Born into a family of established painters, architects and artists, it’s no surprise that rug designer,
views each hand woven rug as a work of art in and of itself. In fact, he calls it “art on the floor.” Originally from the Pacific Northwest, many of his pieces are inspired by natural curiosities–insects, birds, rock formations, landscapes–the microscopic details of the larger muse become the actual rug patterns. Now based in Venice Beach, Erik’s sunlit flagship showroom sits at the epicenter of creation and innovation on the burgeoning strip of Abbott Kinney. We sat down with him in his vintage-modern studio to discuss inspiration, breakfast and beards.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED DESIGNING RUGS?
I used to work for an interior design firm in Seattle… I met a gentleman that we used to buy our rugs from, and he introduced me to some of the factories that we use today. I was at a point in my career where I needed a change; I couldn’t climb the ladder anymore, so I jumped ship. I figured why not still be in the same realm of interior design, but focus on one thing only–and do it really well. Creativity kind of ran in my gene pool, and I wanted to access that, but still have it relate to interior design.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Natural Curiosities. Anything from insects, to birds to rock formations, patterns in clouds, rivers, tree bark, landscapes, wood grains. I try to look at details of larger things because those are usually more interesting anyway. They themselves become the rug patterns in the end.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEAL?
I’m a breakfast person, so I love a very healthy breakfast. Egg whites, fresh vegetables, homemade salsa, maybe wrap it up in a flour tortilla… throw some avocado in…and if it’s a weekend, maybe have a margarita with it.
WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR WHEN DECORATING A SPACE?
The rug. It is the foundation of the room; it grounds everything. It serves as the earth and everything grows up from it…the walls, the lights, the artwork, the furniture, the ceiling treatments. Those all start from the base.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TRAVEL DESTINATION?
Morocco. Lots of inspiration in color, patterns. We source lots of vintage rugs from there. And I’m mostly vegetarian, so they really cater to that aspect.
WHAT’S YOUR LEAST FAVORITE CURRENT TREND?
Beards. I mean, the Lumber Sexual.
WHAT ARE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF A GREAT RUG?
You have to think about every quadrant of the rug, more so about furniture arrangement.
WHAT MAKES A HOUSE A HOME?
It has to be a direct reflection of you. Everything in the house has to have some sort of personal attachment to it. Anything that I buy, I try to have some sort of personal connection to it; chairs, art work, rugs. Finding ways to put your own personal style into a house really, i think makes it a home.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE?
European prep meets rock n’ roll…and they all got in a fight with Hugh Hefner.
IF YOU COULD ONLY WEAR ONE OUTFIT FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Paul Smith 3-piece suit
WHOM–PAST OR PRESENT–DO YOU MOST ADMIRE?
My dad. He taught me everything I know about space, architecture, flow, design…how to just go to the beat of your own drum.
It’s a community-oriented neighborhood. There are a lot of successful, creative people here. In turn, the area is really starting to blossom with a lot of contemporary architecture, which fit directly into the products I design.