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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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Welcome back for Week 4 of the One Room Challenge!

If you missed posts from previous weeks,  then you can find them here: Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3

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 covered the  great room lighting plan and gave advice on how to calculate the right-sized fixture for your room. This week’s focus is on architectural details!


Are you ready to watch our great room go from this…

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…to this?

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We are thrilled to partner with ORC Sponsor Novo Building Products as the supplier of our moldings and stair parts. One of the most dramatic transformations in both the entry and great room will be the addition of the architectural moldings. I’ve been wanting for years to add more architectural details to our home. We started the process in 2016 by adding columns and pediments around all of the doorways in the entry and great room. Finally, the walls will get some TLC, too! These two rooms are centrally positioned in our home and the first thing you see when you walk through the front doors.

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When I think of customization, moulding and millwork are top of mind. There’s a wide range of cove, chair rail, and base cap designs that can be stacked to create a look that’s uniquely yours. With the help of my trim carpenter, we chose three profiles to create a design that is sure to elevate my entire home!


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Cove 93 from Empire Moulding and Millwork.

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Chair rail 392 from Empire Moulding and Millwork.

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Base cap 163 from Empire Moulding and Millwork.

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Home improvement jobs have a domino effect, don’t they? With the walls receiving an upgrade, I had to give our staircase a facelift as well. I’m telling you, participating in the ORC will hold you accountable for all the task you’ve been wanting to check off your to-do list!

Craftsman pioneer Gustav Stickley wrote that molding should “have each room so interesting in itself that it seems complete before a single piece of furniture is put into it.”

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Master carpenter installing our new box newel Style # 4091-OA from LJ Smith Stair System.

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Box Newel in Red Oak from LJ Smith Stair System.

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Hollow Iron Balluster from LJ Smith Stair System.

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The television will remain over the fireplace. I’ve considered purchasing a frame TV to disguise the screen but many of my improvement dollars are going towards labor cost! I couldn’t be happier with our progress. It’s been money well spent!

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 5, I’ll discuss fabrics and furniture!

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

Media BH&G | TM ORC

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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