. After months of fine-tuning the design, right down to the screws, it was especially difficult to find a seamless way to attach it to the Italian cabinets. In the end, they chose a hidden track that was in line with the otherwise minimal aesthetic of the kitchen. Weiss also thought ahead. She made sure the ladder was removable in case her client eventually decided to move. BYOL is the new BYOB.

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