Types of Ladder Back Chairs - Which Style is Best For You

By Bailiegh Basham · June 16, 2020

Types of Ladder Back Chairs - Which Style is Best For You

Ladder back chairs have been present in homes since the Middle Ages. The styling of a horizontal slat-back chair, as opposed to vertical rungs, gives the ladder back its name. Ladder back chairs are known for their sturdy frame and everlasting design. Most popular design styles throughout history have adapted the ladder back, with details shifting to match what’s popular at the time.

Here at Countryside we make solid wood ladder back dining chairs in many different types, including Modern, French Country, Farmhouse and Colonist. You might know you prefer the slat back look, but aren’t sure which style to go for. This article will help you choose the right chair style—or dining set—to suit your needs.

Modern Chairs

The Modern type of the ladder back chair embraces smooth, curved slats across the back of the chair. Rather than a uniform shape, the slats might alternate thick and thin widths. There might be a large gap between the slats themselves, and usually a low rather than high back. 

For this reason, these chairs are a great option for a full mid-century modern dining set. Their simplicity allows them to mix and match with a variety of home styles. 


French Country Chairs

French Country is known for ornate, whimsical details to evoke the classic French chateau aesthetic. So the French Country version of a ladder back chair might be marked with elegant finials at the top of the chair, scalloped back slats, and intricate details on the legs. The natural wood and classic ladder back design help it to feel elegant, but not inaccessible or stuffy. These types of ladder back chairs can work as standalone accent chairs, a full dining set, mixing and matching with other styles, and even a full maximalist design with the right accompanying dining table. 


Farmhouse Chairs

Farmhouse style is a practical and casual contemporary style. It can be mixed and matched easily with other casual or rustic elements. The ladder back chair in a farmhouse style includes clean lines, and the appeal of everyday use. Usually quite simple in design, these aren’t typically used as a standalone accent or side chair, but are rather perfect for a full dining set, or to mix and match with other farmhouse chairs.


Colonist (aka Shaker) Chairs

If you want a ladder back chair that’s closest to its traditional design, but with the added appeal of modern comfort, the Colonist chair is perfect for you. It’s our version of the Shaker style ladder back chair that was popular in early American settlement days. Note the regal high back, but with a tilted frame and curved seat. These antique replica ladder back chairs are best in dining rooms with a traditional design, or as kitchen and living room side chairs.


No matter which style you prefer, all of our ladder back chairs can be made to order in the natural wood and upholstery finishes you desire. Expect the timeless appeal of a ladder back chair with quality craftsmanship from Countryside. 

For more articles about dining chair options, read A Guide to Dining Room Chair Styles, Best Chairs for Round Dining Tables, and Unique Dining Chairs We Love.




Author, Baileigh Basham

Bailiegh Basham is Lead Sales & Marketing Strategist at Countryside Amish Furniture. She's been a team member since 2014. Bailiegh is deeply passionate about furniture design and home decor.