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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Yesterday’s interview with Nicole Sassaman started an internal dialogue about the misconceptions of modern spaces. Amy commented that she traditionally thought of modern as being cold, but after seeing images from Nicole’s portfolio she had a change of heart. How delightful is it to discover an appreciation for a style that previously left you uninterested.  This is one of the main reasons why I love blogging.

Yes, modern can be warm and here’s how you get the look…Add brown tones and natural elements to your home and wardrobe to heat up an otherwise cold aesthetic. Look for items consisting of warm woods, natural fibers, galvanized metal, patina finishes and items that have variations in texture.

1.|WILD ORCHIDS Matthew Williamson’s Orchid Silk Strap Dress is a flirty take on this sensual floral ($380/on sale,
2.|STRANGE FRUIT West Elm’s Round Coco Mirror features coconut leaves and beads bringing texture and interest to any modern space ($199,
3.|A CUT ABOVE THE REST Jil Sander’s laser cut calfskin and wood wedges will surely bring the daredevil out of any fashionista ($1,240,
4.|FOXY BROWN IN LINEN West Elm’s Sphere Table Lamp is curvaceous and willing to warm up your cold space like no other lamp could ($99,
5.|MAN OF THE HOUSE Diptyque ‘s Essence John Gailliano candle is mysterious, woodsy, and warm…just how I like my man! ($68,
6.|PILLOW TALK Crate and Barrel’s Caney Teak Pillow ($59.95, is like a sisal rug, but for the sofa. Adam and Viktoria’s Pillow in Pomegranate and Rust (contact for pricing, is a wonderfully playful handmade work of art.
7.|WELL ROUNDED If you are looking for a dining room table, this may be the deal of the week. Pier 1’s Clinton Pedestal Table is a hardy piece that boasts an amazing wood finish. Perfect for your small space ($349.98/on sale,
8.|WELL HELLO HANDSOME Crate and Barrel scored big with their introduction of the Blake Lounge Chair. Made from espresso solid teak, handwoven natural rattan, and full aniline leather this chair is best described as a refined, aged gentleman with major sex appeal ($799,

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  1. Will @ Bright.Bazaar says:

    I am with you; blogs can really help open your eyes and see things in a new way, Erika. The super stark modern look is one I'm still not a huge fan of, but no doubt I'll see an inspiring space of it's type before long…!

  2. Mimi says:

    In love with #4!

  3. The Zhush says:

    I too, used to have preconceived ideas about Modern spaces…thinking they were cold as well, needless to say, NOW I love them! Love what you have done here with this post!

  4. niki.mac says:

    Those shoes! OMG.

    This is a great example of how modern can feel warm and home-y. Love it!

  5. Ludmila {} says:

    To be straight, I also think that modern feels cold and my idea of a warm space definitely involves details you can find in other styles such as rustic, vintage or Victorian. However, black & white is proving the opposite – the combo is ultra stylish and feels very comfy. Will need to check Nicole's portfolio too, thank you for the great post, Erika. xo

  6. Sarah La Rose says:

    Great example of how to make a modern open space feel warm and cozy. I just LOVE the items you selected!

  7. Tonia @Chic Modern Vintage says:

    I've never had the idea that modern spaces had to cold and stark. A lot of decorators/designers created impression that modern had to be that way. I've always embraced the warm and cozy. bty…Fabulous choices you've made

  8. Mary says:

    I just found your blog and I am loving it!! That West Elm mirror is amazing!!

  9. Tina Steele Lindsey says:

    I am all about the use of warm earth tones in modern situations such as this. I am however never going to attempt to wear those shoes!
    xoxo Erika.

  10. L.Duncan@Home23DuncanBoys says:

    I'd say Nicole's style is modern meets rustic/minimalist! I love it! Modern can go either way cold or warm, though I think no matter how much wood tones and rustic pieces are in a space it can still be "cold".

    Now, that dress is smashing and those shoes are unbelievably HOTTT!

  11. CDVG says:

    Hi! Love your blog! I started one myself, that I think you'll love!! Please stop by! Take care, Ms. CotedeVelvetGreige xoxo

  12. Hello Lover... says:

    Love this mix of colors and it is so warm!

    That dress is pretty amazing as well although no where near my budget!

  13. theLENNOXX says:

    That dress is gorgeous, and I love the mirror. The shoes I'm not so sure about though.. =)

  14. […] trust, relaxation, tranquility, professionalism. They described their style as eclectic, clean, and modern, and are color lovers. Open to color palette ideas, but one of the partner’s only request is […]


Hi, I'm Erika.
Your Design + Happy Healthy Home Advocate.

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.

Learn more