Ladder for high shelves in kitchen, but need to still have good balance to use one. Floor to ceiling cabinets would give you more to hold onto I think, and then could use the ladder to reach the shelves.
E.D.G.E.: An Experimental Dwelling for a Greener Environment
This is another example of a layout that would be easy to install in a studio apartment - a loft bed with stairs would be a cheaper and nicer space saving solution than buying a Murphy bed. Maybe even in a small bedroom.