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by Josh Noel

Chicago – For years, I thought so little about my pillows I couldn’t have told you where I got them. I laid my head on them at night, lifted my head in the morning and forgot about them in between. That’s no longer the case.

Jolie Maison, a Highland Park, Ill., home furnishings store (643 Central Ave.; 847-433-4555), is one of just eight businesses nationally – and the only one north of the Mason-Dixon line – to have the Pillow Bar, a method of pillow buying so deliberately decadent you may well dream all day about going back to sleep.

The Pillow Bar is actually a 7 1/2-foot-high wooden kiosk filled with Hungarian goose down where you can create custom, handmade pillows while you wait. Included in the somewhat expensive process is monogramming on your new sleep buddy and the insertion of a lightly aromatic sachet (either “martini dreams” or “French lavender”).

A Jolie Maison employee trained to use the Pillow Bar – basically by holding the pillow fabric to a chute that spits out the swirling down – crafts your pillow based on your preference for firmness or softness. The entire process takes about 15 minutes.

“This gets back to a more personal touch that’s been lost, something other than what’s made on the assembly line,” said Jolie Maison owner Leslie Spitzer-Blesius.

The best part: The pillows are tailored to the type of sleeper you are. Stomach and back sleepers both get standard-looking pillows, but the density of the fill is different. Side sleepers get the most interesting pillow – a boomerang-shaped model designed by Dallas chiropractor Mary Collings, whose celebrity clients include actors, musicians and professional athletes. How densely it is filled depends on the height of the sleeper.

Merrimac Dillon, 49, of Dallas created the kiosk for a simple reason: “I couldn’t find a pillow I liked.”

“I had a hard time believing you could have so many things custom made, but when it comes to where you spend a third of your life, it comes down to soft, medium and hard,” Dillon said.

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