Wind & Willow Home’s Araya Jensen quips on her website that her name is pronounced as “a ray of sunshine.” Her hand-dipped wood bowls and home accessories undoubtedly shine as a bright spot in the domestic landscape. Jensen marries custom-mixed colors of synthetic rubber with unfinished wood for a neo-natural style that brings a pop of happiness to tables and rooms everywhere.
Although launched just one year ago, her DIPPED product line has already been featured in many publications and blogs, including Real Simple Magazine, Food Network Magazine, SF Girl by the Bay, and Apartment Therapy.
You have a background in interior design. How does your design work inform your Wind & Willow Home DIPPED line of housewares?
I have a degree in interior design and over 12 years focused in kitchen and bath design. I have a soft spot for the kitchen and its wares, but I think more deeply it has influenced the very important correlation that function comes before form. My items must be beautiful but first must have a use (or multiple uses). Function is the most important part of what I do and is how I decide on new product.
With that said, secondly and maybe most obvious is the colors. I have always loved color. Mixing custom colors and dreaming up seasonal collections is one of the most exciting parts of what I do.
What kind of wood are your products made from?
My products are made of many different species of wood — beech, maple, cherry, and walnut, as of now. I really love working with the woods as the grain patterns and colors are each so unique.
How did you get started working with synthetic rubber as a medium?
I started out by making some spoons. I wanted them to be colorful and interesting but I thought paint was too simple. I wanted something that would not only enhance the look but also the function. I found a product that would enhance the grip and the comfort of the spoons and I could make custom colors, too. From then on I was hooked — the perfect combination of beauty and function.
What is the best care method for Wind & Willow Home DIPPED housewares?
Like all wooden tools and utensils, they should be hand washed with non-abrasive materials (dishwasher not recommended for wood products). I suggest seasoning them with a food-safe mineral oil before first use and when the wood looks dry to avoid cracking. All in all, if you take care of them they should last a lifetime (think of your grandmother’s wooden spoons).
What colors do you see as leading influences for housewares and interiors this spring and summer?
I think the neon colors will continue to hold strong — neon pink, yellow and orange. I see this spring and summer as being brighter than in the past. My spring line of colors comes out March 1st and it is much brighter than last spring. Bright corals and greens are so great with muted greys and chalky whites.