“I grew up in Pittsburgh, and I received my very own place right here 10 years in the past. You know, now we have all these preconceived notions of the city we grew up in—I felt prefer it was my responsibility to go away, so I went to Ohio University and moved proper to New York after I graduated to work in trend. Then ultimately, as an grownup, you come to have a look at your hometown in a wholly completely different approach. It turns into your individual, not your mother and father’. That’s what’s been occurring with me.
I’ve a present on HGTV with my brother referred to as Home Again With The Fords. It’ll be on Discovery Plus on the seventeenth. I had all the time fastened up my leases, however I hadn’t thought of a profession in design till I purchased my home in Pittsburgh. I used to be lastly capable of rip out partitions and make it my very own, and I wrote in regards to the course of on a weblog. Honestly, I didn’t assume anyone would learn it besides my mother. But a pal I knew from trend who labored at Hearst noticed it, and she or he shared my info with Country Living. After they shot my home, folks began calling and asking if I might do freelance inside design work. I wished to say sure as a result of I wanted the work, however I had no information of the enterprise behind designing. I referred to as a pal of mine named Dan Mazzarini, who’s an inside designer, and he gave me a rundown. Then I progressively began going into folks’s homes and shifting the furnishings round, altering the paint colours. I received my brother to assist me make new cupboards, and take off the uppers to interchange with open shelving. Around that point, a pal of a pal who labored at HGTV was searching for expertise for a present about folks shopping for their childhood houses. It felt prophetic for us. I by no means significantly wished to be on tv, however on the finish of the day I need to be identified for what I’m doing in my trade, and it was a fantastic alternative.
It was most likely 5 years between that first cellphone name and really getting on tv, if no more. But that gave me time to hone my craft, observe up, and work out my identification as a designer. I really like white paint and impartial coloration tales—I really like the colours of leaves and timber, and I wish to design in colours of canines. I like to work with paint and instruments. This is an trade the place there are precise instruments of the commerce. This previous 12 months we did seven initiatives for the present inside a six month interval, after which a number of initiatives outdoors the present. It’s just about the identical course of, besides on TV what would usually take us six months we do in two. That takes a village. We have an even bigger crew, and we even have an unimaginable community of native artists, artwork administrators, and photographers.
When you are doing your individual house, you have got the luxurious to attend for the right furnishings. I sort of should work backwards for the present. Pinterest is nice as a result of if I make one thing up in my head—like, say I need to put tile backwards on the ceiling—I can go on Pinterest and inevitably somebody has finished a model of that. I additionally like to make use of 1stdibs as an schooling useful resource—I’ll go on there and describe one thing I noticed and cherished, and see what else comes up. I train myself a ton that approach, after which I’m capable of search higher. There’s an unimaginable classic furnishings scene right here in Pittsburgh, and I’ve all of them on pace dial. But if I am unable to discover, say, the Chesterfield leather-based couch I would like, I can work these parts in different methods—preserving to a impartial coloration story makes mixing and matching very easy. It’s about context, and enjoying with proportions and textures.
When I look within the mirror, I attempt to remind myself that I like imperfect issues. I like previous automobiles. I like previous homes. I’m going to love being previous. I nonetheless really feel the identical as I did once I was 20, however once I went into my 30s folks revered me extra in my profession, and as I’m going into my 40s, now folks assume I do know what I’m speaking about whether or not or not I do. [Laughs] I wish to appear like how I design, which is undone however fascinating, and heat however cool. Beyond that, it is not likely about what I appear like. It’s about my imaginative and prescient. The individuals who I really like and am impressed by, it’s as a result of they’re pleased with how they appear and what they’re doing.
When I look within the mirror, I attempt to remind myself that I like imperfect issues.
For higher or worse, I’m very into the aesthetics of merchandise. That helps me resolve what comes into my home. I are likely to preserve to a really impartial coloration story, as a result of even when my mind feels loopy and chaotic, it calms me. And there are stunning issues in stunning packaging now—thank goodness. I just like the Royal Fern cleanser and the Aesop Gentle Facial Cleansing Milk. I like the attention cream from Berlin Skin and I additionally just like the Goop eye cream. The Pittsburgh winter is so dry, so I take advantage of both Vintner’s Daughter or the Goop facial oil earlier than my moisturizer, which is somewhat facial balm referred to as Somerset Moss I received in Venice Beach. My different go-to is simply coconut oil. I put it on my face and neck. And additionally I like all of the sprays—I’d take them on airplanes, once I went on airplanes. The Nutrient Mist from True Botanicals is very nice.
I hardly ever ever do my make-up not sitting on the ground or within the automotive. I really preserve quite a lot of my make-up within the automotive as a result of I wish to have it useful. I like somewhat ‘60s makeup—the Twiggy thing, just cheeks and eyes. I never wear lipstick, ever, to my mom’s chagrin. Everything is eyes and cheeks. I like the Bobbi Brown mascara for daytime. It’s a throwback, however I used to be shocked I favored it a lot. For nighttime, I load it on—tons of black mascara. I take advantage of each the YSL, which is my favourite, and Givenchy Noir Couture on high of one another. And I do put mascara on my backside lashes. I really like cream blush, as a result of I believe it appears to be like probably the most pure. Gucci Westman’s blush stick in Dou Dou is nice for the daytime and I take advantage of Poppet for night, as a result of I wish to look somewhat sunburnt. I put it on the apples of my cheeks and somewhat bit on the edges of my cheekbones.
It’s so humorous how, with make-up, we take pink out of some locations and put it somewhere else. I’ve been utilizing the Cle de Peau concealer with the comb tip on my chin the place I’m somewhat pink, and beneath my eyes. I used to make use of the opposite one, however I like this one higher. I get my brows formed at Striiike once I’m in LA, they usually additionally tint them, which I really like as a result of it sort of takes one step away. I would like them to be as full and fluffy as potential so I’ve been utilizing Grandebrow, however I can’t actually inform if that’s working. In the meantime I fill them in with the Hourglass Arch Brow Pencil in Dark Brunette and use certainly one of two forehead gels, Dark Brunette or simply clear. I take advantage of Chapstick on my lips, however I take off the blue label so it’s only a white tube. I just like the one from Henné rather a lot too, and once I end it I need to attempt taking out the Chapstick and sticking it into that different packaging. They’re the identical dimension, so in concept it ought to work.
Ashley Streicher simply minimize my hair. I wished somewhat ‘20s French bob, and just told her to do her thing. It’s pretty cute! I like to blow it under, because I like the little flip thing happening. Before this it was probably to my shoulder, but I’ve had bangs since I was a kid. I trim them myself all the time—I’ll simply lean over the sink and chop, chop, chop. I like them higher once they look messy anyway. Every occasionally I’ll go to Ashley and do one thing enjoyable, however my go-to hairstylist in Pittsburgh is Meg Frattare, who’s really my finest pal from highschool. She’ll do my minimize and coloration. And Glam to Go is nice for once I simply want it styled. I attempt to wash my hair each few days, but when I’m working and I get quite a lot of demo mud in it I’d wash it extra typically. I take advantage of Le Labo shampoo and conditioner, which I used to steal from the Bowery Hotel each time I’d keep there. And then I take advantage of this product Ashley gave me, R+Co Sun Catcher. It says it’s a leave-in conditioner, nevertheless it simply provides my hair somewhat heaviness so it’s not too fluffy. I put it on the bottoms and in my bangs somewhat bit.
I are likely to preserve to a really impartial coloration story, as a result of even when my mind feels loopy and chaotic, it calms me.
BODY + FRAGRANCE
I both have black nail polish or nothing, and I normally get manicures from a girl named Ida in Pittsburgh. I take not less than one, however perhaps two, baths a day. I’m in there for not less than an hour—I don’t actually use any particular tub merchandise, however I really like to clean my hair, learn, write, and simply sweat out the day. I both use the Le Labo cleaning soap or the actually huge Duke Cannon cleaning soap bars. For fragrance, I do two sprays of Santal 33 and one spray of Molecule 01. It’s my little concoction, which I’m joyful to share as a result of the extra individuals who odor like that, the higher. It makes me unhappy that while you put on fragrance for a very long time you possibly can’t odor it on your self anymore. I discovered Santal in Venice, the place actually everyone wore it. By the fifth time I requested anyone what they had been sporting they usually stated it was that, I simply purchased it. It’s not distinctive in any respect, nevertheless it’s simply so scrumptious. For candles, I like a campfire sort of factor. I made a candle for my line with Crate and Barrel and it smells very smoky. I additionally like this one, Bohéme Havana, that I purchased at a neighborhood retailer. It smells like smoky coconuts.”
—as instructed to ITG
Leanne Ford photographed by Erin Kelly in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on March 1, 2021