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Home · Property Management · Remodel and Repair · Sibling Style! Restored by the Fords’ Leanne and Steve Ford Share Their Favorite Design Advice for Modern Renovations

Brother-sister duo Leanne and Steve Ford press the upgrade button on historic Pittsburgh homes on HGTV’s Restored by the Fords, pairing Leanne’s eye for design (modern and monochromatic, yet warm and lived-in) with Steve’s renovation expertise. But in between making restoration dreams come true (and sharing some of their tips and favorite products below!), they’ve written their debut book, Work in Progress: Unconventional Thoughts on Designing an Extraordinary Life (Thomas Nelson, October 29). It details how two quirky Pittsburgh siblings made it on HGTV—and how they continue to learn and grow. “It’s just the middle of our story,” Leanne says. “We’re all works in progress. We’re always evolving.”

White Is Bright

“I give Leanne grief about painting things white,” says Steve, “but I have to admit that a coat of white paint can make it feel light, bright and airy.” Leanne painted her entire home—inside and out—with PPG Pure White. From $24 per gallon, homedepot.com

Make Art Personal

When Leanne was looking for something special for her walls, she came up with this Ford original, the “If Love Ain’t Cool, Then Cool We Ain’t” Poster. It was designed with her friend Ngaio Parr and is screen-printed by hand. $30, compressmerch.com

Layer Your Rugs

“Start with a thin sisal (or jute) style and layer a special rug right on top. It adds depth, warmth and interest. Plus, you get more bang for your buck,” says Leanne. She likes the Moroccan Flatweave by Sarah Sherman Samuel. 8-by-10 for $998, luluandgeorgia.com

Get Comfy

The basic T-shirt has a tall task: look effortless, fit perfectly and get better with age. Both Steve and Leanne reach for tees from Buck Mason, owned by her husband, Erik Allen. “It’s a men’s clothing line [with tees available in more than 20 colors], so I steal my husband’s. Steve and I both wear these nonstop,” Leanne says. $32, buckmason.com

Fuel Up

“I’m fueled by coffee,” says Steve, a fan of the Le Creuset , a single-serving stoneware press (for coffee or tea) that’s as design-driven as it is practical. $50, lecreuset.com

Mood Music

“If I’m at home or in my workshop, my music is on, it’s loud, and it sounds great. I love my Sonos speakers,” Steve says. The Sonos One not only offers brilliant sound quality, but it’s also compact and features all three “smart” options—Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri—so users don’t have to choose. $199, sonos.com

Let Your Hobby Inspire You

When he’s not deep in a renovation or building furniture, you can find Steve working on vintage motorcycles. “I’m a gearhead at heart, and nothing makes me happier than working on a vintage Harley-Davidson or BMW motorcycle,” he says. You never know when something you love could inspire a design idea. 100 Dream Cars: The Best of My Ride (Rizzoli) showcases 100 cars, motorcycles and other vehicles that would fill up a dream garage or inspire a color scheme. $45, barnesandnoble.com

Tip: Set Realistic Budgets 

Planning a reno? “Add an additional 20 to 25 percent on top of your budget,” Steve suggests. “Once you start a renovation project, there are always challenges that can arise, so be prepared, both mentally and financially, before you start.”

Tip: Make Small Changes First

“Painting a room is an affordable way to add a fresh vibe to a space,” Steve says. “It’s a low commitment level, and if you don’t like it, you can paint it another color. Just don’t forget to use primer!”

 

Source: Parade.com

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