To Chop or Not to Chop…

Wednesday, April 29, 2009 | Category: Decorating

I want to know your answer to the age old decorating question…to chop or not to chop? What on earth am I talking about, you ask? Karate chopped pillows! Do you love? Do you hate?

Examples of “The Chop:”

{image from Mrs. Howard Personal Shopper}

Phoebe Howard does it…

{image from Mrs. Howard Personal Shopper}

{image from Simple Style}

You often see karate chopped pillows on pillow-back sofas (see above).

Palmer Weiss did it.

Renea Abbot of Shabby Slips chops.

{Elle Decor May 2007}

This living room has long been a favorite, and the pillows are indeed, chopped.

Pillows, Sans Chop:

I’ve always loved the headboard in this Domino bedroom,but I just noticed that the pillows lay pretty flat.

This photo from the Dovecote website shows a pillow-back sofa with no chopped pillows.

{photo from La Dolce Vita}

These pillows just gracefully lay softly on the sofa…no chop necessary.

{Ms. Howard Personal Shopper}

The gals at Mrs. Howard switch it up on this bed, and goes no chop.

{Gary Spain via So Haute}

“Subtle Chop”:

{Photo from La Dolce Vita}

I decided to take a third category for the pillows that are just barely karate-d…it looks like the chopper showed a little restraint to the chop-ee.

{via Habitually Chic}

In the San Fransisco store, Sarlo, the pillows are moderately violated.

{via Porchlight Interiors}

A side chop! Interesting!

Ahhh, one of my favorite living rooms ever by Gerrie Bremmerman. The pillows are simple, but the color really makes a statement.

{photo from Blueprint Bliss}

You must check out Fran Keenan’s entire house as seen in the late Cottage Living, but the pillows on her sofa have just a hint of chop.

So do you have a strong opinion on this “hot topic?” C’mon, I wanna hear it!

Be Sociable, Share!

28 Comments to 'To Chop or Not to Chop…'

Megan 29 Apr 09 at 7:38 pm

Totally no chop! Although – my cats like to lay on top of the pillows, so they usually look like they got the chop! Loved all the pillows!

Michele 29 Apr 09 at 7:58 pm

I like the chop…it gives the illusion that someone actually was on the couch or bed and gave the pillow a little whack as they got up!

Anonymous 29 Apr 09 at 8:11 pm

licking my chops at the creativity of MaterialGirl posts?

Luke and Hailie Girl 29 Apr 09 at 8:21 pm

Do away with the chop!

Anonymous 29 Apr 09 at 8:43 pm

Chopping is neither right nor wrong. At times we feel like a chop, at times we don’t. Deciding that it is “out” is just as silly as deciding it is “in”. Ginny

Caroline 29 Apr 09 at 8:52 pm

I would go with no chop, I think it gives the design a more clean look.

Anonymous 29 Apr 09 at 10:05 pm

Wasn’t the “chop” really big in the 80’s?? Think the movie Wall Street… maybe the chop is back because the 80’s are back. I’m not too crazy about them though!

Beth 29 Apr 09 at 10:13 pm

Too funny…I think it depends on the mood you’re in, and the pillow. I almost always “chop” my oversized velvet pillows on my sofa, but usually don’t chop any of the pillows on my bed.

Blushing hostess 29 Apr 09 at 10:31 pm

So far I am a no chop, but we’ll see, I’m still young!

bandelle 29 Apr 09 at 11:04 pm

Hahaha…I LOVE this post. I never thought of fluffing the pillows as chopping but it makes perfect sense. I chop some pillows to make them easier to stand upright but others require no chopping and lay there beautifully. Overall, I’m more of a non-chopper.


La Maison Fou 29 Apr 09 at 11:16 pm

The last time I did a post on this topic, most designers say ….
NO CHOP… I agree, if any the most subtle of chops!

Liz Reese. Coach Avenue Interiors 29 Apr 09 at 11:42 pm

I’m a chopper… and a flopper. I think the chop gives it a fuller, more comfortable look. Better for flopping on.

julia b. edelmann 30 Apr 09 at 2:35 am

I recently installed a master bedroom makeover and although the clients LOVED all of the fabrics before installation…they were unsure upon delivery. We used a lot of cool metallics and neutral textures.
I was not completely finished with the “voila” until I did the “chop” on all of the pillows. Their hesitation melted away and they felt soothed and elated immediately. The room felt warmer and more comfortable.
Long live the chop!!!!

Nicole Brown 30 Apr 09 at 3:37 am

I love it! Gives it a more casual look in sometmes a formal room. Make it more comfortable and looking like people actually live here!!

Cassandra Renee 30 Apr 09 at 8:24 am

i’m torn… i don’t think i can pick either one definitively. i think it depends on the room. i like examples of both!!

Peggy 30 Apr 09 at 2:31 pm

I always thought pillow chopping was a function of the pillow insert. If the insert is made of feather and/or down, it can be chopped. If the insert is poly filled, it won’t hold a chop. Aside from the design reasons already mentioned, chopping shows you have the “good inserts”.

Topsy Turvy 30 Apr 09 at 5:06 pm

I generally like a subtle chop, depending on the pillow. That first photo is way over-chopped and way over-pillowed, to the point that it looks too staged.


Nevis 30 Apr 09 at 5:44 pm

I used to hate the chop but it’s grown on me.

Lauren 30 Apr 09 at 10:29 pm

I’m loving all the comments! It looks like we are pretty split on the decision. I’ve always thought of it as a more custom look because like Peggy said, it really depends on the quality of the insert. All my cheap pillows certainly can not be chopped. I do think it can get a little excessive and you have to show a bit of restraint.

Shelter 30 Apr 09 at 11:24 pm

I try to PLUMP my pillows, without a strong chop. This is hysterical. I don’t like it when they lay too flat.


Courtney 01 May 09 at 12:52 am

This is hilarious. I have to admit I am a bit of a chopper, although I don’t chop all my pillows. When I am tidying up my living room, however, it doesn’t feel complete until I’ve chopped two of the pillows on my sofa! The chop was instilled in me by my mom, an interior designer, who had it instilled in her by her mom, an interior designer. I know it isn’t for everyone (and not even always for me,) but I guess perhaps it runs in my genes. xx

Maria Killam 01 May 09 at 7:37 am

I vote for chopping. It looks more designerish somehow!

Paloma {La Dolce Vita} 02 May 09 at 2:01 am

Great post! All of these images are gorgeous. I like to fluff my pillows and do a subtle chop.

Blueprint Bliss 02 May 09 at 5:05 am

This post made me laugh. Thanks for the link!!

Anonymous 02 May 09 at 7:35 am

The chop it is!!!Makes the pillows more fluffy and tones down the ‘stiff’ looking but pretty cushions..hip hip hooray to the CHOP!

Halcyon House 03 May 09 at 2:03 am

I’m with Peggy (type of insert)…but there are definitely varing degrees of “the chop”. To chop or not to chop depends on the look or style you’re going for…the subtle chop is *just right* for most.

Anonymous 03 May 09 at 4:49 am

CHOP, Chop, Chop!!!

carol 31 Aug 09 at 7:41 am

no chopping here (^_-)

1 Links to 'To Chop or Not to Chop…'

[…] To Chop or Not to Chop? The pillow debate lives on! […]

Post a Comment