A Guide to Styling with Unique Pillows from Around the World

A shelfie full of intricately embroidered pillows from India made from vintage Gujarati textiles mixed in with Mongolian fleece and Uzbek silk ikat

One thing, without fail, that we help with every single day at TDL is pillows. Groupings for sofas, a fresh pile for a daybed or bench, a bedding overhaul for the master or a guest room - use this pillow styling guide as inspiration for a fresh, new look in your home! 

Me in India digging through bajillions of piles of vintage Gujarati and Rajasthani textiles for treasures to make into pillows

We spend endless hours on each of our buying trips to India, Morocco, Turkey, and Indonesia digging through dusty piles of old rugs, tribal skirts, vintage yurt wall hangings and all sorts of other oddities to find the perfect unusual pieces to make pillows for the store. 

One of my favorite vignettes from this last year with a vintage sofa and chair bought at auction in Istanbul with a mix of vintage Turkish kilim pillows.  Even though this is all quite wild and colorful, the drama is restrained a bit by the deep green, velvet solid pillows, that pull in the verdant plants, and green pottery.  
Discussing kilims - what to cut and turn into pillows, and what to leave intact. We always look for pieces with great age and color, but that may have issues - we cut around holes and wear to show off the best of what these vintage pieces have left to show the world.  We don't shop for the cheapest things to cut - we look for flawed beauties that we probably wouldn't be able to afford if they were perfect!


A pile of ikat, suzani, kilim and more - it's all in the mix!

Here a restrained palate with solids and neutrals lets the one vintage, stand-out pillow shine - a lovely cicim from central Turkey with the fringe left on.  The mix of soft velvets and a faux cheetah mixes well with the complex weave and pattern of this one kilim pillow.  


Another subtle room that still manages to push the idea of neutral to a more exciting place.  Here a vintage suzani from Uzbekistan brings in golds and blush tones, while terracotta solids and a creamy handira and a pompom pillow from Chiapas add in texture and fun.

Above and below is the same sprawling soft green sectional we sell at the shop from Norwalk - one of our favorite made in the US sofa manufacturers - its a 100 year old company!  You can see how I styled it at home above - that's my doggo Poppy.  It has a mix of all sorts of my favorites, silk ikat, Gujarati embroidery, kilim from Turkey and Morocco, even some Mali mudcloth - it is a wild assortment of color and texture.  Below is a shot of the same sofa in the store - with a more traditional take.  We have solid terracotta pillows mixed with a long cheetah lumbar, and some floral Moldov kilim beauties.  This look, while more restrained, is still interesting and conversation starting.  The cart coffee table and pair of striking leather stools helps too!

We love to mix textures and colors - here fluffy fleece in greige provides balance to the vintage Moroccan kilim pillows.  

Beyond this pillow styling guide, we are also available at TDL to help put together a fresh pillow combination for your sofa or bed. Come on in and see the hundreds of choices we have in the shop, or take a peek online - lots of beauties to pick from!  Email, call or DM if you'd like us to style some combinations and send photos or videos too!  

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