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Sarita Krishnamurthy is not afraid of color. And even though many of her clients hire her to update their kitchens or bathrooms because of her penchant for vibrant hues and bold patterns, “sometimes it’s a challenge because I have to temper it,” says the owner of Denver’s In.De Interior Architecture and Design.
But back in 2014, as Krishnamurthy strolled through a textile shop in India with her mother, she didn’t hold back. “I saw these candy-colored fabrics, and they were so beautiful,” the designer recalls. “I was really inspired by them.” She bought a few yards of each of her favorite silks, brought them back to Denver, and had them made into throw pillows—a low-investment, nonpermanent way, she figured, for her clients and website customers to add pops of hot pink, electric orange, and shimmering chartreuse into their homes.
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Since then, Krishnamurthy has made more trips back to South Asia, which have yielded new pillow collections. For one, she worked with Indian artisans to make custom block-printed designs; another features jute, a textile fiber made from a plant that thrives in tropical climates like India’s; yet another line employs embroidered vintage fabrics. Each run is limited, so when all the pillows are sold (directly to her clients or via her website and Etsy shop), they’re gone for good. “You’re getting something that not everybody can go to West Elm and pick up,” Krishnamurthy says.
Another reason to feel good about investing in one of these pillows, which are priced from $155? A portion of each sale goes to Shadhika, a Denver-based organization that educates and empowers young women in India. “The pillows are a way that I can use my design skills, but they also tie back to my culture, my heritage,” says Krishnamurthy, whose parents grew up in Mumbai and immigrated to the United States in the 1960s. “India has always been a big part of my personal life. It’s been such an experience to have it be part of my professional life, as well.”
Stay Tuned: This fall, Krishnamurthy will return to India to source fabric for a new pillow collection inspired by the religious celebration Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights.