F5: Leanne Ford Shares Her Go-to Boots, Hometown Love + More

08.20.21 | By
F5: Leanne Ford Shares Her Go-to Boots, Hometown Love + More

light-skinned woman with dark hair wearing white and leaning against a white exterior wall

Leanne Ford is an interior designer from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania who gained national attention for the 1907 schoolhouse turned home that she restored and designed in her hometown. It was this first personal project that established the white on white aesthetic she’s become known for. Featured in Country Living magazine, the house launched Leanne’s career as an interior designer, leading to projects in Pennsylvania, New York and Los Angeles – each a reflection of her modern yet lived-in aesthetic. Her relaxed vibe and personal style match the approachable spaces she creates and curates.

Leanne’s work has been featured in Architectural Digest, Domino, GQ, Lonny, Elle Decor, Martha Stewart, Better Homes and Gardens, the New York Times and more. Her bathroom design has been featured on the cover of Bright Bazaar’s latest interiors book, Dream Decor. She 2020 Ambassador for Legrand designer switches and outlets. Leanne is currently the star, along with her brother and contractor Steve Ford, of Restored by the Fords on HGTV, which follows the siblings as they turn some of Pittsburgh’s most dated buildings into magazine-worthy homes.

Today Leanne joins us for Friday Five!

light-skinng man sitting and playing guitar with overlay text reading someone gotta help me out

1. Justin Lucas
A new artist that only has a few songs out, but I love him and his sound. I officiated his wedding to one of my best friends and have been begging him to get his music out! Listen here!

Pittsburgh city skyline

Photo: Sean Pavone/Getty

2. Pittsburgh
I grew up in this town, and I loved it, but being a gypsy soul I of course couldn’t wait to leave! But now as an adult I am back, and so happy to be here. Not only is my family here, we film our show for HGTV here as well. The trees and the topography and the rivers get me every time. It’s happy, easy living and the food and art scene is thriving. The only Warhol Museum in the world is here, and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater is a quick hour drive away.

white wall with drawing hanging on it

3. Making Stuff
When I can’t find what I want, I just MAKE it! Plus, there is major creative freedom to knowing how to use power tools and being able to do a project yourself without finding someone to help you. I’ve been working with Hart Tools to get the word out that you TOO can do it! Give them wings ( I mean tools), ya know!

Cameo app logo on black background

4. Virtual Designing
During quarantine I was looking for a way to stay creative and inspired, and a way to help people love the home that they were stuck in. So, I decided to use the Cameo app in a little bit of a different way. I now use it to give people a quick 2-5 minute consultation with ideas of what they can do with their space. “Clients” send pictures and questions and I give them ideas, brands, colors, where to move furniture – just ideas to get their creative side inspired to keep going. It has turned out to be such a blast for me. Design for all!

light-skinned woman wearing a white dress and boots sitting on a bench against an interior wall

5. Doc Martens
I have been wearing Doc Martens since 8th grade. I actually still have a pair from that time. I wear them out until they need to be “retired”, but always keep them because at that point they are works of art. To ME anyway… ;)

Kelly Beall is senior editor at Design Milk. The Pittsburgh-based graphic designer and writer has had a deep love of art and design for as long as she can remember, and enjoys sharing her finds with others. When undistracted by great art and design, she can be found making a mess in the kitchen, consuming as much information as possible, or on the couch with her three pets. Find her @designcrush on social.