Special/Signature Issues » Home Style

Five Questions With: Erin Campbell


How would you describe your own personal decorating style?

Traditional with a flair, with a kick. And kind of glammy. I like a touch of black in everything, and I like things that are a little unexpected.

How would you recommend others discover or refine their personal decorating style?

I think you should look at what you wear and what you're comfortable in. I've noticed time after time that what people gravitate towards has to do with what they're comfortable living in. I think it's good to look through magazines and get a feel for what you like, and consciously think about what makes you happy.

What are small decorating fixes that make a big difference?

Paint, good lighting and draperies. I think paint, and color in general, make a big impact in a room. You can paint a room and put window treatments up, and no one's looking at the art that's not on the walls. Because from a visual perspective, it looks pretty and done. With paint, you get a lot for your money, and it's an inexpensive fix.

What should you splurge on, and what should you scrimp on?

You should splurge on custom window treatments because I think they're timeless and you'll have them forever. In terms of the master bedroom, you should splurge on a custom-made dust ruffle and decorative pillows, and then go with store-bought linens like Target bedding. I don't think you should scrimp on furniture. If you get good pieces, you'll reupholster them time after time and they won't fall apart on you.

What's your favorite design element or accent in your own home?

I have great window treatments and lots of faux finishes. I'm hip on the faux finishes for walls, ceilings, furniture, whatever. My favorite space in the house is Greta's [her 14-month-old daughter] room. Her walls are very subtle -- two-tone yellow vertical stripes — and her ceiling has three different size black polka dots. She has a huge cherry blossom tree painted on one wall and she's got a ladybug dresser and a huge screen faux-finished with a 6-foot frog. Above her black crib, there's a crown painted on the wall and it's decorated with pearls because Greta means "pearl." She's got a zebra rug, a chandelier and a polka dot lamp. It's wild, but it's fun. For me, it's just magical.

Erin Campbell got her design feet wet as an assistant to five decorators in a family-owned decorating shop in Myrtle Beach, S.C. After moving to Richmond, she worked at Williams & Sherrill as a sales consultant for two years before starting Parker House Interiors with Stacy Hull in 2004. See more of Erin's home on the Westover Hills home tour Sunday, May 4.