HGTV's 'Restored by the Fords' stars talk 'Property Brothers' comparisons, newfound fame

They are siblings who work together and have their own HGTV show, but no, they are not the “Property Brothers.”

Still, Leanne and Steve Ford are flattered by the frequent comparison. The hosts of “Restored by the Fords” premiered their HGTV series in January with eight episodes and will return with a second season in January 2019.

“We are nothing like the ‘Property Brothers,’” Leanne Ford explained while sitting on a sofa, chatting with Fox News at The Beverly Hilton during the Television Critics Association’s Summer Press Tour. “We learned early, there’s no comparison. I think in any creative field… comparison is not something we even want to bother with. They are their own entity, and we are our own.”

The Fords have spent time with famed HGTV stars Jonathan and Drew Scott, and they value the brothers’ advice.

“They are amazing. When we met them, we were like ‘Tell us everything.’ ‘How do we?’ ‘When do we?’ And they were so beautifully generous with their information. So they really kind of helped us,” she said.

Fame hasn’t overwhelmed the relatively new home design stars, but their lives have changed since they started letting cameras follow them as they renovate older homes in the Pittsburgh area.

“People kind of started to come up and say hi to us, and I was a little nervous about that, but at the end of the day it’s actually amazing to have this human connection,” Leanne shared. “It’s the same thing as when I have my dog… people want to say hello and connect and it’s just an opportunity to be kind to each other and it’s pretty fun.”

Her brother said he can still go around town without being bothered, but he doesn’t do that much because he’s busier working than he ever has been before.

“I don’t go out and about as much as I used to but that’s not because I can’t. I just don’t have the time. We work more. I mean, I am 40, I don’t really go out,” he explained.

At any given moment, the Fords are working on about nine projects at once, renovating homes that take about eight to 10 weeks each.

“I never thought in a million years I’d be on TV,” Steve admitted.

His sister explained: “The reason that we were open to doing this and said yes really is because it’s about what we do for a living. It’s about our craft and it provides us more opportunity to do it.”
They choose to call the show unscripted rather than reality TV in casual conversation, explaining that the cameras strictly follow their work life, not their personal lives.

Leanne insisted what viewers see on TV is an entirely accurate portrayal of them.

“Nothing is fake. It’s very real. It’s exactly as we are on and off camera,” she said. “I think my favorite compliment was when my friends from college, they called me, and they were like ‘We feel like we’re hanging out with you again.’ They were like ‘You’re exactly who you are on TV as you were sitting in the dorm room.’”

She credits HGTV, and the show’s production company High Noon Entertainment, with making the show something they were comfortable with.

“We’re so thankful for everybody we work with and work for,” she said.