Genuine Feature: Erika Ward

Erika Ward Feature-001.jpg

Tastemaker: Erika Ward

BluLabel Bungalow happens to be one of my favorite blogs, and the editor behind this fabulous blog is, Erika Ward. She keeps me laughing, and inspired in more ways than one. Erika has a great eye, and I love that she pays attention to detail. She creates beautiful blog posts, and moonlights as a graphic designer for other blogs. I know we will be seeing more of what this Fabulous 31 can do, and I am happy to be along for the ride. :-)

1) Your Blog, BluLabel Bungalow, is simply fabulous! What inspired you to create your blog, and what does it mean to you?

Thank you so much Kiran. My two interests have been in interior design and journalism, but my degree is in finance and real estate…go figure. I started my decorating company Erika Ward Interiors back in 2005 while working a full time job. In 2008, I left corporate to pursue design full time. I started BluLabel Bungalow in July 2009 to keep me updated with developments in design. I wanted BluLabel Bungalow to have a feel of a magazine, but not too stuffy like a periodical.

Currently, I am working on taking BluLabel Bungalow from a blog to a brand.

2) Erika, with you being a Wife and Mother, I know that your schedule can be pretty full. What does a typical day in your home consist of?

I am a mother of 3 children under 4. A typical day is always a crazy day! I get up around 6:00am (sometimes earlier) to pray for strength for the day. Afterwards I write the day’s blog post, throw a load in the laundry, and answer emails. After breakfast I try (hard) to hit the gym for a workout. Twice a week, my children attend a Mother’s Morning Out Program at a local church. During that time I’m meeting with clients, shop for projects, or lunch with one of my business coaches. On the days they are home I pretty much home school them. We work on art projects, phonics, play outside, and sometime go on “field trips.” If I happen to have an appointment, I call in a sitter for assistance. Any given afternoon, you can find me at a playgroup, taking my children to speech therapy, running household errands, and preparing dinner for the night.

When my husband gets home we have dinner. Then I am “off.” He puts the dishes away, spends time with the children, and sometimes gives them their bath! In the evening I work in my home office or meet with clients who are just getting home from work. If there is an event going on, I may go to that. Most times I return home in time to put everyone to bed. My husband and I spend time together until he goes to bed. I sometimes join him or work until 12:00am.

3) Define your design style? (Traditional, etc...)

I graduated from college 10 years ago, I preferred very contemporary furnishings. My decor consisted of light colored leather, chrome accent tables, and blond woods.

Now my taste is more on the traditional side of contemporary with a rustic mix...well at least for now. Targeting one style is difficult because I have an appreciation for all design styles. But if I had to choose one, I would call it RUSTIC GLAMOUR.

4) What does your inner rhythm sound like?

It’s pretty noisy, but I’m working on that. I’m learning to journal my thought’s on paper to leave more room in my brain (if that makes sense). Because I wear so many hats, I’m constantly thinking of ways to simplify my life and how to work smarter.

5) What does the word “home” mean to you?

Great question!! Home is a place I feel loved and accepted. We have a “home” church, a “home” restaurant where everyone knows us by name, a “home” grocer, etc. I’m very much a southerner in the sense that I've never met a stranger. I aim to make others feel just as comfortable when they are around me, too.

6) What is your favorite room of the house, and what do you love to do in this room?

My favorite room in the house is my office. This is MY SPACE where I work, pray, and just kick back.It’s my sanctuary within a sanctuary!

7) What would be your one splurge item, and why?

This is a tough one. I wanted a sharp, new SUV, but got that last Christmas! Now I want a sewing machine with all the bells and whistles and lessons to go along with it. I image sewing to be therapeutic and I love creating beautiful things.

8) What do you find yourself longing for the most?

Entrepreneurship is a lonely road. What I wouldn't give for my grandfather (an architect and sharp businessman) to be alive today. I know he would be proud of all I have accomplished and he would help me to map out my next steps. Right now I am looking for a mentor in the industry.

9) As far as women are concerned; who would be your greatest inspiration, and why?

Hands down, my Grandmother. She was the Proverbs 31 Woman and made it look easy! She taught me about having faith in God’s strength and not my own. She taught me to think critically and logically and to not make decisions based on emotions. She taught me that being a submissive wife would not make me a doormat, but a stronger force in my marriage. Not only did she tell me that she loved me on a regular basis, but she showed me, too! There is a quote she hung in our kitchen that I will always remember, “Those who give love, gather love.” And finally she taught me to persevere even when it seems like there’s no relief in sight.

10) You create beautiful Mood Boards for people. Can you tell me what a mood board is, and how one can go about getting a Mood Board created by you?

A mood board is a visual representation a room design yet to be completed. The purpose of a mood board is to help secure a vision plan for your space and guide your buying decisions.

Well, there you have it.. Didn't I say she was FABULOUS!  All the photos are from Erika's Blog; BluLabel Bungalow :-) Please note this featured interview was published on the previous Genuine Elegance blog in 2010; but I wanted to update the photos and bring it here with me. One cannot move without their most treasured belongings; right? Tee hee ;-)   

Kiss Kiss,

Kiran