To Chop or Not to Chop…

Posted By Lauren-Houston | Apr 29, 2009 | 29 Comments | 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!

Seeing as how my apartment is a chock-full of furniture, I’ve decided to put further furniture acquisitions on hold until we finally find a place to call our own (although I might get crafty with a headboard). My focus has been shifted towards accessories. I’ve spent way too much money snagging up accessories that are just so-so from major big-box chains and then hating them 6 months later. In fact, I have an entire walk-in closet full such impulse purchases. Now I’m focused on buying things I really love – flea market or high brow. Here are a few pics of my favorite accessories that I’ve had my eye on…

{I’d kill for these obelisks from Mrs. Howard – and the lamp for that matter}

After seeing Paloma’s post on these Penguin Classic books, I think these are a must have.

I’d take a Nola lamp in either color!

This lamp would be PERFECT in our Master Bedroom – I’ll take a pair!

I call these the Poor Man’s kaleidoscope! Great for on a wall or on a table.

This Iomoi tray is on my birthday list! It’s hard to pick just one tray!

Designer Gary Spain (see amazing photos – here) uses busts and boxes in this tablescape and I love both!

One of my favorite coffee table-scapes ever!

Last but not least, they may be a little creepy but these vintage glove molds are perfect for draping jewels!

After seeing this DIY headboard that Shannon of Pink Wallpaper created, I was suddenly motivated to take on the project myself.  If the idea of wielding a staple gun makes you tremble in fear, here is a collection of not so do-it-yourself upholstered beds and headboards.

Indulge in Houston has great headboards.  This is one of my favorites.

I still like Nate Berkus’ wrap headboard for HSN.  A few of the reviews just made me a little weary so I haven’t bitten the bullet yet.

This bed, I DIE.  I love the slight Moroccan details on the “legs.”

The Camden Tufted Bed by Ballard Designs is a bed fit for a true glamazon!

Humphrey Bed by Williams Sonoma home.  Perfect for a traditional setting…it’s the bed version of a classic wingback chair.

{photo via All the Best}

This headboard by Urban Outfitters was made famous in the design world when Chloe Warner used it in her bedroom (as seen in the late, Domino).

When in doubt, look on Overstock!  “Manhattan” bed for the low, low price of $649.

I’m slightly obsessed with this bed from Calico Corners.

The Colette Bed from Crate and Barrel – loved by bloggers and set designers alike.

This Ava Bed from Z-Gallerie is a personal favorite.

To me, an upholstered headboard or bed is the only way to go!  They can soften a room otherwise filled with wood furniture and they are a great way to break up a bedroom suite.

Sorry, crazy day!

{pretty image is Ashley Whittaker’s Living Room}

I was beyond excited to see Houston decorator Katie Stassi in this month’s Paper City.  Her own home serves as great personal inspiration for me, but I really love seeing how she weaves her aesthetic into her client’s abode.

Those fabulous silk curtains are actually from West Elm but double lined for weight by a seamstress.  The slipcovered chair and sofa (not shown) are from Quatrine, the oushak is from Kuhl-Linscomb and reproduction french chairs are covered in a Manuel Canovas fabric from Walter Lee Culp.

{portrait by Jenny Antill}

The darling Katie Stassi in the living room of her long time friend’s River Oaks home.

A Stassi vignette with a flea market gilded mirror found in New York, Horchow lamp, silver candy dish, crystal matchbox, lighters (vintage and new), crystal decanter, and glasses from Baccarat, all cleverly displayed on a French Louis Philippe four drawer commode with marble top from Tara Shaw.

Gotta love that West Elm Parsons Desk!  I could do a whole post of the many uses of this piece! Katie placed it in the master bathroom to serve as a dressing table.  I love the makeup brushes in the acrylic containers!

This dining room has all the elements I adore…slipcovered parsons chairs, traditional table, fabulous chandelier, and silk curtains!  Table is from Carl Moore Antiques, glass chandelier was found on the internet, and the dining chairs are from Ballard Designs.

Of course I love that touch o’ lucite!  Can’t beat a good ole Ghost chair.  The rug, also to-die-for is from Kuhl-Linscomb.  If you look closely, you can see David Hicks hexagon wallpaper in the powder bath.

I LOVE this vignette, and it totally reminds me of Emily.  A West Elm bookcase full of great books, is topped with a lamp from Target (I LOVE that Katie goes high-low).  A relative of the homeowner was actually a Ford Model, so she photocopied some of her favorite magazine covers and framed them.

If you live in Houston, be sure to pick up the latest issue of Paper City to see more pictures!


Photography by Jack Thompson as seen in Paper City/April 2009

Interior Design by Katie Stassi

This edition of Furniture Friday is a little bit self-serving. I’ve been looking for a new sofa for…ev…er… and I know I can’t be alone. I think this piece of furniture has to be one of the hardest. Even though I truly agree with Celerie Kemble who basically said: the sofa is like the potatoes, you wouldn’t build a whole meal around a starch, so why build your whole room around a sofa?!  Okay, I butchered the quote but my point is, the sofa must still must live up to a lot of expectations. Timeless, durable, comfortable, washable, the list goes on and on. My search for the perfect slipcovered sofa is not over, but I thought I’d share the different styles that I’ve found.

Contemporary with Graphic Touches:

Ondine from Top Design used a similar (non slipped) sofa from Plantation in one of her rooms. I would love to use this in a black and white room. This is the “Contemporary” sofa from Quatrine.

“New Contemporary” also from Quatrine gets its punch from contrasting piping.


Pottery Barn’s Square Grand Slipcovered Sofa

PB’s Jackson Sofa

Clean Lined with Scooped


Best Slipcover Company’s “Charles” Sofa…I love this one!

“Grace” by Quatrine

Charlotte by MG+BW (who, BTW, is having 20% off custom upholstery orders right now)


I have a weakness for English Rolled Arms…this is a new sofa from Restoration Hardware.

The fabulous, Windsor Smith’s slipcovered sofa.

A sofa from Lee Industries, they have the most comfortable eco -friendly sofas, I hope to own one.

Pottery Barn’s Comfort Grand Sofa, I like that you have the option for a box cushion back.


I really like this one from Quatrine, it’s simple but still has a little pizzazz!

I’m positive this sofa is by Lee, but I actually found it here.

“Luzerne” from the new, Bernhardt Interiors line.


“Taylor” by Bernhardt.

MG+BW strikes again!

So do you have a favorite?  Any more sources for great slipcovered sofas you’d like to share??

I just had to share this room from Living Etc. that I spotted on This is Glamorous’ fabulous post on lucite. It is the living room next to this fabulous dining room I can see peeking out in the background.

This is glamorous indeed!

If there is one word to sum up my sentiments of the Round-Top Antiques Fair after my first trip there this weekend it would be, “excess.” I joined my mother-in-law and her two friends this weekend for an exhausting whirlwind shopping extravaganza. Now these ladies mean business, this is their fourth time to go (with no signs of ever NOT attending again), and they stay for a full week of shopping from 8am – 10pm. Crazy. I could only hang for the weekend, but it did not disappoint. You can find everything from the junkiest of junk to fine European Antiques. I thought I’d share some of my favorite finds…

At “Excess,” I found this barn filled to the brim with industrial-chic-modern finds. A nice breath of fresh air when you’ve been looking at gorgeous antiques you can’t afford and sorting through the junk you can. I would describe this vendor as Anthropologie on crack.

I loved this glamorous steel and lucite dining table/chairs combination! The chairs have SUCH potential.

My love for gorgeous rocks knows no boundaries and I about DIED when I saw these hunky chunks on lucite stands.

He had lots of gorgeous (expensive) lamps as well.

On the right hand side of this picture, note how he hung white coral all the way up the wall – very dramatic in person.

The new look Restoration Hardware is advertising was EVERYWHERE at Excess. Every last one of these cart/tables were sold.

This one booth had loads of zinc tables, I could think of a thousand possibilities and functions for them.

It amazes me that these “stores” only set up shop twice a year. It took the owner of Clutter three weeks to get everything set up.

Any kind of print you could imagine was available.

SOOO many cute dishes!

A screen I contemplated as a headboard, but decided against because that’s not what I ultimately want.

I saw several of these large mirrored obelisks – amazing!

Small sunburst mirror I passed up (I really want a pair).

I fell in love with this zinc chest, so so cool.

It’s hard to tell but that is a cowhide rug all folded up – they had tons all over the fair. I mean this is TEXAS after all.

These antique bottles were really beautiful. The dealer found them in an old factory in England. They have the look of mercury glass but they are not actually made of the mercury. He isn’t sure what they were used for, but had speculated that they were used to make herbs more potent. I think they will sell out quickly. I already saw various dealers who had bought from this man hawking them in their booths.

I loved the lines of this alabaster lamp.

The show has only just begun, so if you can make it I highly suggest checking it out!

{Monroe Side Table – $349}

I wasn’t going to do tables two Fridays in a row, but I saw this table on sale at Pottery Barn and couldn’t resist!

Some people are chair people, others might be fixated with lamps, but I am an accent table person.  I have no idea why, I just love snagging them up…I don’t have a matching pair in my entire house!

So this week’s edition of Furniture Friday is focused on end tables… by your bedside, flanking a sofa, next to a chair – they are just so darn practical 🙂

{Timber Table – $235}

I love this cheeky take on faux bois.  I can see this in a little girl’s bedroom paired with pink and orange.

{Embossed Table – $399}

I’m a little bit obsessed with these turquoise moc croc end tables.

{Hayden Marble Table – $698}

Not only does this table have an awesome name (which happens to be my maiden name), but I think it would be so chic as an end table next to Victoria Hagan’s Emma Chair.

Wisteria gets Glam!

Funky ethnic inspired pieces always get my attention!

{Ribbon Stool – $475}

The texture of this stool is awesome.  Texture is what makes monochromatic spaces work.

{Acrylic Nesting Tables – Black – $165}

Much like Nicky Hilton, this is a “trashy or classy” situation.  I immediately pictured her living room and can totally see these tables working in a black and white space.

{Chloe Parsons Table – Set of Two – $795}

These bad boys have been around for a while, but you know what?  I still like them!

Cheap for Chic!  For that price, I’d buy a pair and replace the “Black Oak” with a natural stone top.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s installment…

I instantly fell for the living room of Interior Designer, Sheri Sheridan’s Oakland home.  Her entire home is a perfect example of how to mix cool vintage pieces with new items from big box stores.  And the Dalmatian on the floor…presh!

A vintage chair is reupholstered and paired with a CB2 “City Slicker” table.

The fabulous mirrored headboard is actually four packs of mirror tiles from Ikea at just $4.99 a pop – ingenious!

{photos from Sunset Magazine}