“It doesn’t matter if you mix old and new, or different styles, colors, and patterns. The things you like will always blend, by themselves, into a peaceful whole.” This circa-1958 quote by Josef Frank appears to be the MO for Sara Ladds, a fine artist and design consultant with her own fabric line who cites flamboyant pillows by the Swedish architect and designer as among the things that bring the most joy in her home.
Originally from New York City, Ladds came to Rhode Island to attend RISD and never left. After living in Little Compton for a spell, she set her sights on Edgewood, smitten by the neighborhood’s National Historic districts and stunning Victorian homes. Ladds was delighted when a top-floor apartment became available, blocks from both Roger Williams Park and the bay. “The house is one of the Grand Dames,” Ladds begins. “I immediately fell in love with the marble steps that lead up to the third floor, the stained glass windows in the hall and bathroom, the brick wall separating the kitchen from the living area, the hardwood floors, and the openness of the space.” Another prized feature is the view. “I feel like I’m living in a tree house or perched like a bird on top of the treetops. I see eagles and ospreys circling, beautiful sunsets, and the onset of thunderstorms,” says Ladds with glee.
While the home may be Victorian, Ladds’ interiors are anything but prim, and she describes her style as self-reflective: very eclectic with a nod to both the classic and quirky. “Every single thing in my home has personal meaning to me. I spent a great deal of thought in placing where things go and how they interact with each other in the room.” She continues, “Color is extremely important to me. I usually start with color and build out from there, whether it be my interior design, fabric design, or artwork.”
Ladds spent much of her career as a graphic designer/art director, explaining that she’s always had a passion for interior design and a love for fabrics; about six years ago she decided to change course to become a fabric designer. “The fabric concept store Kreatelier carried my line and before long I became part of the amazing team and now work as one of the design consultants,” says Ladds. “I am also a fine art painter and feel fortunate to be a part of the wonderful art community available in Rhode Island.”