Leanne and Steve Ford's Dreamy Lounge Spaces
The Ford siblings have a knack for opening up Pittsburgh's darkest and quirkiest interiors. Take a mental vacation in their airy interpretations of modern ease.
Photo By: Heather Mull
This North Side Victorian’s young owners are pop-art-loving minimalists, and Leanne cleared out their Old World interior to let splashy new pieces —and subtle original details—take pride of place. With bright white paint in place of bizarre paper, this room’s walls seem to go on forever.
Leanne and Steve expanded this home’s original kitchen and added windows to release a flood of natural light throughout the first floor.Leanne abandoned her plans for an island in favor of a more versatile piece: A live-edge dining table is now the perfect place for a dinner party.
Built by Don Owens—a disciple of Frank Lloyd Wright’s—this high-concept home stood empty for a decade before Leanne and Steve brought it back to life. Leanne chose white textiles, paint and carpeting, black accents and organic materials to highlight original features like the showstopping fireplace.
Leanne didn’t have much luck finding existing examples of this feature when she dove into master-bathroom research, but she (and her clients) were thrilled with the finished product. Could her next-level layout be a Ford original?
The Fords’ original plan for this space omitted a tub, but when it became clear that winding-down time was precious to their clients, they stole square footage from another room. The magnificent marble tub in the master bath is pretty clearly worthy of their fancy footwork.
Expansive Master Suite
This tranquil space was "not an oasis" before renovation, as Leanne noted. Soft white walls, luxurious wool carpeting and a generous sitting area give the owners of this midcentury ranch the perfect excuse to turn in and stay in.
Calm, Quiet Corner
This spa-style master bath—with a massive soaking tub set in a jewel box of dark wood—is special for both the lady of the house and her husband. "She’s my dream girl and I wanted to give her a dream home," he said. (Leanne wrote out and framed his words—and placed them in this room.)
Midcentury Made Modern
A once-outdated living room now has room to breathe, thanks to the brick fireplace wall’s fresh new face and high-gloss, light-loving paint on the ceiling. Leanne took her time choosing the chairs and accessories for this room—it was not going to look like "the blankety-blank catalog."
An oppressive brick hearth in the interior living room received a creamy coat of pale cement (which Steve called "c'mon-get-happy white") and a pair of wooden urns, and it’s now a serene gathering place. Natural fibers in the sofa and pendant lamp, in turn, harmonize with a pale pedestal table.
Clean, Cohesive Kitchen
Leanne hid a fume hood between the upper cabinets with smooth pieces of white oak. The wide marble island makes a seamless transition to a breakfast bar for the homeowner’s young children, thanks to a waterfall edge that extends to accommodate two acrylic stools.
Large-scale botanical wallpaper honors this 1885 home’s "very Victorian" heritage without miring it in the past. With a modern candelabra and a generous new dining table, the young pair of "old souls" who entertain in this room will make their guests feel right at home.
Ornate Open Kitchen
Leanne knew this kitchen’s massive, "dreamy-creamy" marble backsplash was the perfect match for her clients’ gleaming accessories as soon as she saw it. With a modern layout and high-end fixtures, this prep area combines contemporary functionality with classic luxury.
Interior Pool Room
The black walls of this lagoon-like water feature recall the natural formations at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, where Leanne and Steve field-tripped for inspiration. Hand-lettering at its border announces the homeowners’ mantra: Live your life.
The "elephant in the room"—a dramatic circular hole between this home’s first and second floors—had the potential to be its worst feature. Highlighted and celebrated with rope art and a 21st-century conversation pit, it now crowns the best seats in the house.
The Ultimate Treehouse
This midcentury modern home is surrounded with trees ... which were nearly invisible, due to interior architecture that blocked its windows. Leanne and Steve removed all impediments to those gorgeous views, then arranged a pair of Chesterfields in a prime patch of sun.
Leanne reimagined this living room with pristine pale flooring—and gave its original dark wood new life to highlight the dramatic architecture overhead. Those tones now echo back on an ornate area rug.
This "bonus space" in a midcentury Cape Cod cottage was more of a liability than an asset before Leanne and Steve got their hands on it. With bright white walls and a pair of cozy couches, it’s now a sweet spot for its family of four.
Who says a quaint home can’t have an alter ego? This cheerful older home’s secret is a sexy, Four-Seasons-worthy soaking tub in the master bath.
It’s all about contrast in this sophisticated space, where deliciously rumpled bedding meets buttoned-up pendant lights and the look-at-me paint creates a cocoon-like extended headboard. Leanne’s love affair with this color combination is clear: She hung a mirror right where the two hues meet.
Leanne adores one-of-a-kind staircases like the one she commissioned for herself, and the version she dreamed up for this once-outdated house cures its claustrophobia in high style. Bent blond wood gives the first floor a focal point that’s both clever and chic.