Designer Files: Pillow Talk

Screen Shot 2016-01-05 at 11.11.17 AM As a designer, I have spent years collecting fabulous treasures; it’s an insatiable habit of stacking up on those “I love it. I can’t use this right now, per se, but it’s so amazing and I just KNOW I’ll need it one day” pieces that somehow make it into my home, or at least tucked stylishly away in my storage.

I have largely justified this ‘designer hoarding’ as all in the line of duty. In reality, a ‘workplace hazard’ is a more accurate description.

I have just moved for the third time in as many years, and this was the move that made it all clear – I need to purge. I rounded up one of my closest industry comrades and, over a bottle of bubbly (or two), we sorted through the piles and bags of stellar finds that have made their way into my abode over the years. It’s funny what happens when you gather all your treasures together and actually assess what you have – your purchasing tendencies become glaringly obvious as you see multiples of the same thing all piled up together. It turns out I have a few weaknesses: As we rummaged through and weeded out what decor items I simply don’t need, I have never seen so many bags of glossy magazines and throw pillows get packed up!

The latter is the thing that really struck me.

Designers repeatedly take on the battle of the decorative pillow within homes, always on the side of ‘there can never be too many.’

With this last move, I realized that there is a massively important caveat to that statement: There can never be too many unique, interesting and beautiful throw pillows.

I packed up countless grey or otherwise neutral throws that I had purchased as ‘staple’ pieces that every room needs. However, when it came down to choosing which items to keep and which to purge, none of the basic pillows made the cut. The ones I couldn’t let go of were one-offs or somehow noteworthy decor pieces that made a statement and added to the overall design of the room.

This got me on the hunt for local resources for cool textiles to fill the void left behind by the realization that plain pillows simply won’t do.

Many of our Vancouver shops carry fun options, but I began to refine my search for pieces that you won’t see in every magazine or trendy home; I wanted to find pillows that are produced in small runs and offer a sense of uniqueness and personal story. This hunt led me to the jackpot: Ebi Emporium.

Ebi Emporium is a Vancouver-based studio for fine art inspired accessories for home and fashion. Owner and creator Julia Di Sano is an artist with a passion for painting, and has found a niche by transferring her art onto accessory items to create unique decor pieces, jewelry and gifts. Offering everything from canvas paintings to bracelets to smartphone cases, what I particularly love about Ebi Emporium is the fabulous range of textiles. As I perused the online gallery, I was beautifully overwhelmed by literally hundreds of stunning pillows, each one up to the task of making a bold statement in any room.

This was it - the resource I had been searching for. I found a colour scheme for every space, and a work of art for every style of home. From watercolour to abstract to typographic quips, the pillows are canvases for Julia’s art, and as such, evoke feeling and emotion as any other art piece would. Even more fabulous: Each piece is hand sewn and ethically made in Canada.

Suddenly any lingering thoughts of my packed up plain pillows were obliterated, leaving me with a revived belief in the designer mantra that ‘there can never be too many’... As long as they’re from Ebi Emporium, that is!

Online coveting and shopping, as well as retailer information, is available at