DESIGN, one room challenge


If you follow me on Instagram, then you likely saw my family’s reaction to our new lighting in the entry, great room, and family room. This week’s post explains what all the fuss is about!

Welcome back for Week 3 of the One Room Challenge.

If you missed posts from previous weeks, then you can find them here: Week 1 | Week 2|

If this is your first time visiting, the One Room Challenge is an eight-week documented home improvement movement started by Linda Weinstein. The event features 20 Featured Designers, hundreds of Guest Participants, and a host of generous sponsors! Readers enjoy following our progress over the eight weeks while also gaining inspiration for their own decorating or renovation projects. Everyone loves a good before and after makeover, I know I do! Better Homes and Gardens is covering this event and has been a long time partner of the ORC and serves as the Media Sponsor.

This season I am redesigning our entry, dining room, and the great room. Last week we did a deep dive into the dining room plans. This week’s focus is the great room and entry.

Do you remember the first time you stepped foot into a two story great room?

Was it a model home or a local decorator’s show house?

For me, it was my cousin Lisa’s great room that captivated me with its floor-to-ceiling windows. Elegant silk fabric cascaded down her wall and ending in a soft puddles on the floor. Ooh, I had to have some, too!

As so we did it…

After ten years, the sun has worn and discolored the silk. However I’m confident we got our monies worth and besides, I’m ready for a new look!

As a reminder, here’s how the great room looked before we got started. My friend asked,

“Couldn’t you have at least removed the laundry basket?”

I could have but leaving it visible keeps me honest about how we’ve been using this space.


 I can assure you there will be no laundry-folding in here…


Like the dining room, we are starting with a clean slate.  Lighting has been a long time issue in the great room. At 18 feet high, the builder’s grade ceiling fan seemed to emit as much light as a taper candle. Without table lamps, at night you could barely see your hand in front of your face. We’ve added not one, but two twenty-light, two-tier chandeliers by Hudson Valley Lighting. The other new Allendale chandelier hangs in the entry.

Hudson Valley Lighting Group | ALLENDALE CHANDELIER


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Erika Ward Interiors (@mrserikaward)

Hudson Valley Lighting Group | BARUCH Picture Light

If you follow me on Instagram, then you may have seen my family’s reactions to our new chandeliers, wall sconces, and picture lights. Assuming I’m reading their whoops and hollers correctly, I think they love them.


I cannot stress enough the importance of having the proper-scaled chandelier in a room with a soaring ceiling height. Here’s an example of how to calculate the ideal diameter and height of your fixture:

To determine the diameter of a light fixture that’s best for your space:

Measure the length and width of the room in feet.
Example: 20 feet by 17 feet
Add the two lengths together.
Example: 20 + 17 = 37 feet
Swap that value in feet for inches (so 37 feet becomes 37 inches)
Example: 37 feet > 37 inches
This is the ideal diameter for a light fixture in this room.
Example: 37 inches wide

To determine the height of a light fixture that’s best for your space:

Start with the height of the room (floor to ceiling) in feet.
Example: 18 feet high
Multiply the height by 2.5″ to 3″ per foot.
Example: 18 x 2.5″ to 3″ = 45-54 feet
Swap that value to inches (so 45 feet becomes 45 inches).
Example: 45-54 feet > 45-54 inches
This is the ideal height for a light fixture in this room.
So for this room, you’ll want to look for a light fixture around 37 inches wide and 45-54 inches tall.


I love options. Overhead lights on, overhead lights dimmed, overhead lights off…

Oh and when the overhead lights are off—mmm, mmm, mmm our new lamps from Couture Lamps and Home Furnishings will really shine. The Oceanaire lamp made from recycled glass encased in a clear resin square column will perch elegantly on the entry table. Its silver foil shade lining also helps to support the feel of sophistication I’m going for in the foyer. A handsome pair of 30″ Draper Table Lamps will flank the sofa keeping that side of the room well-styled and appropriately lit. The hex shape is certainly a point of interest that makes this highly functional light feel more like a work of art.



Follow along each week as I take you along my design process from concept to completion. Look out for tips and tricks to use in your own home! Week 4 will go into depth about the trim moldings, stair parts, and newel posts and how this combination helps to make your house look and feel more expensive! You don’t want to miss it!

Be sure to also check in with design comrades as they share their plans for upcoming projects.

Media BH&G | TM ORC

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