Caroline's Design Collaboration With Tensira
With spring showers come May flowers – a time for new growth and transformation. In keeping with the spirit, I'm sharing the exciting news of a brand new collaboration. For years, one of my favorite makers for indoor/outdoor soft furnishings has been Tensira, and for the last year, I have worked with them to design an exclusive line of DIANI bedrolls, cushions and table linens. This has been a true heart and soul endeavor and I’m thrilled to see the collection arrive in store in the next couple of weeks. Here is a little preview of the project and the inspiration behind my designs...
Founded in 2010 by Hamidou Diallo and Tuulia Makinen Diallo, Tensira is based in the Republic of Guinea, West Africa, and combines centuries-old weaving techniques, indigo dyeing processes and Nordic design to create beautiful textiles. Hamidou's mother was an indigo dye artist for more than 40 years and one of the inspirations behind the company. Tensira's core value is to promote sustainable production, respect for people and the environment, and to guarantee a safe and fair workspace for all artisans.
When Tuulia reached out to me with the idea to collaborate, I was really excited and quite honored. I've been enamored with their beautiful stripes and tie dye fabrics, and their business ethos aligns well with what I hold dear. For their part, they were drawn to my interior design aesthetic, especially how I've been styling their collection at the farmhouse in Upstate New York and at our Santa Barbara pad too. So I got to work imagining what this could be, firstly with visual mood boards illustrating the feel and color palette I was going for.
My next step was to design several stripes and tie dyes that could be applied to bedding, lounging cushions and tabletop linens. I decided to draw from my Kenyan roots where the earth has a very specific hue, and also the colors of the farm in New York where the beams and floors are a very rich chestnut, the exterior stone walls a beige limestone, and the patios and garden walls a slate grey.
All the fabrics are 100% cotton and the spinning, weaving and dying is all done by hand in their workshop in Ghana, West Africa using traditional looms. Tensira works with over 100 artisans for weaving and natural dyeing. The team sent me a progress video with a couple of my striped fabrics being cut and sewn (see below)
This project has been such an immersive experience, imagining the world in which I want to create for my customers who share my love of gatherings, easy living, and unpretentious style. I'm excited to see the final collection in store and online and can't wait to share it with you all. I hope you'll love it as much as I do, so stay tuned for the launch!