A Kilim Pillow Primer

A few years ago, I stopped by a friend's home to check out his new space. It exuded a woodsy masculinity that was immediately appealing without resorting to any of the usual cliches. A heady mix of textures, it was punctuated with pillows in intoxicating shades and patterns. I sought them out everywhere, finally finding a stash in a small store in Santa Barbara. Now, kilim pillows are everywhere, but that makes them no less appealing. Get some inspiration from our house tours and find some tips on how to use them in your home...

Here are a few things to consider when looking for kilim pillows:


  • Back and stuffing: Made from old rugs, these are not the softest of pillows, so consider what they are backed and stuffed with if you're also looking for a bit of comfort with your touch of style. Washed denim and silk velvet back the best of my stash and are worth paying a few dollars extra for. So too are down inserts.
  • Size: Kilim pillows come in many different sizes, though I'd suggest going no smaller than 16" x 16" for a pillow that will work in either a comfortable grouping or thrown onto a chair.
  • Pattern and color: The range is infinite, from geometric patterns in spice colors to washed out shades of cream and brown. If you're planning on putting a few together in a grouping, find a common link between them, whether color or shape, but don't be afraid to throw in something a little "off" just because you love it!
  • Where to find them: Ebay and Etsy are great sources for unusual and unique one-offs. But you can also find them at Pottery Barn, Overstock and Amazon. Handy? Make one yourself (or have your upholsterer make one for you) from old rugs. Make sure to have them throughly cleaned before turning them into pillows. Rugs that are too worn for floor use are especially good choices, since they may be found for a significantly lower price.

(Images: 1. Adrienne Breaux from Kyle & Ashley's Personality Packed Home; 2. Adrienne Breaux from Sam & Anne's Colorful Modern Mix; 3. Marcia Prentice from Lindsay's Indoor/Outdoor Home in the San Rafael Hills; 4. Marcia Prentice from Adir & Marcello's Worldly Retreat)

7 Comments