When it comes to interiors, designer Leanne Ford just gets us. Us modern women? We want neutrals, but we want them warm. We want design, but we want it effortless. We want modern, but we want it rooted in tradition. One look through Leanne’s body of work and nearly every one of our boxes gets checked, but none hit the spot quite like her latest project: the designer’s own renovated home in Rustic Canyon, Los Angeles. Domino recently shared the stunning — and I mean stunning — reveal of the storybook style cottage, which showcases historic architecture paired alongside of-the-moment decor and furniture to create a space that’s breathtakingly all its own.
But wait, there’s a twist.
While quarantining in the home, Leanne decided to put it on the market. The reason?
“My husband, Erik, and I have realized we are good at slowing down. We’ve realized we don’t need to be working and leaving and working and leaving. We’ve realized how fulfilling it is to be around our 1-year-old daughter, Ever, all day, even if it’s just to give her a squeeze between calls. We’ve realized that when it comes down to it, or more appropriately, when it all goes down, we want to be home. And home is with as many people we love as possible — cousins, grandparents, and siblings in Pittsburgh.”
Inspired much? While many of us are learning to love this slower paced lifestyle, who of us intends to carry it with us into life after Coronavirus? To let it change the course of our lives entirely? It’s a bold question, but Leanne Ford has us asking it. Keep scrolling for an exclusive Q & A with the designer, and a glimpse into the home that she and her family will soon be saying goodbye to. You’ll quickly see why Leanne’s move is truly a brave one.
How has the pandemic changed the way you define “home?”
For me, home has always been defined by waking up loving the space you’re in and wanting to spend time with your loved ones there. I’m doing that everyday in this house with my immediate family, but post-pandemic I want to be closer to more family, which means a change of locale closer to my hometown.
In what area of the home have you been spending most of your time?
I’ve been spending a lot of the week days in my home office, which helps with psychologically separating work and family time. My husband also has his own home office so when I’m in mine I can focus and get a lot done.
But at 5pm it’s family time and we all convene in the cabin-style living room, build a fire, play some records and pour some wine.
Looking back on your busy, on-the-go pre-Covid lifestyle, would you have done anything differently?
Honestly, I don’t regret anything. I believe we are always evolving and moving forward . The last month has taught me how much is possible to accomplish in a different way. I’ve become more efficient with the lack of commutes, in-person meetings and social obligations. I’m still able to make connections, but now they are more personal and more deliberate. I recently began consulting on Cameo and with this platform I can connect with even MORE people, giving design and style advice through the app from my own home.
How will this time spent with family affect the design of your next home? Anything that you’ve found works extremely well or isn’t ideal during these long stretches of time at home?
Spending all this time at home with a one year old little girl has definitely made me more aware of the needs of families and kids when designing a home. I recently designed a collection for Crate & Barrel and realized, even then, that I made all the corners of the furniture rounded to avoid accidents with a toddler. One of the best things we’ve had in this house is a separate playroom. That way all of the toys, games and mess can stay in there. You can just shut the door to maintain a calm state of mind and a sense of feng shui for your home.
I’ve always loved comfortable and cozy spaces, so now it’s even more important with these long stretches at home.
What words of wisdom or food for thought would you offer readers to consider during this time?
Don’t fight it and lean in. I try to stay at peace with the fact that not everything is controllable and there’s no point in fighting that. We are all staying in for a greater cause, to protect our family, friends and community so enjoy that part of it and pull the beauty you can from this unique experience.