'Restored by the Fords' Star Leanne Ford Wants a Siblings Dance-Off With the Property Brothers! (Exclusive)
By Jackie Willis
HGTV/Restored by the Fords
Brother-sister duo Leanne and Steve Ford are back for another season of Restored by the Fords -- and there's some "serious family bonding" going down!
The siblings offer a fun and unique take on home renovation, with Leanne, a former stylist, acting as interior designer and Steve serving as the contractor.
In an email Q&A with ET, Leanne reveals what viewers can expect from season two of Restored by the Fords, the pros and cons of working with her big bro and the one tip that she would give to those who are looking to liven up their living space. She also challenges Property Brothers Jonathan and Drew Scott to a dance-off!
ET: What was your favorite moment of filming this season?
Leanne Ford: I really had the best time designing all these homes! As a creative soul, to be able to do that many projects, that quickly is very satisfying! Exhausting? Yes, but so satisfying! I also loved taking all of the field trips for the projects.
I'd say my favorite single moment was when we were able to do the VIP tour of Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater. That was a total dream come true as I have been to that house probably 20 times and was never allowed to touch anything. This summer I was invited to SIT DOWN on the furniture. Heart be still.
What makes Restored by the Fords stand out from all the other renovation shows?
Us! The other home shows are all amazing in their own right and special in their own way -- but none of them have Steve and Leanne Ford! (They are probably luckier for it!!) It's fun to have the big brother, little sister dynamic on a show. Steve is the carpenter and I am the designer on these projects, so that makes me his boss! (Sorry Steve...)
Also, I treat these design projects more as art projects than anything else. With every home -- their different styles, eras, problems -- they all lend themselves to a unique and special project.
What's one thing you and your brother tend to disagree on when renovating a home?
Mainly I come into a project thinking, "What's the coolest and most beautiful thing we can do in this space?" Steve, being the contractor, tries to talk me back down to planet Earth. I'm a tough client for him, I'll tell you that!
What's the best and worst part about working with a sibling?
The best part is the worst part, which is that we know each other so well! In one way, it's a total advantage to be able to read each other's minds and know what they are thinking without talking. In another way -- because we know each other so well -- we don't have the joy and benefit of the "polite conversation" when we are debating anything regarding the design or build out.
I actually love the fact that we have the same childhood and history. As the youngest, I was always watching everything my big brother and sister did and said. Unfortunately for them, I can still recall all of it!
Easy, casual, lived in, special, warm and inviting. I love combining all styles, eras, genres, aesthetics into one space, which helps things feel curated and lived in more than designed. I almost always stay in neutral colors and tones, which always helps a combination of styles live well together.
Oh sheesh... bachelor pad chic? That's a good question! I'll have to ask him. I would love to hear how he describes it himself.
Are there any skills you carried over from being a stylist?
What I loved about working in fashion is what I now love about interiors, and that's the creative outlet of it all. It's all art! I love combining new and old, shiny and rustic, all styles together, playing with proportions and thinking outside of the box.
For those that are interior design challenged, where should they start?
I believe in white paint! I think it's a fail proof answer to any home, style and budget. White paint does wonders. You would be surprised how much a fresh coat of white paint will brighten and freshen up your space. It's a no fail.
If you were ever to do a crossover episode with another HGTV duo, who would it be?
I think we would have no choice but to have a dance-off with the Property Brothers -- not that I know if I could handle any more tall brothers around!
Restored by the Fords airs Tuesday nights on HGTV.