Podcast, Episode 5: Designer and Blogger Erika Ward

Decorator and blogger Erika Ward shares her knowledge with us

This week on the podcast, we sat down with Erika Ward of Erika Ward Interiors. After majoring in finance and working in the corporate world several years, Erika decided to follow her passion and start her interior design business. She gives us the whole scoop on her business, decorating pet peeves, and answers your decorating questions!

What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

  • Erika talks about why she went into finance and eventually transitioned into designing full time
  • How Erika balances classic design with a modern aesthetic
  • Why you need to incorporate color into your room
  • Why it’s so important for her and her clients to understand each other
  • Why her biggest challenge in design work is educating her clients
  • What’s so important about the ‘shell’ of a room
  • What decorating mistake she made in her own house
  • What surprised Erika when she came to one of our catalog shoots

Decorating Dilemmas:

My windows are eleven foot high I was wondering if I were to go with shutters on the bottom part of the window and drapes on the top would that look good? –Blanca

Erika’s suggestions is to fully commit and to use both the shutters and the drapery panels. The two together will turn your window into a focal point in the room, which is what an 11 foot tall window needs to be. So yes! Shutters on the bottom and full length drapes.

How do you mix furniture shapes and heights cohesively?

Why you need extra shelves for your kitchen cabinetsWhy you need extra shelves for your kitchen cabinets

Mentioned in This Episode:

  • Taryn talks about using the Pheasant plates she painted for her Thanksgiving table
  • Above are the photos of my host, Nancy’s pantry and cabinets that were my “Triumph.” Notice how each shelf is just tall enough to hold what lives on that shelf and she has more shelves than would come standard with your cabinets
  • This is the cabinet Karen brought home for her bathroom — only to find out it didn’t fit!
  • We talk about our Decorating Dilemmas series and our Design Solutions team

Please send in your questions so we can answer them on our next episode! And of course, subscribe to the podcast in Apple Podcasts so you never miss an episode. You can always check back here to see new episodes, but if you subscribe, it’ll automatically download to your phone.

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Caroline McDonald

Caroline lives for pairing together patterns, mixing furniture styles, and oogling over our newest furniture pieces. As you can imagine, her little 1920's craftsman is in a constant state of flux. Here on How to Decorate, it's her goal to help you turn your home into your own little slice of paradise.


  1. Reply


    November 29, 2021

    Wonderful podcast! Although I am sad to say 5 years ago we purchased a matching bedroom set (you have opened my eyes to this design sin) and I so appreciate Erika’s ideas on how to remedy that (because my husband would lose his mind if I wanted to change it). Thanks for the entertaining education!

    Also, I just want to say that while I agree that you have to train children to respect their home…I have yet to be able to enforce not jumping on the couch. Apparently it’s a high that’s worth any amount of time ins/outs. So if you have a magical solution for that, lemme know. Otherwise, I’ll just make myself a martini and wait for them to outgrow it.

    • Reply

      Abbey Nolte

      November 29, 2021

      Erica, thank you for listening! We’re so glad you enjoyed this episode.
      Happy Decorating!

  2. Reply

    Allison Ellis

    March 16, 2017

    I’m in the process of catching up on (ok, binge listening) all the podcasts and just finished this one with Erika Ward. I’ve learned so much from each one and love all the guests. This has been so inspirational for me as I’ve been documenting my own home decor journey.

    • Reply

      Caroline McDonald

      March 16, 2017

      Thank you so much for this comment! We are so, so happy to hear that you’re enjoying the podcast. Thanks for listening!

  3. Reply


    January 18, 2017

    Just discovered your podcast and I love it! This episode was especially helpful. Erika gave so many great tips. Keep up the good work!

    • Reply

      Caroline McDonald

      January 19, 2017

      Thank you so much for listening! SO happy to hear you’re finding it helpful. Yes, Erika is fantastic. We’ll definitely have to have her back 🙂

  4. Reply


    December 26, 2016

    Hi Ladies, I absolutely LOVED this episode! Designer Erika Ward fit right in with you all and I learned so much from her! On the podcast I heard you ladies say you need questions and ratings. Well….I have a ton of questions, but know I can only ask one. I’d like to send you a picture of my space along with the question. Where/How can I submit a picture? Thanks!

    • Reply

      Caroline McDonald

      December 27, 2016

      I’m so glad you like the podcast! Thank you! Please send as many questions as you’d like! 🙂 just email them to podcast@ballarddesigns.net.
      Thanks for listening!

  5. Reply


    December 22, 2016

    Nice work! I loved hearing from Erika! Here’s a question for you talented ladies: for the DIY decorator, could you suggest a “formula” for mixing colors and patterns?

    • Reply

      Caroline McDonald

      December 22, 2016

      This is a great question. I’ll add it to our list to answer in one of our next episodes! Thank you so much for listening. We’re so glad you’ve enjoyed it. Happy holidays!

  6. Reply

    Watt Michelle

    December 21, 2016

    Loved Listening – gave me confidence to move forward with my new home!!!!!

  7. Reply


    December 20, 2016

    Love the podcast, not a fan of “dude” either hahahaha 😉

    I WISH I could see this instead of just hearing it. It would be soo cool if it was a video rather than just voices because you guys are soo entertaining

    Love it and great idea <3

    • Reply

      Caroline McDonald

      December 20, 2016

      Thank you so much! We are so glad you’re listening and enjoying it! We’ve actually talked about doing a Facebook Live episode, so maybe we’ll do that in the new year!
      Thanks again for your feedback,

    • Reply

      Caroline McDonald

      December 20, 2016

      Oh, and if you’re interested in leaving a review in iTunes that would be fantastic! We would be so grateful! We need more reviews so other people can find the podcast. You can do that by searching for How to Decorate in your podcast app and then checking the reviews tab!