The simple secret to an organized open-plan space – according to designer Leanne Ford

This Leanne Ford-approved solution combines form and function for a seamlessly stylish scheme

Leanne Ford's open-plan trick
(Image credit: Mary Wadsworth)

Finding the balance between a fashionable yet functional home can often feel like a challenge. Whether you're looking for a new storage idea or a solution to zoning your open-plan space, the most practical pieces are notorious for tainting your overall scheme. However, designer Leanne Ford has the solution that will keep your open-plan room feel zoned, organized, and always stylish. 

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 

Leanne Ford's open-plan trick

(Image credit: Mary Wadsworth)

'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 from my new collection with Crate & Barrel is the perfect storage solution and open-air room' divider' all in one,' she says. 

Leanne Ford's open-plan trick

(Image credit: Paul Raeside)

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. 

Leanne Ford's open-plan trick

(Image credit: Mary Wadsworth)

'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 now.  

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.