When you yearn for a little comfort or a nest of calm in your life, where can you turn? How about pillows? Plump, plush, soft and resilient, pillows are the adult version of a child’s security blanket.

When you yearn for a little comfort or a nest of calm in your life, where can you turn?
How about pillows? Plump, plush, soft and resilient, pillows are the adult version of a child’s security blanket.
“Pillows are so sexy and huggable,” says Nima Oberoi, owner of Lunares, a San Francisco design studio.
Ah, pillow talk. This is the season for it. For a few dollars – or a few hundred dollars, if the budget will bear it – you can change your décor, bring individuality to mass-produced furniture and cuddle up in great style.
If you prefer a homey setting, look for pillows made from chenille, the high-pile fabric your grandmother used for a bedspread.
“[Chenille is] tied to our desire to be warm and safe,” says Vyvyan Lynn, a pillow designer. “Chenille is like wrapping your arms around yesterday.”
Lynn likes chenille for its feel. “It’s soft, like velvet,” she says.
If chenille isn’t cozy enough, how about cashmere or mohair? Oberoi is excited about Australian mohair, which she uses in pillows and bolsters. “You look at a pillow and want to hug it,” she says.
Fabrics from the ‘60s and ‘70s are returning, sometimes for the better. For example, Kathleen Chan, a San Francisco interior designer, sees interest in faux fur.
“It works, but people either do or do not like it,” says Chan.
The mirror-accented bedspreads that were the height of dorm-room chic in the ‘60s are back in pillow form now, says Lynn. They’re not quite snuggle-up material, but the look has a two-fold appeal: It’s retro and faintly exotic for the younger set, while baby boomers find it nostalgic.
Twenty years ago silk was too pricey and too hard to clean to use as a pillow fabric. Price, at least, is changing.
“Many buyers from the U.S. hadn’t gone afield for textiles before. Now they’re finding beautifully designed textiles and the prices are moderate,” says Nancy Wilson with Arhaus, a company that manufactures and sells home furnishings and accessories.
“Silk is an everyday fabric in China. It’s extremely strong and extremely light weight,” Wilson says.