Leanne Ford’s Quirky Natural Cool Interior Design {Decorating Ideas}

Leanne Ford designed dining room with Midcentury elements, black painted floor, champagne hued hide rug, farmhouse light, white painted beadboard walls, and cool vintage chest for bar. #rusticdecor #bohemian #blackandwhite #LeanneFord

Photo: Jace Lumley for GQ.

Decorating Ideas and Photos of Leanne Ford Interior Design to {Steal the Look!}

Leanne Ford interior designer in overalls at home

Star of “Restored by the Fords”

Leanne Ford describes her interior design style as easy, warm, and lived in, and you’ve gotta love her humility. Clearly, she is a natural at creating ultra quirky-cool interiors with the right balance of edge, luxury, and undoneness. I think fans of her decor and her show (fan here!) RESTORED BY THE FORDS love how relaxed Leanne keeps the vibe; and since the times we’re living through are crazy, bring it on. This post will visually explore LF interior design work (do PIN to your boards to share the lovely!) and suggest ways for scoring a Leanne Ford look at home.

Aside: Leanne’s work may birth tranquil interiors, but, mercy…it may also stimulate the market for cool vintage objects and treasures within antique malls! I can’t study her designs too long before I want to motor to the nearest junk shops for vintage treasure.

(sources: GQ, Country LivingLeanne Ford Interiors; photo at top: Jace Lumley for GQ)

For me, Ford’s work has a certain QNC: quirky natural cool. And who among us can’t use more QNC in their back of tricks?

How she’s winning us over…Her interior designs are minimal without austerity and chic yet friendly since they’re a tad messy. So many of her designed spaces feel reminiscent of ultimate country retreats for poets, painters, musicians and free spirits who maybe choose NOT to make the bed some mornings since it’s too early to tell whether that’ll be the day’s tone. I’m sure this is why her interior design work is striking a chord as she demystifies a luxurious bohemian retro look while artfully refining it with the handsomer elements of rustic country modern.

Speaking of tones and chords, there’s undeniable rhythm in her interior design, and she definitely knows her way around those black keys. As you study her interiors, you’ll note restraint with regard to wall paint color: it’s white or black, ya’ll. (hush…I’m still fresh from Texas.) Furnishings are often vintage and proudly prized as found. Barn style farmhouse pendant lighting and barn lights mix with Midcentury Modern fixtures like Sputnik chandeliers. Paneled walls and beadboard are celebrated and enhanced at times with paint. In fact, she works miracles with white paint to modernize and crispify (hush again…crispify exists happily on planet Michele).

Honorable mentions…Clearly Ford has a talent for styling bar carts that come off looking stylish yet not styled by a stylist…maybe the earlier work in fashion styling explains such zhush-ease. Also: vintage finds in some of the designs below were sourced right here!

What I love about Leanne Ford…Her style’s a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll, with minimal Osmond factor…not that Donny wasn’t worship-worthy in the early ’70s or now. In fact, Leanne might be inclined to snatch my Bonnie-Bell-Lip Smackers-kissed Donny album covers to be framed for a cool client. Her interiors breathe with Cali chic, authenticity, and character at a time everyone I know is OVER insta-fakery. She has fun with her work, and it shows. Also, she seems to like tomatoes quite a bit (yum! see below) undeniably proving she is a real country girl!

Get the Look! Leanne Ford’s Q.N.C.

Leanne Ford renovated a Pittsburgh schoolhouse in the woods for herself, and when she shared it with GQ in 2016, she also shared a few golden interior design tips which may very well help us to capture the look she favors.

1. Make it warm and personal.

Leanne Ford designed living area with herringbone wood floor, hide rug, white sofa, wood vintage sliding doors, beadboard ceiling, and black barn style lighting. #beadboard #barndoor #hide #leannford #boho

Photo: Josh Franer. Leanne Ford’s Quirky Natural Cool Interior Design {Decorating Ideas to Steal the Look!}

2. Don’t overthink the design.

The essence of Leanne Ford chic: vintage S chair in found condition with rustic wood shelf desk and modern art. #leanneford #rusticdecor #midcentury

Leanne Ford’s Quirky Natural Cool Interior Design {Decorating Ideas to Steal the Look!} via Leanne Ford Interiors

3. Add quirkiness.

Vintage bar stool and rustic modern table in room with white barn style light, black ceiling, white walls, and bold red rug. #leanneford #blackandwhite #vintagechic #kitchen

Leanne Ford’s Quirky Natural Cool Interior Design {Decorating Ideas to Steal the Look!} via Leanne Ford Interiors

Undone and effortless chic dining room designed by Leanne Ford with live edge dining table, Bertoia wire chairs, and casually placed paintings and stacks of design books on wood floor. #leanneford #midcenturymodern #bertoia #liveedge

Leanne Ford’s Quirky Natural Cool Interior Design {Decorating Ideas to Steal the Look!} via Leanne Ford Interiors

4. Add touches of humor and personality.

5. Paint the walls white (or maybe black).

White living room with black accents, designed by Leanne Ford with Sputnik chandelier, rustic coffee table, white sofa, and white brick fireplace. #leanneford #livingroom #rusticdecor #sputnik

Leanne Ford’s Quirky Natural Cool Interior Design {Decorating Ideas to Steal the Look!} via Leanne Ford Interiors

Isn’t she a breath of fresh air?

Peace to you right where you are.




  1. debbie
    March 16, 2018 / 2:14 am

    love her work! wouldn’t have pegged her as an American designer, has a bit of a European edge maybe, certainly less predictable than a lot of the stuff out there. Hello from Australia BTW, recently discovered your blog via “design indulgence” liking it very much 🙂 thankyou!

    • michele
      March 16, 2018 / 8:01 am

      Ahhhh, that is so true. In the prior post about her, I likened the look to that of London fashion designers Thornton and Bregazzi. I’m so glad you are following along – it is great to have you here from down under! 🙂

  2. Sue
    March 16, 2018 / 5:35 am

    How do I minimize the link to Pinterest so I can view the pictures and find the resource? Is anyone else dealing with a big “P” in the middle of every picture?

    • michele
      March 16, 2018 / 7:58 am

      Hi Sue. The sources are found in the commentary/text part of the post – these images all reflect design work from the designer’s portfolio at http://leannefordinteriors.com/ GQ magazine, and Country Living magazine. Hope this helps.

  3. Rhonda
    March 16, 2018 / 11:17 am

    I love her use of seemingly authentic time-worn pieces, like the coffee tables. I am definintely one of those tired of “insta-fakery” as you mentioned. Love the mirrors on the top shelf in the kitchen, and did you notice the size of the leaning cutting board in the last photo? Awesome…

    • michele
      March 16, 2018 / 12:03 pm

      Me too! Her kitchen in the converted schoolhouse is so darling! 🙂

  4. March 28, 2018 / 2:57 pm

    So fun to see to many of my vintage finds within your Leanne articles . . . on one of my favorite blogs, nonetheless! It’s all so fun!! From start to finish . . . great articles : )

    • michele
      March 30, 2018 / 1:01 am

      Thanks for adding to the beauty here, Mary! I’ll update the post and add your site as a resource. Please so link to it on your lovely blog if you like!:)

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