A Dated Home Becomes a Fresh, Modern Farmhouse

Ever since I stumbled across the portfolio of Pittsburgh based interior designer Leanne Ford and featured this incredible home, I've been a huge fan of her work! Leanne is currently the star, along with her brother and contractor Steve Ford, of Restored by the Fords on HGTV, which follows the siblings as they turn some of Pittsburgh's most dated buildings into magazine-worthy homes. Their latest project was to transform the Faraci family's pokey ground floor (made up of three rooms) into a fresh, open-plan space. I caught up with Leanne to find out more about the project...

What was the design brief?

I loved the Faraci family! They are so lovely and loving and their demands were rather simple! They wanted a simple and well designed home to be together as a family and to entertain in. The first floor of their house was separated by three walls when we got our hands on it. And of course, I removed them ALL. We wanted those in the kitchen to be able to see out the front window. And we wanted a more welcome communal living space for them.

What style were the family after and how did you achieve it? 

"They wanted a fresh and modern farmhouse style. We gave them all the classic fixings; subway tile, butcher block counters, classic white cabinets, open shelving, farm table down the center of the kitchen, simple design and decor. And I played with all of these features over the original and very beat up wooden floors. Though they started out as a kind of disaster to try to make them work, they ended up being my favorite feature of the home. Ain't that how it happens. The rough and vintage floor really adds life to the clean lines of the new kitchen." 

 Do you have a favourite feature from the make-over?  

That amazing modern "sculpture" of a stair case that Ed Zeiler from Wood N Wrench made us! We had to totally reconfigure where the staircase went after ripping walls out, so we played with the new "railing/wall" And made it a design feature.

 Did you experiment with anything new? 

"We did Board and Batton on the INSIDE of the home for a change. It was a simple and economical way to bring texture and character into this home. Over the coffee table you see a white chandelier that I TRIED to make... I would say this is one of those examples of letting art evolve...I certainly never set out to make the light look like that, but let's just say it really "wanted to" ;) The family made me feel better when they said it looks like something from the MOMA. I don't know about that, but... I'll take it!"

Photography: Alexandra Ribar

Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful make-over with us Leanne!

If you love this look and want to steal a few ideas (I certainly will be!) - here's a quick guide:

Get the look

1. Nuvo lighting, warehouse shade
2. Vintage chopping board
3. Glass cake stand
4. Natural linen napkins
5. L:A Bruket liquid soap
6. Drip Glaze 16-Piece Place Setting
7. Tour Eiffel brackets  
8. IKEA armchair with Bemz Loose Fit Country cover (get 15% off design covers for IKEA furniture at Bemz with code '15myscandinavianhome' until 11th Feb - ships worldwide!).
9. Woven basket pendant light
10. Sisal natural jute rug

Ahhh, so inspired by this space - the statement basket lamp, the asymmetry of the chairs and bench around the table, the open shelves. So much to love. I hope it's inspired you too!

Have a lovely day.


Complete Source list:

Kitchen: Cabinets / Miter Box (custom built),  Farmhouse 3018 sink in pearl / Native Trails, Trinsic kitchen faucet in champagne bronze / Delta, White subway tile / Jeffrey Court,  Butcher Block countertop / IKEA. Cutting boards / Whitney Jurgovan of Kinsey Vintage market, Small white rug in bleached jute ivory / world market*, Wooden shelving with Tour Eiffel brackets / Anthropologie*,  Napkins and Tea towels, Parachute home, Vintage Mirror / Garden Style Living, wooden kitchen table / Weisshouse, Woven Basket Pendant / World market. Wooden chairs / 1stdibs. 

Family room (with fireplace): Cloud sofa in beligan linen natural / RH Modern,  Sisal natural jute rug / World market. White linen armchair / Weisshouse. Blue Tin Washer // Kinsey Vintage Market, coffee table / weisshouse, Metal Locker Boxes // Urge Studio.

Living room: White rug in bleached ivory jute / World market, Burlap sofa / Weisshouse,
wooden coffee table / IKEA, Chandlier custom made by Leanne, Green credenza / Urge Studio.


  1. It is indeed a beautiful space! I loved the splashes of mint here and there! Would like to see more of this house. ;)

  2. Can you show a picture of the favorite feature, the staircase?

    1. I didn't receive one looking up the stairs, however you can see the wooden banisters to the right of the picture in the living room shot.

  3. A little late to this party . . . but I can't tell ya how excited I am to see some of my vintage finds (used by my favorite designer) on one of my favorite sites!


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