Ironing can be drudgery, but finding ways to use an antique ironing board in your decor scheme is anything but a chore. Take off the ironing board cover and remove the padding from the top. Vintage wooden boards with their slim profile can highlight any room in a home.
An antique ironing board provides a distinctive and practical spot to display collectibles and family photos. Dress it for the seasons and create vignettes to match your decorating style. For example, if your home features a primitive style, push the ironing board against a wall. Hang a quilt behind it for a country style backdrop and place a group of wooden spools of different shapes, colors and sizes at one end. Display a vintage rag doll in a miniature twig rocker at the other, and center the display with a lamp fashioned from a crock and topped with a punched tin shade. Tie it all together with a linen table runner.
Place an antique ironing board behind the sofa to corral magazines, remote controls, knitting and other small craft projects. Wicker baskets or stackable Shaker-style wooden boxes can organize items like sewing supplies, small toys, stationery and writing implements as well as adding a decorative element. A sofa table works well to group family portraits. A decorative table lamp adds interest as well as serving as task lighting.
It's easy to highlight plants all year to top of an antique ironing board in front of a sunny window. For a simple but elegant display, line up orchid plants from one end of the board to the other. Their delicate blossoms will draw the eye and add beauty to the room. Switch out orchids for different varieties of cactus for a Southwestern flair. Mix and match different types of plants in various heights and colors. Twining plants like ivies will trail gracefully over the iroining board's sides, while taller plants like peace lilies draw the eye up.
Give your bedroom a unique touch by putting an antique ironing board to work as a headboard. Fold up or remove the legs to attach the board to the wall behind the bed. Stacking one board atop another will provide a more impressive focal point. Stenciling, painting or padding the boards adds another decorative layer.
A portable bar can come in handy for entertaining. Fold the board up and move it to where you need it, indoors or out. Set it up, drape a decorative dish towel over one end to wipe up errant spills, and arrange bottles, stemware, shotglasses and napkins on top. A simple bouquet of flowers adds color. Consider painting the top of the board a bright hue and the legs another hue to give the bar a punch of color. Finishing the board with polyurethane prevents water damage and keeps the portable bar looking its best.
Jan Czech has been writing professionally since 1993. Czech has published seven children's books, including “The Coffee Can Kid," which received a starred review from School Library Journal. She is a certified English/language arts teacher and holds a Bachelor of Arts in education from Niagara University.