The Style Files: Erika Powell of Urban Grace

cropped headshot EMP[1] {The Beautiful and Talented, Erika Powell}

When I discovered Erika’s blog, Urban Grace a couple of years ago, I couldn’t get enough. I immediately loved her taste and was so impressed by her talent. The homes she designs are classic and gorgeous. And as far as kitchen and bathroom design goes, it’s as if she crawled into my head and designed my dream rooms! Her talent and calculating eye for design are one thing, but Erika’s personality emanates through her blog making it and her even more likable. She is sweet, warm, and self-deprecating: qualities which make her so charming. Pair that with her extraordinary talent and you have someone to watch! It’s no wonder that she’s a favorite of countless bloggers and her work has been published in magazines like Coastal Living and Southern Living.


Name: Erika McPherson Powell

Occupation: Designer, Blogger, Momma, Wife, Twin Sister

Hometown: Hmmmm. Norfolk, VA, Atlanta, GA, Chicago, IL, Louisville, KY… all of the above. The easy answer I usually give is Louisville, Kentucky.

Current City: Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

LDV: What inspired you to begin your career in interior design?

EP: My parents. They used to drag us to antique shows, flea markets, and renovated every house we ever lived in. I despised it. Until I got to college and woke up one morning and realized the degree I was pursuing wasn’t really what I wanted, so I transferred to Interior Design.


LDV: What do you love most about it? What is the most challenging aspect?

EP: I love change and transformation… I get to see it in action every single day. Most challenging… sometimes clients can’t see the end product and require a lot of counseling along the way. It’s hard enough to be creative and design a beautiful space but then when you add the psychology of having to talk the client into it and help then envision the end product is challenging at times.


LDV: Where do you find inspiration?

EP: Nature, books, magazines, traveling, art, the world wide web.

steven gambrel2 {A Home Designed by Steven Gambrel}

LDV: Who are some of your personal style icons?

EP: Thomas O’Brien, Steven Gambrel, and Victoria Hagan.


LDV: How would you describe your own style?

EP: Classic, yet casual and inviting.


LDV: What is the trait you most admire in a person?

EP: Sense of humor.

urban grace2

LDV: What is your principal weakness?

EP: Tardiness.


LDV: What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

EP:  My friend Marla encouraged me to hire help. That was the best advice ever.

urban grace

LDV: What do you consider your greatest achievement?

EP: I won the flexed arm hang contest during National Physical Fitness week in high school.

LDV: What is your idea of living “la dolce vita”?

EP: Life is pretty sweet at this moment, I have a job I love. A team of people who I also love. A supportive husband and a sweet, healthy daughter.



Bloom: Pink Giant Cactus Zinnias

Food: Pancakes, especially when served at dinner time.

Drink: Peach Fresca.

Thing to Wear: Jeans. I just bought some jeggings, which is a bit frightening, but true.


Destination: My parents farm in Southern Illinois.

Season: Fall and Spring.

Meal: Crab Cakes at The Red Bar

Musician: Gillian Welch

{Plates with artwork by Shelley Hesse, commissioned by Anthropologie}

Artist: this is always changing… just saw the work of Shelley Hesse in the last issue of Garden & Gun and am enamored.

Film: Best In Show

Television Show: I don’t watch much tv… but when I do I watch weird shows like Obsessed, Intervention, and Breaking Bad.

Book: Too many to list.

“Every piece in this room has a story to tell. From the open shell book to the surfboard overhead, you know these people are adventurous, and they like to have fun.” —Jacquelyne Froeber, travel editor

{A Living Room featured in Coastal Living}

Magazines: Elle Decor, Lonny, Garden and Gun, Southern Living, Coastal Living, House Beautiful, Traditional Home… pretty much like them all!



My twin sister’s:

Katy Elliott:


Cupcakes & Cashmere:

Texture: soft quilts

Fabric or Pattern: Lately I have been enjoying Mally Skok’s designs. They are classic with a twist and her combination of colors is fresh and exciting.

Scent Of Peace Photo Large

Color: Green

Scent: Bond No. 9 The Scent of Peace, Fresh’s Hesperides, and Fresh’s Citron de Vigne

Extravagance: bubble bath with glass of wine and a book or magazine.

Quote: I recently blogged about Sambo Mockbee. I was struck by a quote in a book on his Rural Studio that I read years ago and have always had taped to my bulletin board…
"Goodness is more important than greatness, and compassion more eventful than passion."


Images via Urban Grace unless otherwise noted.

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  1. I love Erika! She has such a great eye for fixtures and colors. So classic and modern. And I think we need to be BFFs because Best in Show is one of my favorite movies too. Yes stupid humor! 🙂

  2. Erika’s blog is my absolute favorite. I enjoy reading it every week or so. I have also tremendously enjoyed looking through her portfolio. Such an inspiration not only in design but also in approach to life! Thanks for featuring Erika on your (equally delightful) blog.

  3. I think Erika is great and I love her blog….Thank you for the profile on her.

    She seems to have it all and, more importantly, deserve it.

    Can’t wait to try peach fresca, am currently loveing coke zero!

  4. I accidentally deleted this comment instead of publishing it.

    From MyLittleHappyPlace:

    Erika’s was the very first blog I read – I devoured it! For me, she’s the gold standard for high-class, humorous and amazingly-inspired design blogging!