Leanne Ford Laid Back Style & White Paint Colors She Loves

Leanne Ford has such a chic signature style that is marked by its imperfect beauty and relaxed mood. What is even more wondrous about her approach to decorating is how gracious she is! She shares exact paint colors, philosophies, techniques and down-to-earth advice to the masses. Today we’ll learn from the look and take away ideas for white paint colors she loves. We’ll gaze closer at some beautiful moments in Leanne Ford laid back projects from which I’ll pitch suggestions for actionable ideas to apply to your own schemes.

Leanne Ford designed rustic modern kitchen with white shelves, farm sink, and customized tile backsplash. #leanneford #modernrustic
Photo: @erinashkelly for House Beautiful; exact paint color is Behr Crisp Linen

LEARN FROM THE LOOK: Leanne Ford Laid Back Luxe

Learning from the look is different than copying a room or buying the identical accessories. If you have listened to Leanne’s design advice on Restored By the Fords, Rock the Block, or her IG feed, then you may already know her sensibilities.

Learn from the look: Leanne Ford - come score inspiration from interiors by Leanne on Hello Lovely. #leanneford

Ford loves using existing materials whenever possible. She doesn’t typically compromise on the color palette (nothing too colorful and white paint is always a good idea), and she doesn’t mind tweaking new and old things to freshen them.

Happiness quote by Walt Whitman on Hello Lovely. #happinessquotes

Shelves Can Be Unfussy Fabulous

I’m with Leanne on this and recently designed plain jane cheap wood floating shelves for our laundry room.

Leanne Ford designed rustic modern kitchen with white shelves, farm sink, and customized tile backsplash. #leanneford #modernrustic
Photo: @erinashkelly for House Beautiful (exact paint color is Crisp Linen by Behr)

So often, less is more, and in this case, for a more casual look where ornate brackets or fussy details could detract, the simplest wood boards did the trick.

Customize Tile & Butcherblock for a Unique Look

For a lived-in, laid back, imperfectly modern rustic look, sometimes an off the shelf tile or backsplash can be creatively tweaked as Leanne did for this kitchen.

Leanne Ford designed rustic modern kitchen with white shelves, farm sink, and customized tile backsplash. #leanneford #modernrustic
Photo: @erinashkelly for House Beautiful (paint color: Behr Crisp Linen)

Leanne is famous for grout washing as you see on the tiles. Find instructions for finish techniques HERE. The counters in this craftsman kitchen above are butcher block to which she applied 50% Behr Crisp Linen paint and 50% water before sealing them.

Tour a Unique House Renovation by Leanne Ford

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Use Scrap Materials for Holiday Decor

With sustainability in mind, Leanne recycled wood scraps that may have been tossed into these rustic and unique garlands.

White and rustic Christmas decor at Leanne Ford's own home. #christmasdecor #modernrustic
Photo: @erinaskkelly for @harttolusa

Not only is the garland interesting and pale (consistent with the rest of her scheme), it has a handmade sweetness – just the sort of innocence that we cannot buy from a store.

Dropcloths Work as Table Linens

In lieu of a fancy Christmas theme-y tablecloth, a canvas dropcloth covers the Christmas table.

Leanne Ford's Christmas tablescape and modern rustic decor with branches swagged on windows and canvas dropcloth tablecloth. #leanneford #rustictablescape
Photo: @erinaskkelly for @harttolusa

Also notice the sheepskin (or faux sheepskin) which look so cozy over metal and Bertoia style dining chairs.

Quote on Hello Lovely: God respects me when I work but He loves me when I sing - Rabindranath Tagore.

Soft Colors are Perfect for Rugged Environments

While we all understand the power of paint to transform interiors, something magical happens when more rugged items get the white paint treatment.

White and rustic Christmas decor at Leanne Ford's own home. #christmasdecor #modernrustic
Photo: @erinaskkelly for @harttolusa

While it quiets rugged trim, doors, ceilings, beams, rafters, and beyond, these elements don’t feel precious or too feminine.

You Can Be Minimal Yet Cram Shelves Full

Rooms where the “stuff” is sprinkled throughout the space can feel cluttery and less inviting. Consider massing collections and objects you love in designated areas and allowing the rest of the space to breathe and feel airy.

Leanne Ford designed 1920s hunting cabin living area with white furniture and paper lantern.
Photo: Amy Neunsinger for LFI

Work With What You Have

If you have followed Leanne Ford’s work over the years, then you know she doesn’t run out and buy a bunch of new fillers. She is sensible and conservative about using what is on hand and elevating it!

Rustic kitchen designed by Leanne Ford with white range and open shelves.
Photo: Amy Neunsinger for LFI

If there’s a pile of old tiles left in an existing shed on a property, she’ll incorporate them into a design, believing they belong!

E. B. White quote: all that I hope to say in books...on Hello Lovely.

Secrets for a Sumptuous Bed from Leanne Ford

Lounging is one of her favorites (she calls herself ‘Lazy Lee’ but that seems like a stretch if you check out her portfolio). So it’s not surprising she has smart ideas about making the bed.

Modern rustic luxe white bedroom by Leanne Ford with bed in front of windows. #leanneford
Photo: @erinashkelly for House Beautiful

Ford suggests buying king size pillow cases for standard pillows and tucking the ends in. Another tip she applies at home? Size up for duvet covers for a more relaxed look like her bed above.

How to Style Your Bedroom Like Leanne Ford

Let the Tub Be the Star

One of the common denominators you may notice in her bathroom designs is emphasis on the tub. Notice how the bathtub is clearly the focal point, and very humble shelves in the nook don’t even try to compete.

Elegant yet simple bath designed by Leanne Ford with gold soaking tub and ornate gilded mirror.
Photo: @erinashkelly for House Beautiful

Try These Leanne Ford Approved Paint Colors!

Like Leanne, I never tire of white! Here’s a case where you may want to try the exact same colors.

Behr Crisp Linen white paint color on exterior and front door of Leanne Ford's cottage. #crisplinen #whitepaintcolors
Crisp Linen (Behr) paint color – Photo: Amy Neunsinger for LFI

Leanne Ford is crazy about Behr Crisp Linen and uses it multiple projects. It’s a warm white that reminds me of BM White Linen which is the color I used throughout the French country manor home we built years ago.

Behr Crisp Linen is a warm white paint color that reminds me of white sand or even limestone. #behrcrisplinen #crisplinen #whitepaintcolors
tap image for buying info for Crisp Linen – Leanne Ford Laid Back Style: Learn from the Look!

For a brighter white Leanne uses, try Glidden/PPG Delicate White.

Delicate White (PPG paint color) in a beautiful breakfast nook with bay window - Leanne Ford design.
Paint color: Glidden/PPG Delicate White -The Kardell project – Restored by The Fords on HGTV

Don’t you love how she and Steve Ford built the banquette with those brackets on the ends!?!

What a dramatically clean transformation is possible with simple white paint! Here’s a color with which I have experience. It’s very similar to the hugely popular SW Alabaster (a Joanna Gaines favorite) but is Behr Cameo White.

Leanne Ford design - Cameo White (Behr) paint color on exterior door. #cameowhite #leanneford #whitepaintcolors
Paint color: Behr Cameo White – Photo: Amy Neunsinger
Cameo White (Behr) paint color swatch. #cameowhite #whitepaintcolors #behrcameowhite
BEHR Cameo White – Leanne Ford Laid Back Style: Learn from the Look!

See more inspiration from Leanne Ford HERE.

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Peace to you right where you are.

-michele

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6 Comments

  1. October 18, 2022 / 5:20 pm

    Love everything she does and how unpretentious she is. Not sure I can get my mind around the $13,000 bathtub but it sure looks good.

    • Michele
      Author
      October 18, 2022 / 6:24 pm

      Hahahaha – is that the cost? The vintage tub I’ll be placing in ours was $90 on Marketplace! In Leanne’s defense – let’s say the budget was 15k, even with the tub, the project may come in under budget with her creativity and the tub could get its own IG account and probably earn $$$! 🙂

  2. Tracy
    October 29, 2022 / 10:11 am

    Hi Michele…love Leanne Ford designs and your designs as well. I was wondering how those thin white shelves are attached to the wall. I would like to do this in my kitchen that has a back and side wall but is open on the other side. So an L shape or a straight shape is possible. I do not see any visible brackets so I’m wondering how this is secured to allow for the weight of decorative items. Thanks in advance for your reply.

    • Michele
      Author
      October 29, 2022 / 2:00 pm

      Hi Tracy. We recently did a similar, albeit more shallow shelving in our laundry room above the backsplash. The installation begins with anchor screws into the wall, you drill holes in the back of the wood for the screws. In terms of how much weight can be placed on these shelves, it would be better to know ahead of time what will go on them and be guided accordingly as far as type of screws, stud location, etc. If you search “floating shelves” you may be able to find a tutorial online. There are also readymade floating shelves you can buy, and our son has these in his entry.

      • Tracy
        October 30, 2022 / 2:09 am

        Thanks so much for your response, Michele! I have used the brackets sold on etsy but was hoping for a more economical solution. I’ll look into the anchors you mentioned. Wishing you the best of health and luck on your remodel progress!

        • Michele
          Author
          October 31, 2022 / 9:05 am

          Thanks, Tracy. I think it is truly an economical solution. For our shallow shelves, we used extra wood lying around and ordered anchor screws but then didn’t wait around for them to arrive and used some on hand. 🙂 So often it’s the creative custom solutions that are the most satisfying!

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Distressed White French Country Chandelier
French Country Headboard
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Italian Candelabra Chandelier
Slipcovered Linen Chair
Warner Upholstered Bench
Rustic Country French Dresser
Laurel Wreath Mirror
Round Farmhouse Dining Table
Reclaimed Wood Dresser
Louis Upholstered Bench
Pardon My French Doormat
Stripe Turkish Towel Throw
Pamela Arm Chair
Sweater Weave Basket
French Carved Wood Chandelier
Terracotta Pots & Basket
French Country Wood Chandelier
French Linen Dining Chair
Gustavian Cabinet
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Bar Stool
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Rattan Armchair
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Cross Back Dining Chair
French Country Candle Holder
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Holborn Lantern Pendant
French Country 6-Light Chandelier
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French Country Upholstered Arm Chair
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Rustic Wood Candlestick Set
French Market Basket
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French Country Farmhouse Baskets
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Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Style Lamp
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