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two story window treatments


I'm Erika Ward

Over a decade ago, I exchanged my corporate life in building construction for an opportunity to enhance your personal home via decoration and renovation.  My mission? To help busy professionals make their homes their sanctuaries.

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Considering the fact that a great room must live up to its name, we went all out for the newly designed great room on Milano Drive. I’m amazed at what we’ve accomplished since the new homeowners moved in a few short months ago.  I’ll be sharing more of those spaces in the coming week. Today I’m taking you on a room tour—complete with design tips—on how to address a grand space that is often intimidating for both homeowners and designers alike. I hope this post will inspire you to make your great room…well, great…and motivate you to take the first steps in accomplishing the goal! Thanks in advance for reading!

Addressing the Great Wall with Artwork

Oversized artwork holds its own centered between a series of four wall sconces crowned with blue and white pottery. The homeowners recently purchased the two large urns and placed them in the home’s entry. On the day of this install I pulled them into the great room as they were the perfect scale and helped to reinforce the classic, Asian-inspired theme. 

When sourcing accessories for the room, I literally happened upon the walnut cabinet. It was not a part of the original plan but I couldn’t resist the bamboo-carved doors. I knew this chest would haunt me later if I didn’t purchase it on the spot. T’was good as sold. 

Wondrous Windows

Milano GreatRoom_Window-2

A great room with wall-to-wall windows, without question, invites the beauty of nature indoors. Along with that also comes the need to protect furniture and floors from the sun’s harmful rays.

Floor Covering

I created two separate conversation areas in this room, however I still wanted the two spaces to feel cohesive. Sun damage on the floor left two footprints from the previous homeowners’ rugs. Instead of refinishing the floor, an extensive and costly process, we chose to create a rug using a wall-to-wall carpet product from Myers Carpet. This rug measured at 12′ x 18′ just to give you an idea of room size. 

A rug for a large room can be extremely expensive. One cost effective solution is to use carpet binding. Carpet binding is when a cotton or synthetic material is sewn along the edges of the carpet to create a rug. The finished result yielded a beautifully patterned carpet that added subtle movement much like an area rug.


Sunbrella fabrics are soil resistant and most importantly fade resistant which is why I chose to upholster four armchairs in this lovely herringbone pattern. Traditionally Sunbrella fabrics were used exclusively for outdoor umbrellas and cushions. In recent years they’ve made a softer product great for indoor use and comes in a variety of colors, prints, and patterns. At a later date, the homeowners’ can have a window film professionally installed to further reduce damage caused by UV rays. Until then they are covered with Sunbrella. Pun intended.



Asian-Inspired Fabric

This enchanting fabric, Plaisirs de la Chine, by F. Schumacher was the inspiration for this design. Its use is primary for window coverings due to the enormous pattern repeat. However, I love the idea of featuring each of the four scenes on custom throw pillows. The results exceeded my expectation!

Milano GreatRoom_Window-3

Conversation Piece

The conversation area is encircled around a custom, tufted ottoman. No matter where you are seated, you are treated to a conversation piece. Adjacent to the wall of windows is this impressive find I discovered while at AmericasMart. It is a metal magnolia flower mounted upon a linen backing and encased in acrylic. I couldn’t say I’ve ever seen anything like this before and had to have it for the room. Above the bookcase, it’s makes a stunning statement. When styling the bookcase, I was careful to not include anything that would upstage its beauty. 

Milano_Great Room_Bookcase_ErikaWardInteriors

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  1. Karen Russell says:

    Beautiful design on this two-story room. It is elegant, yet comfortable and inviting. The use of Sunbrella fabrics in a room that receives this much sunlight is a fantastic solution.

  2. Mary Etta says:

    I love how you pulled the fabric’s green color to the wall and ceiling.

  3. Candice D says:

    I would love to just sit in this space and read a book…maybe drink a cup of tea.

  4. Erika Ward says:

    The furniture is unbelievable comfortable and create to do just that!



Over a decade ago, I exchanged my corporate life in building construction for an opportunity to enhance your personal home via decoration and renovation. My mission? To help busy professionals make their homes their sanctuaries.

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