Pillows made of grain sacks
- The San Francisco Chronicle, 01/10/2009

It's a complicated world, and sometimes you just crave the basics: No more Twitter. No more cell phone. Just the sun on your face and dirt under your nails. A simpler life.

Don't quit your day job yet, city slicker. A little fact checking reveals that you've never won a round of Name That Vegetable. And sure, you think nature's great - but the moment it's skittering around your apartment, you've got the exterminator on the line.

The "simple" life may be too tough for you. But infusing your home with a little countryside chic? Now that you can do.

Go for the grain sack - pillow, that is.

L'Aviva Home, an online home design store stocked with goods from Asia, South America and Africa, was founded by former Travel + Leisure creative director Laura Aviva in 2007. Among her eclectic wares are hemp-linen pillows whose cases were made from vintage grain sacks handwoven in Europe. Simple blue stripes lend a pleasing delicacy to an otherwise rough, rustic fabric. Each 16-by-26-inch pillow retails for $145, and comes with a down pillow insert, which can be removed through the cover's envelope-style back (laviva-home.com).

Another option is the French Grain Sack Pillow Cover for $52 from Ballard Designs, a home furnishing catalog started in 1983 by Atlanta socialite Helen Ballard Weeks. The linen-and-cotton-blend cover is hand-sewn in the United States and intended to mimic the charming crudeness of genuine grain sack fabric. The pillow insert for the 12-by-20-inch cover can be purchased separately for $10.

$145 L'Aviva Home hemp-linen pillow  

$62 Ballard Designs French grain grain sack insert and pillow