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Lavender-scented designer pillows offer several homeopathic benefits

By Staff | Jan 31, 2011

Now residing in Montana, former Naples art gallery owner Darlene Cecil creates one-of-a-kind lavender-filled designer pillows, which will be sold at Norris Home Furnishings on Feb. 12.

After making the move from Southwest Florida to a five-acre property in northwest Montana, the biggest challenge Darlene Cecil may have faced at the time was planting something in her yard that the native deer wouldn’t eat.

After a bit of investigation, she discovered that lavender would do the trick.

“The lavender grew really well,” said Cecil, a former Naples ad agency and art gallery owner. “At the end of the season, I had collected a bunch of it to dry, but I just had so much of it that I needed to do something with it.”

As Christmas of 2009 approached, Cecil began to put together a few lavender-scented pillows, which she would eventually give away to her family and friends as holiday gifts. But within a short time, those family and friends inquired about getting more of Cecil-‘s hand-crafted and heavenly aromatic pillows so that they, too, could share them with their loved ones.

And Pillow Talk was born.

Imported Italian fabrics, exotic earth stones and jewels from around the world are combined by Cecil with a mixture of French lavender buds.

“I had been looking for something distinctive to create,” she said. “It’s a unique art form, combining jewels and textile fabrics.”

Cecil, whose business of creating one-of-a-kind lavender-filled designer pillows has skyrocketed in the years since, will attend a trunk show at the new Norris Home Furnishings showroom on Sanibel next Saturday, Feb. 12 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Each pillow is hand jeweled on the front and back, featuring semi-precious gems such as Amethyst and Tiger’s Eye or exotic cut earth stones such as Brazilian Agate and Madagascar Jasper. The decorative pillows are then packaged in a matching organza bag to provide an elegant finishing touch.

“The scent will last for years, too, “ said Cecil, who now imports fragrant French lavender buds since her artistic venture took off. “I never would have imagined this happening.”

Cecil, who hopes to bring with her 60 to 70 pieces for the Sanibel trunk show, will be unveiling a new line of pillows featuring tapestries, embroidered silks and chenille fabrics imported from Italy, Belgium and England. She has also designed a series of seashore pillows that will be available only during her visit to the island.

A number of pillows from Cecil's "Seashore" line will be brought to Sanibel for next week's trunk show.

“The ‘Seashore’ line has a very tropical theme to it, which is perfect for folks living on Sanibel,” she added. “And no two pillows are alike — each is a one-of-a-kind.”

According to Cecil, lavender has been used extensively with herbs and offers many homeopathic benefits, including relaxation. Studies have shown that using lavender helps patients get more restful sleep, and essential oil of lavender has both antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.

These unique, handmade pillows are sold exclusively in fine boutiques and interior design showrooms. Norris Home Furnishings on Sanibel and in Fort Myers are the exclusive locations for Pillow Talk in Florida.

“The pillows are doing great in our new showrooms and customers are buying them for home accents as well as for gifts,” said Renee Norris, co-owner of Norris Home Furnishings. “They are beautiful as a decorative touch in a bedroom or living room and the subtle lavender scent is extremely popular.”

Norris Home Furnishings’ Island Interiors showroom is located at 1025 Periwinkle Way on Sanibel. Their phone number is 239-579-0412.