Make Life Beautiful with Leanne Ford
07/20 Lifestyle

Make Life Beautiful with Leanne Ford

Our Q&A with designer Leanne Ford

Leanne Ford is redefining what it means to live beautifully…

After gaining national attention for the 1907 schoolhouse-turned-home that she restored and designed in her hometown, Leanne launched her career as an interior designer. Known for her signature “white on white” aesthetic and modern, lived-in style, Leanne creates approachable, heart-filled spaces that inspire many.

You may recognize Leanne as the star, along with her brother and contractor Steve Ford, of Home Again with the Fords on HGTV and previously Restored by the Fords. Leanne’s incredible work has been featured widely across publications such as Architectural Digest, Elle Decor, Martha Stewart, and the New York Times, to name a few.

We couldn’t be more excited to share Leanne’s story and introduce her as our latest guest for our Make Life Beautiful” Q&A series!

What was your very first job—ever?

I spray painted address numbers on the curb in my neighborhood for five bucks each. It started out as something I was doing to raise money for our band trip and then I realized it was a profitable endeavor — so I just kept going. I think it might have been the start of my love affair with painting everything.

 

Make Life Beautiful with Leanne Ford

From Leanne’s Portfolio

Tell us about your journey into the creative industry, when did you realize that you could turn your passion into a career?

I always knew I would work in the creative industry. I was always creating something as a kid. In college, I started to make a lot of my own clothing because there was only one shop in town and everyone looked the same. (They were all shopping there.) I started by spray painting all my clothes, and then making clothes made me recognize my love for fashion, which led me to looking for an internship in New York City. I then spent fifteen years in styling and creative direction until I bought my first very house in 2010.

I had always fixed up my rentals, my dorm rooms, and my childhood bedroom but I had never considered doing design as a career. But with my own space for the first time, I was finally able to rip out walls and create a space exactly how I wanted it to be. In 2011, Country Living Magazine featured my house and people just started calling to see if I would do their homes. And being a freelancer, I said “yes!” and the rest is history.

From the Gram
@leannefordinteriors
Make Life Beautiful with Leanne Ford

A shot we love from Leanne’s instagram.

If you could go back in time and give your young creator self one piece of advice what would it be?

Keep going and keep creating. It’s all going to work out just right…better than you imagined!

 

Where do you find the most inspiration for your work?

As a true creative, I’m inspired by everything and everyone.  Music, people, places — you just gotta look up and the world is full of inspiration.  I do love reading musicians’ autobiographies. “Born to Run,” by Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon’s book, and Patti Smith’s “Just Kids,” are books I always find myself going to because they get my brain thinking bigger and creatively. Totally unrelated, but still the same thing.   

There’s an old saying about the bed, the bath and the bus and that’s where all our good ideas come, and it is so true: give me a bath, a nap or a road trip any day.

Make Life Beautiful with Leanne Ford

One of our favorite moments from @leannefordinteriors

What does your creative process look like?

Beautiful chaos.

 

What was the most significant business or creative challenge that you have encountered and grown from?

Being that I am in the construction business, every project is a challenge. There are always unforeseen problems whether it’s what’s behind the walls or budgets or permits. But those challenges always lead to a more interesting end result than what I even set out for. 

Some of my biggest challenges have been creating spaces on a budget and those are the times I am most excited by the end result. Cue coffee stained walls!

Make Life Beautiful with Leanne Ford

A beautiful project via Leanne’s instagram. 

What has been your biggest achievement? When was the last time you thought “wow, I can’t believe I just accomplished that!”

My biggest achievement would be my Leanne for Crate and Barrel line. I cannot believe I get to create my own products with such an incredible company. I would have interned for them for free… but don’t tell them that! But truly, creating my own line with their team has been nothing but a complete joy and I love seeing the pieces out in peoples’ homes.

Which upcoming project or endeavor are you most excited for?

I just launched a new website, Leanneford.com, that I’ve been working on for sometime now that people can come to for inspiration, source guides and how to’s for their own home. One of my favorite parts about what I do is helping people make their own homes beautiful so this website has been a real labor of love…now this thing is brand new so bear with me when you cruise through it! But I am still so excited to share it all with you.

 

Make Life Beautiful with Leanne Ford

A beautiful scene of Leanne and her daughter. 

To learn more about Leanne Ford and her outstanding work, visit her website leanneford.com, and keep up with her on Instagram @leannefordinteriors

Show Comments
2 Comments
Studio McGee
  1. Love Leanne Ford! Thank you for featuring her! I love that she truly has her own style – And that she’s from my hometown!

  2. Thank you for showcasing Leanne Ford! I have loved her show and am both inspired and challenged by her design work. Inspired , because she brings life and freshness, and also an ‘edge’ in her design. Challenged, because she goes where I wouldn’t go, but I wish I could! ( I think I’m a bit too conservative)
    I love the way you celebrate great designers !

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