Before and After: Celeb Designer Leanne Ford Turns a Basic Bedroom into a Sweet Pink Palace for Her 3-Year-Old Daughter
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HGTV star and designer Leanne Ford has worked with lots of great clients both onscreen and off, but recently, she took on a bedroom makeover for maybe her favorite collaborator of all time — her three-year-old daughter, Ever. “This whole project started when my daughter grew out of her crib and was ready for a big girl bed,” says Ford, who has designed a collection with Crate & Kids that features beds alongside other whimsical but super-cool youth furnishings.
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The only problem? Ford’s designs — even for kids — tend to feature light woods, earthy upholstery fabrics, and a healthy dose of her trademark shade, white. While that makes her pieces sophisticated enough to transition well into adulthood, Ever’s all about pink right now, and she had her mind made up. “I showed the beds to Ever and her first comment was “… but it’s not pink,’” says Ford. “In order to make her new big girl room something that she was excited about, we had to figure out how to add some pink. Everywhere.”
The room had great bones — large windows, wooden floors, soaring ceilings, and a fireplace (swoon!), and Ford loved the way it looked upon moving into her home. All it really needed was a pretty pink glow up, courtesy of Behr paint in shades chosen by Ever herself: Peach Sachet (M200-1) on the walls, Pink Sea Salt (M190-1) on the ceiling, and Ultra Pure White (1850) for the trim. “Hot tip: Don’t take your kid to the [paint] store,” says Ford. “You do first edit there and then only bring colors home that you can handle looking at all day.”
Once the room was painted, Ford got to decorating. For the room’s focal point, she and Ever settled on the Canyon Arched Kids Twin Bed, which clearly isn’t pink. To make her client happy, Ford came up with what she calls a “silly solution” but is actually a brilliant solve. “I bought a bunch of ballet ribbon off of Amazon to tie around the bed frame,” she says. “It adds a sweet softness.”
Ford kept the bedding fairly neutral so the canopy itself — wrapped in pink chiffon — would shine. When it came to the bed’s placement, she actually switched up the layout of the room from how it had been used before, choosing to orient the bed in between the windows on the wall the dresser had been on prior. Floating the bed off the wall also gives the piece even more presence in the space, allowing the drama of the arched shape to take center stage just under the crystal chandelier above and atop the Heja Home Moroccan style rug underfoot.
In lieu of traditional nightstands, a vintage stool with a fabric seat sits bedside. “When looking for vintage to mix in, I tend to shop for pieces that are made of natural materials and have imperfections to add soul,” says Ford. “I look for pieces that compliment the feeling of the space and pieces that feel like the person we are designing the space for.”
If items don’t exactly work with your existing color palette, Ford recommends painting, reupholstering, or ribbon-wrapping, the last of which Ford also did on the antique-looking gold and glass hurricane sconces installed on the bed wall, as shown above. Instead of covering most of the fixture though (like the bed canopy), she simply tied off little bows on each light for an additional coordinating pop of pink.
To bring in extra storage for clothing, Ford added the Canyon Natural Wide Dresser to the mix. She topped this piece with a stunning piece of pink art: a few panels of Gucci’s Heron print wallpaper, which she had framed locally in white wood. Was it a splurge? Yes, but one that was far cheaper than covering the entire room in the pattern. Ford used two other major pieces of statement art in the room as well: a skateboarder photograph by Craig Stecyk, which hangs over the mantel, and an Angela Allen piece over the daybed.
Speaking of that daybed, even the most kid-centric kid’s room wouldn’t be complete without a place for adults to also get in on the playtime fun. The daybed, flush with pillows and a throwbed cushion from Hedgehouse, creates a little nook that’s always ready for cuddles. “We can all get cozy and wind down at night reading together,” says Ford of this spot.
As far as lessons learned during this project, Ford says treating Ever as a co-designer (perhaps she’s the next Leanne Ford Interiors intern?) helped to get her little one invested in — and ultimately thrilled with — the results of the redo. “Don’t be afraid to collaborate with your kid and have them get involved,” says Ford. “I think it’s fun to let them set the tone for their space and then you run with it and show them how to bring it all together.” Her suggestions on doing just that? For starters, beyond letting them pick the palette, get them to make art for the room.
Now Ever’s bedroom is a dream suite for a three-year-old that can also grow up alongside it. “I love how bright, happy, and young but still warm and cozy it feels!” says Ford. “And Ever is so excited about her pink big girl bed!”