At Home With Erin Kern of Cotton Stem Interiors

Erin Kern, home décor blogger and Oklahoma native, has taken Cotton Stem Interiors to Well Woven in her Pride and Prejudice-inspired rug collection and what better time to celebrate than National Book Month? The farmhouse décor aficionado and mother of four is known for her comfortable interiors and multidimensional arrangements, which she aims to display in her new rug line.

The Cotton Stem x Well Woven Collection saw its first released style earlier this summer, with new additions expected to roll out by the latter half of 2020, the latest of which, the Elizabeth rug, was just launched two weeks ago. Read on to learn more about what went on behind the scenes and to get Erin’s take on designing her Well Woven rug line.

Above: Erin pictured with her first Well Woven branded rug, the Virden, when she came to visit our office last autumn

Well Woven: Tell us about your rug collection in your own words. 

Erin: They're approachable, affordable and a piece of my home in yours!

What inspired you in the design process? 

Each time I begin a design project, I start by asking, “What or whose story am I telling here?” When I designed for clients, I got to know their story and their vibe before ever starting to design, and it’s the same for creating pieces like the rugs in my collection. 

Could you give us some insight into your rugs’ stories?

Their names are based off of Pride and Prejudice. It was my favorite book to teach when I was a teacher. The book was kind of where I got my start on Instagram so I felt like it was full circle to name them after that.

The Jane has all my favorite colors and design elements just like Jane Austen is my favorite author. It’s vintaged-out so it’s really cool because one side is a little more saturated than the other. 

Above: The Kern family’s dog, Harvey, has the best seat in the house atop the Jane rug! Peep Erin's book wall in the background.

Darcy is the one I was thinking was a modern farmhouse style or boho eclectic. It would work with a lot of different home decor styles. It’s a contrasting, modern design based on a man who ended up being quite the modern man himself, despite contrasting backgrounds.

Above: “This rug has a modern farmhouse look. I wanted a more charcoal color because I don’t use a ton of black in my house.” - Erin

The Elizabeth, like her namesake, can’t be put into just one box: she’s multidimensional (boho, eclectic, modern, farmhouse) with layers and layers of color (rust, blush, cream, mustard, charcoal), plenty of depth and interest (just look at those intermixed design elements!), and …she feels most at home when she’s at home…yours and mine.

Above: “The Elizabeth is a mixture of my very favorite colors. It’s got rusts, it’s got pinks, it’s got a tiny touch of mustard yellow woven in there.” - Erin

What was the most exciting or fun part about the design process?

I loved learning about how the design process worked and getting hands-on with textures, colors, patterns and designs.

 Above: Erin learned about all the different rug possibilities in our NYC showroom

Above: Behind the Design - The Cotton Stem Collection from Well Woven

As you were designing products for others, you made sure to also account for your own spaces and lifestyle. Could you tell us more about what "home" means to you and how it relates to your family?

Home is our safe space, our place to be together and the space where our kids grow and learn. We have wood tile floors, so a soft, cozy rug is important for tickle fights, playing with the pets, snuggling up for movie nights and spreading out with board games for family time. If I can give them a backdrop that is comfortable, open and cozy, then I have done my job!

The rugs in my collection are easy to clean when inevitable spills happen, and they will hold up to family and pet use over time. A big “must” for me during design was the texture and plushness, because I know the importance of that with small kiddos.  These rugs are a mix of textures, and they all lend themselves to family spaces.

What feeling do you hope people will have when rolling out one of their new Cotton Stem X Well Woven rugs?

I hope they will feel like they’ve found the perfect finishing touch to their space and know I was thinking of them when I created it!  

Above: For those of you with a more playful style, the Elizabeth is also available in a second colorway, an Ivory multicolor!

The rugs of the Cotton Stem x Well Woven Collection may speak for themselves but you’ll see that the designs are still very versatile and open to interpretation. This had been intentional in the design process as to let others create their own narrative. As Erin mentions, it’s important to, “Blend design trends if you want to; create spaces that actually work for your family. It has to be YOUR space, your story”. After all, the rug is just what helps tie it all--the wall color, furniture, accent pieces--together.


Loving the collection? Enjoy a sneak peek of Bingley, the next rug in Erin's collection...

...and be sure to sign up for our newsletter at the footer of this page to be the first to know when a new Cotton Stem x Well Woven rug is released!