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Leanne Ford doesn’t care about interior design trends |

‘I do not care about trends. I don’t care when things are in, I don’t care when things are out,’ Leanne Ford told Homes & Gardens in our exclusive interview.

Though it’s not something we hear often, it’s a refreshing point of view: while it can be fun, keeping up with interior design trends can also feel like an exhausting race against time. It often seems that trends are where new and exciting innovations in interior design are happening, but it’s not the only place to look. As a seasoned interior designer with her own HGTV show and Crate & Barrel and Crate and Barrel Kids lines, Leanne knows a thing or two about finding inspiration.

When it comes to thinking about what’s on-trend versus outdated looks, Ford states, ‘I really keep blinders on because if you’re putting something in to chase a trend, you’re already late by the time you install it. It takes years to make houses or months to make rooms and so if you’re chasing trends, you’re already late.’

leanne ford for crate and barrel

(Image credit: Crate & Barrel)

Instead, she recommends decorating based on personal interior design style. Ford states: ‘I say follow what you’re inspired by and what you’re interested in when you buy. Follow what you love, what makes your little heart go pitter-patter.’ She recommends, ‘Ride it out. It’s going to be “in” and “out” multiple times while you live in that space, and that’s okay, that’s freedom of expression.’

Rather than looking to the future to create a timeless interior design style, Ford likes to reference history. ‘When I design, I almost go backward. When I’m doing a kitchen or a space, I tend to look to the past for inspiration because I feel like if I still like this style in 2024, then I’m going to like it in 2026.’

She continues, ‘Things that are new go out too quickly. I love modern in regards to art furniture pieces, lighting and things that are easily swappable and evolvable, but when I’m doing the shell of the space or making decisions that are long-lasting, I tend to keep it really classic and choose things that are already interesting to me, even though I’ve stared at them for 100 years or 40 in my case.’

She cautions readers against installing very timely elements in their kitchens. Leanne says, ‘I’ve never been drawn to decorative tile I’ve never been drawn to uber modern kitchens. It’s not a shirt that you can just swap tomorrow.’ She concludes: Anything that I’ve done that’s looked to the past, I’ve tended to enjoy longer.’

Looking to history instead of the future for design ideas feels counterintuitive, but clearly, if it’s working for Leanne Ford, it has a pretty high success rate.


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