The star of HGTV’s Home Again With The Fords and Ford Family Classics is a master of open-plan living room ideas, but what is her secret? The answer is found in furniture pieces that double as a storage solution. 

Leanne Ford’s secret to a good looking, multifunctional space 

‘One of my favorite ways to keep things organized and break up larger multifunctional spaces in a beautiful way is to utilize furniture pieces that offer storage solutions in place of ’traditional dividers’ that only serve one purpose,’ Leanne shares in conversation with H&G.  The designer recommends beginning by using a bookcase as a room divider – so you can enjoy the beauty of your colorful book spines whilst simultaneously zoning your open plan.  ‘The Haldeman Open Bookcase (opens in new tab) from my new collection with Crate & Barrel is the perfect storage solution and open-air room’ divider’ all in one,’ she says.  Whether you follow Leanne’s bookcase lead or you opt for another multifunctional furnishing, the rule remains the same: If a piece isn’t as functional as it is aesthetic, then it’s not worth the investment.  ‘The biggest thing I encourage people to think about is that beauty and function can coexist,’ Leanne adds. ‘People can often make the mistake of focusing on just individual items themselves, instead of how the item might live within a space and alongside other pieces in a functional, cohesive way. I always say if the piece is not beautiful and useful, then it’s not going in my home.’ And while Leanne’s secret is the perfect open-plan living room storage idea, her teachings work in every room of the home. Whether you’re looking to hide cables in your home office or appliances in your kitchen – the style of your storage matters.  ‘I try to hide everything ugly in my home that I can. Hide the printers, the chords, the real-life stuff. So having pretty cabinets and spaces to put those in is key,’ she adds.  Leanne Ford’s Crate & Barrel Collection is available online (opens in new tab) now.