DESIGN, one room challenge


My participation in the One Room Challenge had been a secret I’ve kept from my family for the last few weeks. However with all the boxes coming in revealed that…

My participation in the One Room Challenge had been a secret I’ve kept from my family for the last few weeks. However with all the boxes coming in revealed that something exciting is going on around here.

The two five-foot boxes from Hudson Valley Lighting likely gave it away!

Why did I keep it a secret? I’ll get to that part in just a sec.

In case you’re wondering, “What exactly is the One Room Challenge? ”

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.

Let’s get back to the reason I’ve kept this project under wraps. Living with a family of seven, there are a lot of opinions! It’s difficult enough sorting through my own thoughts and desires, adding their ideas felt like too many cooks in the kitchen. They can’t even agree on what to watch on family movie nights. As I designed with the family in mind, I’m reminded of one thing that we always agree on and that’s our love for the beach!


Because the dining room is a clean slate, I’m literally getting rid of everything except the metallic cork wallcovering on the ceiling—that has to stay, I needed a clear jumping off point for the room design.

I’ve been toying with the idea of using a mural in the dining room. Inspired by the Rosewood Baha Mar hotel in Nassau, searched and found many tropical inspired wallcoverings by ORC sponsor, Milton & King. Both modern and timeless, I chose the  Shadow Palm Mural in Mint! Its pattern is actually a soft silhouette that will not overpower the room. Instead it will serve as an interesting backdrop for blank walls and play well with decorative items like mirrors and artwork.


Another delightful focal point will be the Magic Garden Chandelier by Hudson Valley Lighting. I first discovered it in June when I visited their High Point Showroom.

What intrigues me the most about this fixture?

Is it the mouth-blown smoked glass diffusers at the core of the flower petals? Or is it the flower petal themselves that are constructed of mixed metals. The iron flowers contrast satin black, graphite, and bronze leaf for a dramatic, yet whimsical chandelier.

I loved it so much I shared it on Instagram with hopes that a client would see it and have to have it. Instead I’m using it in my dining room. Feels like I’ve won the lighting jackpot.

I’m also including a pair of the Jasper Wall Sconces to the mix for a touch of tradition!


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A post shared by Erika Ward Interiors (@mrserikaward)

Jasper Wall Sconce by Hudson Valley Lighting


This is the overall concept thus far. I’m still agonizing over artwork, drapery fabric, and maybe the rug?

Agonizing, Erika? Is it really that serious?

Actually it is! I’ve been browsing through the art catalog on Minted, another generous ORC Sponsor, and have thoughts of including a couple of animal prints in the room along with this piece I already own.



Deciding on a rug, I’m looking for something subtle like this natural beauty from Loloi. Perhaps a monochromatic rug with a geometric pattern will provide the desired movement on the floor. Then again, if I choose something with a two toned pattern, it will likely be a striped rug.


Custom draperies are my jam and my preferred textile vendor is Fabricut even for my client projects. I’d usually go all out with patterned panels in the dining room, but the wallcovering is giving me enough movement on the walls. While I do appreciate a layered pattern look, I want this room to feel composed and quiet. Instead I’ve chosen to feature linen panels with a bold trim on the vertical edge. The stark contrast of light and dark will satisfy my appetite for drama.

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 3 will bring all the details on the entry and great room. This post will be robust!!!

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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