How We Styled a Decorative Ladder

Well, well, well. I don’t know if it was as sublime where you live, but this weekend finally started to feel like spring. Saturday brought warm weather to the greater Boston area with the brightest, bluest skies you ever did see, and Sunday—Sunday—was nearly 80. The balmy rays were shining, the birds were chirping, and we got a chance to utilize our back and front porches, something that I can honestly say we’ve never done in our three years of renting this apartment, and probably wouldn’t have thought to do on such a nice day if we weren’t still practicing social distancing. It was great to feel the heat on our skin from the sun, a feeling that we truthfully haven’t felt around these parts since 2019.

This amazing weather really inspired me to tackle a new decor item that I bought a few weeks ago. For years, my boho-loving heart wanted a decorative ladder to throw blankets on. I’ve wanted one for so long, that when I came across this beauty at Target, it felt almost too cliche to buy. But ladies and gents, I’m realizing life is fun and exciting to do things that make you smile, even if it means buying something that is considered to have had its moment already. So I purchased this piece at a killer price. Upon getting it home, I realized that it was actually better than I anticipated, the structure of the ladder makes it what’s coined an ‘apple picking ladder’ meaning it’s tapered towards the top, only adding to my love and appreciation of the new item since it felt a little more curated.

Decorative Ladder Styling, Home Decorating and Interior Design

So here it was, this blank slate, just begging for it to feel like ours. I wanted it to be a piece that made visitors, once they are actually allowed to grace our doorsteps again, immediately stop and think, “Yup, I’m definitely in Sarah and Phil’s place now, who else’s house could this be?”, and, again, it needed to represent both of us, a blend of our styles. It’s also positioned behind our couch in what is easily one of the first spots your eyes glance upon entering our front door. So you see, there wasn’t an option, this ladder needed to be styled.

If you read the post about our bedroom last week, you’d remember that my style is a mixture of seventies and boho, or in other words, a global combination of patterns, textures, and colors. Phil tends to lean a bit more in the opposite direction, in what we call zen minimalism. He prefers function over style and clean lines with high contrast. With Phil’s help, I took out all of the pieces I thought would look good draped over it’s rungs. Read on below for the four looks I styled with decor pieces we already had in our apartment.

Decorative Ladder Styling, Home Decorating and Interior Design


This look layers patterns (stripes and floral), textures (cotton shawl and vintage silk scarf), colors (blues, greens, pinks, purples), with touches of metallics in the bells and shawl from Ecuador. The art, a eucalyptus print and post card from Santa Monica, tied the look together. Overall, the look vibrantly pays homage to our travels. While I loved this look, it clearly was much too bright and colorful for Phil’s minimalist vibe.

Decorative Ladder Styling, Home Decorating and Interior Design


To balance it out, I decided to lean in the complete opposite direction and style the pieces in a way that would please my no-fuss fiancée. By eliminating all of the art, but the high-contrast black and white print and replacing the shawl and scarf with a light-weight throw in a black and white minimalistic stripe pattern, the piece felt functional, but lacked any personality.

Decorative Ladder Styling, Home Decorating and Interior Design

Seventies Minimalism

Some easy replacements, and the piece now felt a little more 70’s, while still serving a purpose. A thick, crocheted blanket and a hanging mason jar with Silver Queen green leaves allowed the ladder to still serve a function while adding some texture and color back into the look, slowly starting to blend our two styles. Lastly, I added the bells back to the mix, adding hints of the zen and boho styles that we both love.

Decorative Ladder Styling, Home Decorating and Interior Design

Final Style

Though the seventies minimalist, look definitely blended the two styles, remember how I mention it was 80 this weekend? As such, I couldn’t just leave it with the blanket, I mean would we even be using that blanket in a few weeks? For functionality sake, it was gone. The look was any still denying my hue hoarding heart a color any longer. We welcomed the vintage scarf back to the mix, and replaced the leaves with a feathery pink carnation.

While the last vignette is the style we’re using right now, I’m sure it will change in the coming days and weeks. That’s the best part about style, it never stops evolving! Which look is your favorite?

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