So here is my ladder now. I sanded her and painted her gloss black and brought "her" in (funny how inanimate objects have a gender, at least in my eyes) to become a handy basket rack next to our ginormous living room cabinet. Though I think Donna would have left it naturally rustically grey or painted it shabby white!
I shopped my baskets for the right fit to her shelves, then up styled them with some judicious spray painting in gloss black and leather brown. The baskets still look different but they fit with her overall dark, sleek, vintage, farmhouse "aren't I clever" kind of a style. I still have one basket in need of spray painting (see it peeking from the bottom shelf) but I love the way they all came out!
This was one idea that came out even better than I'd imagined. The baskets hold gloves, scarves, DVDs and emergency flashlights, so far. I will really try to be disciplined about piling them with stuff, but she's so convenient and she's right there....ahem. As I said, I'll try. ;0)
I'm linking up to Funky Junk's Copy Me Challenge Party just to join the fun. Man, there are some unique, creative, fantastically talented gals over there, come on over and check it out.