June 24, 2024


Swing Your Home

Leanne Ford Creates a New Style Mashup You Have To See To Believe

Leanne and Steve Ford have worked on a lot of unique designs, but they’ve never had a request quite like their latest project on “Home Again With the Fords.”

In the episode “Cousin Invasion,” this brother-sister team meets homeowners Jenna and Kevin, who are excited to move into their new house in Aspinwall, PA, just outside Pittsburgh. They’re moving across the street from some of Kevin’s cousins, so their new house already feels like home, but the old Victorian they bought isn’t in great shape. It’s dated, with green walls and dirty carpet, and overall, it’s in desperate need of a makeover.

To make it more complicated, Kevin and Jenna have a weird request. They want this old Victorian to be filled with Scandinavian design—plus some Frank Lloyd Wright–inspired midcentury touches. Leanne knows this will be a challenge, particularly on a strict $110,000 budget.

Here’s how Leanne sets to work combining Wright’s signature earth tones with clean Scandinavian lines in this old house. The results are so nice, they might inspire you to mix and match your own decor styles in whole new ways.

Use a rounded hood vent for a unique kitchen look

living room
This living room was in rough shape.


Jenna and Kevin love the look of their home’s turret, a signature feature in Victorian homes, but the curved wall presents a design problem inside. Leanne wants to put the stove and hood vent right where the turret is, but she knows that a flat hood vent might look strange on this curved wall. So she decides to create a curved hood vent.

“The curved hood was honestly a solution to the problem,” Leanne explains, “which was, as we opened this room up, the best place to put the range was between these two beautiful windows in the bay, and I didn’t want to cut off too much window space. So by curving the hood, it lets light come in. It lets you see out the window.”

The rounded hood vent is a beautiful addition to this Scandinavian kitchen.


She decides to cover the vent in white tile, which reflects the sunlight, making the space look extra light and bright. In the end, this hood vent looks great. It’s a brilliant design that provides a unique look and gives this Victorian home a more modern vibe.

Plain white counters let the rest of your kitchen shine

Sometimes a kitchen needs simple, white counters.


Leanne works hard to bring both midcentury and Scandinavian styles into the kitchen, choosing dark cabinets and minimalist shelves, and even bringing in a paper lantern for a special touch. However, with all these fun choices, she doesn’t want the space to feel overwhelming. So she decides to go simple on the countertop.

“We’re doing a gorgeous, really simple white counter because there’s a lot of grain, a lot of color in other spots, so we’re keeping it simple,” Leanne says.

When the kitchen is finished, the space looks beautiful. While the space has some different colors and many different textures, it still feels grounded because it has a nice, simple countertop to bring it all together.

A triangular fireplace may be the next big thing

Kevin and Jenna knew they wanted this fireplace to be a different color.


When Leanne and Steve first see the house, they recommend turning the dated brick fireplace into a more modern, curved fire feature. However, when they open up the wall, they find that the original fireplace is triangular, which they suspect could also work with the home’s new design.

“I’m pretty sure that gives us the Scandinavian lines that you wanted,” Steve tells Leanne after they open up the wall.

This triangular fireplace is a fun, unique feature.


They decide to keep the angled fireplace, tying the look back to the kitchen by painting the brick a high-gloss white hue.

In the end, the fireplace looks great. It works with the Scandinavian design, it complements the kitchen, and it allows Leanne and Steve to keep some of the original Victorian feel. This fireplace is a win-win-win!

Hand-painted floors add lots of charm

checkered floor
This checkered floor is beautifully imperfect.


Leanne decides to switch the kitchen and living room spaces, which ends up leaving some space for a mudroom at the back of the house. Leanne loves the idea of a mudroom, but she realizes that this former kitchen has different floors than the rest of the house, making it stand out.

“We have these pine, rough floors over here,” Leanne says, “which are gorgeous, but they’re not the Scandinavian-Frank Lloyd Wright vibe.”

So Leanne comes up with the idea to paint the pine a checkerboard pattern, but she doesn’t want the checkerboards to look too perfect.

“It’s really important that we hand-paint these squares,” Leanne says. “I want them to have natural lines, organic feeling. I do not want it to be sharp.”

When Leanne and Steve are finished painting these two-tone squares, the mudroom floor looks amazing. The design has a classic look, like it’s always been there. Plus, the imperfections give this room lots of character.

Add a pandemic-friendly sink to your mudroom

This green mudroom looks lovely.


To finish this mudroom, Leanne and Steve install dark-green, hand-glazed tile for a dramatic look.

“Really simple, really cool, but really impactful,” Leanne says of the accent wall.

For a touch of convenience, Leanne decides to install a small, green sink to complement the tile. The round sink has a midcentury look and adds extra function to the space.

“I mean, in a time like now, it’s all about hand-washing, so we may as well make it fashion,” Leanne says.

This mini sink is perfect for the mudroom.


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