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Get a Step Up on Your To-Do List With a Svelte Yet Sturdy Ladder

Hasegawa’s Lucano step ladder is a surprisingly stylish boost for overhead projects.

Hasegawa Lucano three-step ladder in white.

Hasegawa Lucano three-step ladder in white.

Photographer: Joyce Lee for Bloomberg Businessweek

Ladders have been around since the Stone Age, when early humans built them to reach honey from bees’ nests, and they’ve evolved with every subsequent civilization. Hasegawa Kogyo Co. in Osaka has been around only since 1956, but its products have emerged as the preferred choice of this era’s design connoisseurs because of their seamless marriage of good looks and quality construction. The company’s Lucano step stool is easy to fold without pinching your fingers, thanks to its safety bars, and it has adjustable legs that allow you to climb straight and stable in any situation. Its powder-coated matte finish is available in red, orange, black, white, or mint green, and the stool comes in a range of sizes. One of the most popular, the $241 three-step model (shown), has a handrail, folds to 6 inches flat, and can support 300 pounds.