Leanne Ford is writing her home design magazine but that doesn’t say everything about it. The designer who has appeared on HGTV’s Restored by the Fords and Rock the Block, shared details about her publication “Feel Free” in an interview with PEOPLE.
“I really wanted it to be bigger than design,” she says of the first issue, which comes out Friday. “The reality is that it’s an art magazine that’s centered in home. It really isn’t a home magazine. I’m forging my own path.”
Even though the magazine has pretty pictures of interiors, she hopes it will be more than just something to put on a coffee table. She says, “It’s a call to action.” Even its title is a directive to “feel free to create, free to fail, free to play.”
The first issue, which features a joyful Ford on the cover, has a free-flowing feel from beginning to end and primarily shows black and white rooms, which are her favorite colors to decorate. Her handwriting which she turned into a font, is all over the place.
Even though the stories have a similar style, they are very different. There are profiles of her favorite creatives, before and afters, a decorating workbook, a choose your own adventure-style game, a playlist to paint to and full-page art pieces on perforated pages that can be torn out and hung on your walls at the end.
“It is very tactile, which is another big thing. I want you to scribble on it. I want you to rip it up,” she says. “All these magazines are closing up their print; We’re coming out in print only.”
Ford photographed Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater house near her native Pittsburgh as though it were her own, with cameos from her own houses, friends and even her 3-year-old daughter, Ever. “I love having a famous architectural piece, but shooting it in a fresh way is so fun to me,” she says. “I was pretending I lived there and shooting it how it was lived in and loved when it was built.”
Feel Free is definitely artistic, but it also tells you a lot. “Every section has tips,” says Ford, pointing out that this is true even for the features that highlight creative people who inspire them, like a Brooklyn decor expert and a screen-printing nun.
“It’s like, here’s an artist, here’s their beautiful space and here’s their art form. And then they tell you how you can do it. So instead of saying, ‘Look at these pretty things.’ It’s, ‘You too can do these pretty things,” she says.
She’s also telling all the artists out there to “submit in their work, art, ideas and knowledge to share in future issues of the magazine. I really want to encourage people to collaborate and share in this. It’s so much bigger than me.”
Ford already has one future partner in mind: “In my dream land, if I’m on another cover, I want to be next to Diane Keaton, hugging,” she says. “She’s somebody that likes to play and create and isn’t afraid to mess up or be goofy. She’s a great example of living feel free!”
Starting this Friday, September 23 Feel Free Vol. 1 may be purchased at newsstands and leanneford.com.
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