Curating really good vintage furniture is literally Tenlie Mourning’s day job. As CEO and founder of Dendwell, a digital source for creative inspiration and shoppable picks curated by vintage furniture pros, the hunt is her bread and butter. She describes dedicating the last few years of her life to learning about vintage furniture and connecting with the vintage seller community as “a real thrill in my world.” Dendwell specializes in objects imbibed with meaning, each with an origin story of its own.
Some origin stories are born out of necessity. “I knew when we moved into our apartment that we would need a long, thin table,” Tenlie recalls. The dining room’s natural angle gave the gathering space a transient feel. Plus, it created the opportunity for a sizable table. Shopping for a table that would fit ten people was what she calls “very serious and adult.” Inspired by postmodernism and grounded by a sense of usability, Tenlie set out to find a table and chairs setup that felt the perfect stage for dinner parties to come.
When and Where?
Like many great furniture love stories in New York, Tenlie’s started on Craigslist. Located in Park Slope, which is a bit of a hike from her Harlem apartment, she took matters into her own hands by renting a removal service and driving down for a solo pickup. “It was a total New York moment for me and the seller to be lugging this huge table down the steps of their brownstone and into the truck,” she says. Two years later, the table could use a new laminate wrap, but it’s still a treasured piece in the founder’s home.
“As a person highly subject to changing their mind and tastes, I truly have to love a piece before bringing it into my home,” she explains. “It has to strike a nerve inside of me and inspire absolute clarity that this is the piece.” At the core of Dendwell’s ethos, there’s a shared conviction that the items we bring into our homes tell stories about how we hope to live.