Leanne Ford's Restored 1906 Cottage in LA's Echo Park
Take a photo tour of Leanne Ford's vintage cabin, built in the early 1900s and beautifully (though not too “preciously”) restored more than a century later. The woodsy cottage once belonged to one of Hollywood's great silent film stars.
Photo By: Grant Rivera/Apex Studios
Leanne's L.A. Getaway
Restored by a Ford. Just a stone’s throw from Sunset Boulevard and other heavily trafficked LA thruways, Leanne Ford has created a secluded hideaway that juxtaposes a rustic cottage backdrop with a strong artistic sensibility and, just for fun, some retro-futuristic and 1970s design elements thrown in. Like her other residence — a restored schoolhouse outside Pittsburgh — the Echo Park home melds a straight-out-of-the-past vibe with a modern mix-and-match approach to furnishing. It's a compelling visual palette accented by lots of books, art and collectibles — a carefully curated amalgam but one that’s resolutely non-fussy. And as with most of Leanne’s designs, white is an integral element. In this case, however, it’s a very specific shade of white. More on that later.
In the Wilds of Los Angeles
Did We Mention Leanne Loves White?
Blurring the Lines. The biggest modifications to the structure were part of a deliberate effort to combine indoor and outdoor spaces, as seen here in the open breezeway that serves as entry to the home. The space, painted all in white, is kept simple and natural with gray flagstone floor, rough wood paneling and exposed beams in distressed whitewash.
Objets D’art. Leanne uses the coffee table as a staging area to display not only books but also other interesting pieces such as ceramic bowls and vintage paintings. "This is ever-changing, ever-evolving,” she says, “and a fun thing for me to play with."
Rustic and Retro. Stones found on the premises were used to re-create the traditional stone fireplace surround which now houses a midcentury style Malm fireplace -- in this setting, essentially serving as an insert. That custom touch, along with a mirrored coffee table and modern styled arc floor lamp give rise to Leanne's nickname for her country-home-in-the-city: "the space cabin."
Vintage Classic. A perfectly weathered and rusted toy jeep is among the artifacts perched atop an antique sideboard in the living room. This Lilliputian off-road vehicle sits alongside vintage paintings and a framed print of Neil Young.
Doors and Windows. This bedroom was originally an outdoor space and, in the remodel, was extended and enclosed to make it part of the interior. Two sets of French doors that open to the outside can be left open during good weather to help solidify the indoor/outdoor vibe. Antique exterior windows are mounted on barn slides to serve as doors for the closets located behind the bed.
Mr. and Ms.
Leanne shares her cabin home with husband Erik Allen Ford, designer and co-founder of the casual men’s clothing company, Buck Mason.
Summer Camp All the Time
We have inside-outside living. This is what I like. —Leanne Ford
Want a video tour? Let Leanne take you on a guided tour of the Little Cabin in the Big City.