HGTV's Leanne Ford Partners With PPG on Perfect White Paints
Known for her signature "white on white" aesthetic, the star of "Restored by the Fords" shares her fail-proof color choices.
White is a color often perceived as lacking tone and depth, but to interior designer Leanne Ford, white is detailed and complex — and creates the perfect canvas for decorating a home.
Ford, a Pittsburgh native who stars alongside her brother, Steve Ford, on HGTV’s “Restored by the Fords,” is known for her signature “white on white” aesthetic. Her use of the color creates a universal backdrop for both vintage and contemporary furniture and decor — but with so many versions and shades of white, she says picking the perfect white isn’t always simple.
She recently partnered with PPG Paints to eliminate this obstacle by creating a palette of three fail-proof whites. The collaboration aims to make picking the perfect color accessible and easy for everyone.
“We talked about doing five whites, but we took it down to three because I wanted to make it really kind of fail-proof,” Ford says. “Not everybody can have an interior designer, not everybody has somebody to discuss their wall color with. So I just wanted to really make this cheat sheet for everybody.”
PPG senior color marketing manager Dee Schlotter says all three colors were handpicked by Ford. Each has a different tone intended to create different feelings and atmospheres within different spaces.
“One gives a little bit of that warmth, one’s much more of a pure white, and the other one is much more of that modern gallery-looking white,” Schlotter says. “We’ve got 80 different whites, and so narrowing it down to these three really helps consumers get to that perfect white.”
The first color in the palette is Pure White — PPG’s Timeless white paint straight out of the can with no tinting. Ford says this True White palette is a universal fit for any room. In a press release from PPG, Ford recommended using this color on textured walls like exposed brick because it draws attention to the architectural details in spaces.
The second color, Natural White, has warmer undertones. Schlotter says this is a creamier, softer white. Ford recommends using this Warm White palette in conjunction with warm lighting, vintage artwork and distressed wood pieces to create a cozy atmosphere.
White on White is the final color in the collection, which Schlotter says resembles as a modern, gallery-looking white. This bright Cool White palette pairs well with mixed metals and can help make a room seem bigger.
“The biggest thing for me with white paint is it’s timeless and it’s effortless ... it’s not trendy, it’s classic,” Ford says. “When you’re talking about design, white is just ... a win across the board.”
Along with the palette of whites, Ford curated a collection of companion colors to compliment each white tone — “Pure White” with the “Modern” palette, “Natural White” with the “Bohemian” palette and “White on White” with the “Cool, Earthy” palette. Schlotter says these accompanying colors make it simple for consumers to pair matching undertones and create a cohesive space.
“What’s nice about the [whites] that we have, we give this perfect backdrop color on the wall, but then you can add that color and texture into your decor and your textiles and your floor and your carpet, and all those other pieces,” Schlotter says. “You want to make sure if you’re putting a warm white on your wall, it’s going to have the warm colors with it.”
Ford’s goal in the partnership was to create a comprehensive manual for individuals of any decorating skill level, from DIY novices to expert interior designers.
“When we were talking, I actually was very very excited to kind of do this no-fail guide ... you can’t mess up with them,” Ford says. “My biggest thing with this partnership is how you make decorating and design a fun, happy, wonderful thing for everybody.”