Most of you are familiar with Designer Leanne Ford by now. She’s cute and bubbly, and her style and demeanor has been compared to actress Diane Keaton. Leanne is known for her signature white on white aesthetic, and is fearless when it comes to trying new things. Along with her brother, Steve Ford, the duo have an HGTV series called Restored by the Fords, where they renovate and restore old homes and turn them into the most stunning, unique homes. Her spaces are composed of vintage elements, with texture, warmth, whimsy and they're perfectly imperfect. Leanne launched a line of furnishings, decor and bedding with Crate & Barrel back in February of this year. She wants her pieces to have interest and soul, and to tell a story.
Leanne and her family recently moved back to Pittsburgh, her home town, from Los Angeles, to be closer to family and re-connect with her roots. Let’s take a look at some of her stunning work.
Always a minimalist, one of Leanne's key principles is to use lots of white, on everything from floors, to walls, brick and tile. Oversize light fixtures are another design trick she employs to make a home feel special. Her rule of thumb is to hang your fixtures about 6" above your head, and often she uses paper lanterns or large inexpensive woven lights that provide bold impact to the space.
One of the most interesting things about Ford is her willingness to take risks and to throw all the standard design rules out the window. She makes design more approachable, and leaves you feeling inspired to try some of these DIY projects on your own. Leanne began her career as a fashion stylist and you can clearly see that influence in her design work.
Leanne loves to incorporate old doors when renovating. They add so much character to a space, and fits with her vintage aesthetic mix. Leanne admits that she never wants a space to feel designed....she wants it to feel "accidentally beautiful".
This photo is from Leanne's last home in Los Angeles, which they recently sold. Here she added a skim coat of plaster on the walls to add texture and interest to otherwise boring white walls. Removing upper cabinetry in the kitchen, especially one that is older and in need of renovation, is an easy way to update. Replacing the uppers with simple wood shelving creates an open, airy feeling and makes it look instantly more relaxed and unstructured.
Leanne's currently working on renovating her own century home in Pittsburgh and learning how to garden. We can't wait to see the results! We can all learn a few lessons from Leanne's design style. This relaxed, easy going vintage, modern mix is one that is going to stick around for a long time!