House Beautiful

Here’s How You Modernize a Family Home—Without Sacrificing its Soul

Designer Leanne Ford reveals her tricks for making an inherited space your own.

One of the most satisfying shots of any home renovation show is the moment people start taking sledgehammers to the walls. It signals that a huge transformation’s coming—they’re not merely rearranging the furniture. Restored By The Fords features plenty of that, but in the latest episode of the HGTV show (which airs on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. EST, FYI), there was a little less demo, a little more deliberation.

“We didn’t rip any walls out, which—I have to say—my brother appreciated,” designer Leanne Ford laughed.

Often, when modernizing a home, the first thing people do is opt for an open floor plan. But Leanne and her brother, Steve Ford, saw potential in the cozy, individual spaces each room presented.

“It would’ve been pointless to get rid of the walls in that house—they were good,” Leanne said.