Several years ago when we were back in college, my husband (then fiancé) built a ladder shelf and matching A-frame end table for my birthday. Probably because I was always complaining about needing some shelves for all my stuff. He had stained the vertical supports a dark reddish color and left the shelves natural (with a poly coat) for a two-tone look. They were solid, well-made pieces and easily the nicest furniture that I had back then. The shelves traveled with us to our new apartment after we got married, and then to our current house where they reside in our living area.