au courant size for decorative pillows

bbstxJuly 29, 2014

I know that 18" throw/toss/decorative pillows are passee. What size pillows are all the cool kids using on their sofas?

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nosoccermom

24" x 24"?

But the really cool kids go metric, so 50cm x 50cm (19.6")

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 2:57PM
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bbstx

I'm afraid I'll never be metrically cool.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 3:36PM
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theclose

Mine are 20". I think it also depends on the height of the sofa back - you don't want the pillows to be too tall, IMO.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 3:58PM
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violetwest

wouldn't it depend on the size of the sofa and the scale of the room? And possibly on the scale of prints used --

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 4:06PM
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Linelle

What the hell?!! Now pillow size is a thing?

I just had to get out my tape measure. Several of mine are 16" so I guess I'm sorta cool. Unfortunately I still have four that came with the boring sofa and love seat and, wouldn't you just know, they're 18".

I'm just gonna go kill myself.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 4:56PM
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bbstx

My chesterfield sofa back is 22" from the seat. Somewhere recently (and, of course, I can't find the picture now) I saw a chesterfield like mine with a pillow in each corner that had to be 36" square (that's hyperbole, folks). When I find the picture, I'll post it.

I knew I had read that pillows should be 20" or 22" or 24", but I couldn't remember which, and I knew you cool kids would let me sit at your table long enough to ask just this one question.

I also just saw a photo of a house done by Tobi Fairley and every pillow was karate chopped! Every pillow! Gave me the heebie jeebies.

another room in the same house:

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 5:16PM
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sixtyohno

Whatever makes you happy!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 5:26PM
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teacats

One long long pillow -- triangular maybe -- so it sits nicely on the sofa ?

Here is a link that might be useful: Pinterest -- pinned photo with one long pillow on sofa

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 5:41PM
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palimpsest

I think these are poised for a comeback.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 6:09PM
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luckygal

Being concerned about size of pillows is passe and karate chopped pillows have been out for ages.

Trying to keep up with the cool kids has always been out. Don't follow the trends, set them, or just ignore and do what makes you happy.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 6:11PM
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Linelle

Pal, I used to have one of those in mauve on my bed as a teenager.

Those karate chop pillows are just begging for a cat's face.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 6:25PM
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kswl2

"I think these are poised for a comeback."
Gosh, I hope not!

Our ID says generally 20", and further says there should be at most three pillows on a sofa, two alike and one different in style and fabric. And no pillow should be the sofa fabric. And you have to toss out the "toss pillows" that come with the sofa. (I donated mine!)

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 6:27PM
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zuponcic

Thank you, Linelle!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 7:20PM
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flowerpwr45

"I think these are poised for a comeback."

Maybe they have never been really gone.

Here is a link that might be useful: love them!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 7:28PM
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mtnrdredux_gw

No pillows that have to be removed to sit down. Some of those images above only accommodate size 2 tushies.

I have never been mistaken for cool, but my new sofa has one long pillow.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 7:40PM
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Linelle

Not only do I have four 18" pillows, they are the SAME color and fabric as the sofa + loveseat. I can't even bear to look at them now. Plus sofa + loveseat in the same room, next to each other, matching.

vedazu, you're welcome. :)

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 7:49PM
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palimpsest

One of the factors in determining pillow size is cutting it out of standard widths of fabric with minimum waste.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 8:06PM
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edie_thiel

I had the same reaction as linelle. LOL! Personally, I'm going to use the throw pillow size that is comfortable to lie on when I'm watching TV. End. of. story.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 8:23PM
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bbstx

Totally agree, mtn. I never quite know what to do when I visit someone's home and there are so many pillows on the sofa, all I can do is perch on the edge.

A very savvy ID friend of mine says needlepoint is on its way back. He hasn't mentioned smocking, Pal. I'll have to let him know he is behind on trends!

Thanks, kwsl, for the guidelines. Now, I know now exactly how uncool I am -- down to the inch.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 8:53PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

If I had to pick the current cool style it would be long pillows ( I have a decorative one on my bed that is 4' long) and also rectangular lumbar looking pillows. However, you can't throw one long pillow on the floor as easily as a square, and all my guests are quite comfortable discarding excess pillows on the sofa.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 9:15PM
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kswl2

Lol, bbstx! I would not have known these vital rules had ID not cast the "self pillows" away so forcefully. From their perspective, why use free pillows when you can have others made for $300 a pop? I do have to admit I like the bigger pillows though, the small ones that come with the sofa look like doll pillows!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 9:22PM
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chispa

Kswl, IDs don't usually make rules that save the customer money!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 1:02AM
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peony4

Throw pillows are my nemesis. On the one hand, the only useful one I've come across is the one my grandmother used for lumbar support while driving her car. (Yes, she kept a lovely peachy one in her vehicle--it coordinated with the leather interior.) Otherwise, I despise sitting on sofas that have throw pillows... I've never been comfortable on any sofa that has them. If I need a throw pillow to be comfortable on a sofa or chair, I've bought the wrong sofa or chair.

On the other hand, they are often the prettiest way to add texture and color and sometimes a much-needed change to a room. They get me every time.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 1:27AM
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bbstx

Right on, peony! (Oh, wait. The cool kids don't say that any more, do they?) I chose my new sofa to be comfortable for me, and it is -- without pillows. However, I have at least 2 friends who are quite short and always need pillows to their backs to be comfortable.

Plus, I desperately need texture and color. And that will be another thread for another day...

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 9:54AM
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ILoveRed

We are at our lake house now. House might be stretching the truth ;-) And this is the only decorative pillow I have. Kohls 12" Unknown fabric. Dh has claimed it for his recliner. No one touches it.

It is not "in"...but then neither is my really old, really out of date lake house. So it works with the decor.

I'm not spending a dime on this place.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 10:47AM
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kswl2

In for a penny.........our pillows except ones with a flange or decorative tassels or fringe around the outside edge......are karate chopped, although not to the extent in the picture. I have done that for years, what is wrong about it?

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 11:04AM
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bbstx

oh, kwsl, you're going to have to move from the cool kids table! That's ok. You can sit at the table with me over by the tray return station. :-)

I thought there was a thread on karate-chopped pillows on GW recently, but I can't find it now. However, in searching for it using Google, I came across many other comments on karate-chopped pillows. The consensus seems to be that it looks contrived and uninviting when done to the extreme. One designer suggested a "punch in the middle and a light tap on the top" to make the pillows look plumped and inviting.

An Apartment Therapy article said it looked "too precise and static." The author used this photo for illustration (which also illustrates mtn's comment on too many pillows to sit down)

As with most things, I think it is a matter of moderation. I probably wouldn't want it to look like my son practiced his tae kwon do on the sofa pillows.

This post was edited by bbstx on Wed, Jul 30, 14 at 11:55

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 11:25AM
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rgps

So glad I'll be hep with my needlepoint pillows and they are big too. Here's a NP I did years ago that I'll be making into a bigass pillow for the soon to be hearth window seats in the polyester octagon squirrel pants house.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 11:44AM
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rgps

Can I do an up and down pillow or is that too hep and cool?

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 11:52AM
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bbstx

rgps, those are beautiful pieces of needle work! What are the dimensions on the second piece? Is that petit point?

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 12:01PM
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rgps

23"x16". On #14 canvas so not petite point quite but sure took forever. It is a Beth russell kit based on a William Morris tapestry. I love needlepoint and will do more in my dotage but makeup my own designs from now on (not that I can improve on wm morris). I did a lot in the 1970s and always did my own designs.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 12:18PM
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teacats

rgps -- Your NP pillows are works of art!!! You are so talented -- those pillows are treasures! :)

Wow!!!! :)

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 12:53PM
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zuponcic

We have to assume that a good, deep sofa needs to fit all sizes of tushies...size 0 to XXXL. I almost always need a pillow when I'm sitting with my computer on the sofa, otherwise I'm tilted back too far. There ARE times when you don't want to sprawl all over the thing, you know. Need the pillow? It is there. Don't need it? move it over.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 1:59PM
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palimpsest

I think this is where we are headed. This is NYC so they can't be wrong:

This post was edited by palimpsest on Wed, Jul 30, 14 at 14:07

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 2:05PM
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gyr_falcon

Thank you for keeping me updated on the trends--they change so quickly I am beginning to have trouble avoiding cool things. ;)

Beautiful needlepoint works of art, rgps. In any size!

Fun art, palimpsest. I keep thinking it would be most appropriate for an airport--exhausted travelers' dream pillows.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 3:47PM
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sjhockeyfan325

I figure if Room & Board or Crate & Barrel sells it, it can't be too 'out of date' style-wise. I recently bought some pillows at one (and more at Horchow) and looked at some at the other, and they ranged from 18x18 to 20x20 and 24x24, and they're all "just right" for my sectional and chairs. So there :-)

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 3:59PM
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tinam61

I really don't try to keep up with the "cool things". I mean, I don't want to look out-dated, but there is a new cool thing every day. Some I like, some I don't. Some look good in my home, some don't Thankfully, we have decorated in a traditional/cottage/vintage style so alot of the "cool" items don't work in our decor.

I like the long pillows, but I can't think of a single home I've been in recently that use them. You have to think about your sofa. Those pillows don't look right with every sofa. I think the thing about size is many people have used pillows that look too small on a sofa. While I don't have much use for a personal ID, I do follow several decorating blogs and magazines. I have seen pointed out more than once, LARGER PILLOWS. I have four pillows on our great room sofa. I will openly admit, those pillows are mainly for looks - for color and texture. I love pillows, actually I love FABRIC so I have many pillows. People who come into our home know they are welcome to toss the pillows out of their way, or use them either one. I have many pillow covers and change out pillow as I feel like it. One of the easiest ways to freshen up a room. I don't have any that are so fancy I would worry about it getting tossed on the floor - that's not the way we roll around here.

I believe the two larger pillows on that sofa are 20 inch with two 18 inch pillows also on there. While I do not like pillows that come on a sofa, the two larger pillows on that sofa are covered in a neutral (sofa is neutral also) patterned fabric that also covers a chair in the room. The front two pillows are the ones that I change out and bring in color. I only use feather inserts and use one size larger than the pillow cover. I can't stand a skimpy, flat pillow. So a 20 inch pillow has a 22 inch insert, etc. I do not "chop" my pillows but in plumping a down/feather pillow, the top does somewhat settle - kind of curves down but not chopped.

On the office loveseat, there is a large grainsack pillow - I have to use a king size feather pillow in it. It's toward one corner of the LS, then a throw is on the other side. On the loveseat in the sunroom - I have two pillows - one in each corner. I am one who does not like the look of a pillow in the center of a sofa/LS (unless it is one of the long pillows). Sometimes I may have two pillows on one side - only one on the other or two pillows to one side - a throw on the other, etc. As I said, I love pillows!! The handmade pillows above are beautiful!

Pal - the pillow you showed (the small round one), within the past year I saw those at Steinmart - in lush colors and the fabric was velvet. I almost bought a couple of the turquoise ones! I can see a pic in my mind - not sure what blog I've seen it on - but they used a larger square pillow with one of those you showed on the end of a sofa. I do remember when my grandmother had some of those she used as decorative touches on a bed. LOL

And there you have my version of Pillows 101!

tina

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 4:16PM
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sjhockeyfan325

I can't stand a skimpy, flat pillow. So a 20 inch pillow has a 22 inch insert, etc.

I was just thinking of changing out the inserts on my pillows for this very reason.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 6:17PM
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Holly- Kay

RGPS, your needlework pillows are stunning. I think I am going to have to look for kits and do some for my lr!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 6:41PM
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rgps

Holly-Kay, be careful, very addicting.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 9:48PM
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outsideplaying_gw

I have been diligently looking for new pillows lately, especially in the 20-23" square size. It seems like everything I find that I like is an 18x18. So far I've trolled Joss & Main and Wayfair and a little on Etsy although it's almost overwhelming. Any other suggestions?

RGPS, I love your needlework pillows. I only did a little needlepoint once upon a time, but nothing on that grand of a scale. Did some cross-stitch pillows but mostly some small stuff and a lot of that was as gifts.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 2:40PM
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sjhockeyfan325

I just got some pillows from Horchow online that were bigger than 18x18.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 2:51PM
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peony4

Outsideplaying, IKEA has pillow inserts in 20x20 and 26x26. I have a set, and I switch out the covers with the seasons. I don't care for IKEA's current selection of covers, but have used the inserts with covers I find elsewhere.

Here is a link that might be useful: IKEA pillow inserts

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 3:00PM
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bbstx

RGPS, I've been thinking about your Wm Morris style piece. What did you have in mind when you purchased the canvas?

Could you put panels of an elegant solid fabric (maybe velvet) in a color similar to the background on either side to make it a square, then turn the square into a large pillow?

Or inset it into the back of a chair? Perhaps an Eastlake chair similar to this (maybe without the silver paint)?

Traditional Armchairs by Columbus Interior Designers & Decorators reStyled by Valerie

It is a beautiful piece. I'm sure someone smarter than I could figure out how to put it to its best use.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 3:18PM
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outsideplaying_gw

Thanks sj and Peony! I'll check out those places. I may end up making some and getting inserts the size I need. I like to change up the pillows now and then anyway.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 3:42PM
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rgps

Bbxt-I never have anything in mind when I buy stuff. I just buy stuff I can't live without and eventually uses become self evident. Both your suggestions are ones I will kick around. Had an east lake chair just like that but DH hated it and it was the most uncomfortable chair of all time so out it went. I, of course loved it.

Outside, making your own pillows is a total PIA but I love doing them because you get just what you want ,the size you want.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 4:18PM
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evenshade

I browse a lot on this forum and really enjoy seeing the photos and hearing others' ideas. But, I have to say that pillows are my pet peeve. Go back and look at the photos of pillows on seating areas and ask yourself where will the people sit? There's nothing as disconcerting as being asked to sit when there's no place to sit. :)

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 6:05PM
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