This artist transforms ink paintings into dreamy, coastal-inspired textiles

This artist transforms ink paintings into dreamy, coastal-inspired textiles

Phoenix-based textile designer Caroline CecilCourtesy of Caroline Cecil

Phoenix-based textile designer Caroline Cecil grew up surrounded by creativity. She was raised in coastal Maine by an entrepreneur father with the help of a grandmother who was a professional watercolor artist. “She had an in-home art studio in her garage with big easels and hundreds of paintbrushes, and a window that overlooked the backyard for inspiration,” she tells Business of Home. “Every time I hold a paintbrush, I hear her voice in my head guiding me.”

Cecil first experimented with paint in her grandmother’s studio, but it wasn’t until she started studying art and design in college that she fell head over heels for textiles. After exploring fiber art while taking classes at Parsons School of Design, she decided to pursue a BFA in textile design at the Maryland College Institute of Art. “I worked for two startups in Silicon Valley after graduation,” she says. “Along with learning a lot about manufacturing, design and operations, it taught me how to build a brand from the ground up—and gave me the confidence to go out on my own.”

This artist transforms ink paintings into dreamy, coastal-inspired textiles

The Measuregraph machine in Cecil’s studio measures and rerolls Bridge fabric (here in Denim/Oyster) by the yard.Courtesy of Caroline Cecil

In 2015, she launched her eponymous fabric, pillow and wallpaper studio. “My goal is to create products for the home that have heart and soul,” she says. “Not just through the design process, but in how they were made and who made them.”

All of Cecil’s designs begin as ink paintings, which she scans into her computer and manipulates into repeat patterns in the brand’s signature earth-toned palette. “All of our fabrics are screen-printed by hand in California onto Belgian and Irish linens from a centuries-old, family-run mill in Ireland,” she explains. “We’re trying to support a community of artisans while producing things sustainably.”

Since launching her inaugural fabric line—which she describes as “a teeny-tiny capsule collection” of four prints in different colorways—the artist has added eight breezy geometric patterns in various earthy hues and a selection of eco-friendly artisanal wallpaper designs. “We’ve also invested in a Measuregraph—a 1,200-pound cast iron machine that measures and rerolls fabric by the yard,” she says.

This artist transforms ink paintings into dreamy, coastal-inspired textiles

A flat lay of fabric samples and swatches from the Caroline Cecil Textiles pillow collection at Interior Define, including (from left, through center) Ada, Naya, Celi and Aya Courtesy of Interior Define

More recently, Cecil collaborated with Interior Define on a collection of throw pillows in her signature minimalist, geometric style. “I was very involved with sourcing and development,” she says. “Our cut-and-sew team brings an incredible level of detail to each and every pillow.”

Cecil attributes much of her success to interior designers, who make up the vast majority of her customer base. “I am so proud that the brand is known by some of the best interior designers in the world, and that they’re returning clients,” says Cecil. “As such, we offer members of the trade 30 percent off retail pricing across all of our collections.”

She is currently hard at work on a fresh collection of fabrics and wallpapers she hopes to launch in the spring of 2022. “I like to come out with collections when we’re feeling inspired and have something to say, rather than because of the time of year,” Cecil explains. “When we launch new collections, we know that those prints will stay in our offerings for years to come, and more importantly, will live on in people’s homes. So I like to sit with patterns in my own home before moving to production to see if they stand the test of time.”

To learn more about Caroline Cecil, visit her website or follow her on Instagram.

Homepage photo: Wallpaper by Caroline Cecil Textiles, clockwise from bottom left: Raja in Grey, Citra in Denim, Ketut in Denim, Raja in Dark Navy, Titik in Dark Navy, Varas in Grey, Ketut in Natural, Citra in Natural, Ketut in Lake, Titik in Black, and Varas in Natural | Courtesy of Caroline Cecil Textiles

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