First Inside Look at Leanne Ford’s New Feel Free Magazine
Leanne Ford writes 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 “Feel Free” post in an interview with PEOPLE.
“I really wanted it to be bigger than the design,” she says of the first issue, which comes out Friday. “The reality is that it’s an art magazine that’s focused on the home. This really isn’t a home magazine. I’m making my own way.”
Although the magazine has beautiful photos 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 gleeful Ford on the cover, has a free-flowing feel from start to finish and features mostly black and white rooms, her favorite colors to decorate with. Her handwriting, which she turned into a font, is everywhere.
Although the stories have a similar style, they are very different. There are before and after profiles of her favorite works, a decorating workbook, a choose-your-own-adventure-style game, a painting playlist, and full-page artwork on punched pages that can be torn out and hung on your walls in end.
“It’s very tactile, which is another important thing. I want you to scratch it. I want you to tear it up, she says. “All these magazines are going out of print; We only publish in print.”
Ford photographed Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater house near her native Pittsburgh as if it were her own, with cameos from her own houses, friends and even her 3-year-old daughter, Ever. “I love having a known piece of architecture, but photographing it in a new way is so much fun for me,” she says. “I pretended I lived there and photographed how it was lived 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 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 cool things.” It’s, “You can do these cool things, too,” she says.
She also tells all artists to “offer 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 dreamland, if I’m on another cover, I want to be next to Diane Keaton, hugging her,” she says. “She’s someone who loves to play and create and isn’t afraid to mess up or be silly. She is a great example of living free!”
From this Friday, September 23 Feel Free Vol. 1 can be purchased from newsstands and leanneford.com.
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