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Friday, October 14, 2011

Reader Poll: Toss or Chop & Fold or Throw?

There are definite opinions amongst designers, stylists and homeowners about how to arrange accessories, particularly pillows and throws. I am sure many of you have observed these variances while looking through design magazines or books. Last night, I was flipping through Canadian House & Home and they had a tiny article debating the subject.  I too think it's a great debate!  I'd love to hear your opinions and personal preferences. Of course, it's only fair that I go first and share mine. I fall into the toss and fold group.

I toss my toss pillows whether it's on a sofa or a chair. I don't care for the chopped look as reminds of two pointed dog ears. Think German Shepherd!

Chopped. Or dog eared. The throw is folded on the sofa back.


Tossed. Note the green throw folded on the bench in the corner.
 This type of loose quick fold is what I can manage daily!

Tossed. Throw folded on the arm of the chair.

My interpretation of a throw is that it is an item you throw around your shoulders while reading, watching television or napping. Not an item to be thrown on sofa or chair. I find it's really not an achievable look for everyday living. It takes effort to actually style it into a thrown/draped look. It's fine for a photo shoot, but for real life it just seems like too much effort and not very authentic.

Thrown. Styled. Arranged. 

In our house, we have a couple of throws in the 3 rooms used for the activities I mention above. And, when someone is done with the throw,  it's usually left in a heap! Occasionally, the person using it folds it. Most often, it's me going from room to room doing a quick fold first thing in the morning (while the coffee is brewing) and putting the various throws on the arms of chairs, the backs of sofas or stacked on an ottoman.

Now it's your turn ! Do you chop or toss your pillows and do you fold or throw your throws?

Note: It only took a few minutes to find pictures in my file labeled Living Rooms to illustrate the options for this friendly debate. Since there was clearly something I like about each of these rooms and/or the designer's work, I've purposefully left out the sources this time as I don't think how they style the pillows or throws is an indication as to whether it's good design or not. The first 2 images and the last one are from retail web-sites.


  1. Tossed and thrown. I have 2 boys(3 if you count the hubs,) and I'd drive myself nuts if everything had to be just so. When I say thrown, I don't mean artfully thrown, just on the sofa or chair is good enough. If the pillows and throws aren't lying in a pile on the floor, I'm happy.

  2. With 5 kids tossed and thrown seems like the obvious choice. Unfortunately, my personality is a plumper, chopped and folded. I call it the ten second(ha) tidy when kids leave for school.

  3. Chopped pillows look bizzare and I don't like it when I see a throw staged on a chair like the picture.

  4. Good question! I admit I am a semi chopper, guess thats part of my OCD and liking things sharp and symmetrical looking, the tossed look would make me want to go "straighten them up". Not saying its a good thing but a semi chopper I am. I don't like the ends point though I do a "soft chop" so its kind of a mix between a plump up and chop, lets call it a chump, yep thats whata I am, a chumper.

    As far as throws however I prefer it to be loosely draped over a piece of furniture instead of perfectly being folded....if they are beautiful pillows and beautiful throws however they look great no matter what you do to them.

  5. Rebecca, I no longer chop my pillows ( used to) and throws I prefer loosely folded like you!

    Have a great weekend.

    Speaking of pillows, I have a new Designer Pillows Giveaway I hope you will join!


    Art by Karena

  6. I HATE CHOPPED PILLOWS! I think they look like Bugs Bunny. I did a post on this a few months ago and got lots of comments...

    As for the throw, I loosely fold it and then drape it over an arm or back of the chair.

  7. Funny, I always fold my throws neatly when I leave the room, just like in the photos. I imagine if I had kids, my house would be less ordered. I prefer the tossed pillows but will admit, I don't mind the karate chopped ones in a polished looking room. :D

    xo Terri

  8. As a former chopper, I am not exactly a tosser either. I chop at the both sides to give my pillow a "figure" not ears. Anything but folded drives me nuts.

  9. It so interesting to hear many of you are former choppers! The first time I saw a pillow chopped was about 3 years ago. During an installation, the person who made the pillows said where do you want them, I pointed to the sofa and she placed them and gave them a chop! I tried it at home just after that, but the look just didn't feel right to me.

    TEH, I definately plump my pillows, but I'm no chumper! So funny!

    Pigtown, so it is in fact a great debate! It's facinating that in blogworld we share so many of the same "issues" in design.

    Windlost, I usually just do a quick loose fold, but guess I should admit the Felix in me does the perfect fold when time allows or I think everthing is looking too messy!

    Kerry, When I plump/squeeze my pillows sometimes they end up with that hourglass look too, I was thinking it was because they have lost too many feathers and need new inserts!

  10. Like you I hate the choped look on pillows it doesn't look natural, definately a toss gal here. As for blankets I'm a fold gal the one I use nightly is always folded when I get up. The husbands blanket is always shoved in a bunch waiting for me to fold the next morning.

    Enjoy your weekend Rebecca!

  11. I have never chopped a pillow but I do toss a throw from time to time, but in my own home I fold them. I find it is an art to toss a throw and make it look effortless!! Kathysue

  12. Place and fold. Chop and drape. It depends on the mood. At work we do whatever we feel works in the room. At home, I have only one pillow that can be manipulated. Others in the room are needlepoint and not choppable. The one is fairly large - actually the size of a bed pillow made that way specifically for napping. When not in use it gets minimally cuffed on the sides giving it sort of a butterfly shape.

  13. I'm in th minority here I can see, but I'll just step out there and admit that I'm a chopper and folder. Great post and beautiful images. Have a great weekend. Mona

  14. I believe what used to be a nicely semi chopped pillow is now the over-exaggerated look we see today. Depending on your pillow insert, the look can be very stark or merely dramatic. Personally I have down pillow inserts in all pillows, so if they get 'thrown' it looks rather messy. I don't chop, I place the pillows and then I do drape the throw.. At Christmas time when there are a lot of throws out, I do have a couple draped and then a basket with a folded stack.. what a great topic to debate! It's been a blast to read all the answers.

  15. I'm a little embarraassed to say that I'ved never even heard of the 'chopped' look before so I assume that means I'm a 'tossed' girl (although I do love the show Chopped)! Even knowing about chopping now...I don't think I'd take the time. Our throw is being continually confiscated by Miss. Ginger...she has her own but never uses it, so I suppose that means that she really has two.
    Have a fantastic weekend...
    xo J~

  16. I do not like the chopped look! Very contrived.

  17. I have never understood why someone would chop a pillow. I think it looks funny. As for the throwing or folding though, I think it depends on the room. To me, folding looks more formal and throwing looks more cozy. I tend to fold in my living room and throw in my family room.

  18. i am a chopper... but a casual chop ... !
    hope you are enjoying your sunday... xx pam

  19. Had to laugh in agreement with Tina from The Enchanted Home...I think I'm a bit of a chomper...but becoming aware that I might need to just fluff and toss.

    As for throws....I don't throw, but fold over the chair and tuck it in behind the cushion. I think I like things neat and tidy!

    Fun debate!!

  20. I am a tosser and floder. For some reason I think pillows should look natural and throws neatly folded.

  21. I thought it odd seeing a designer on television chopping throw pillows. I think its ugly, and ill thought out.

  22. Hehehehe, my first thought was, 'hello, my name is Renae and I'm a chopper'! Then I looked over at the sofa in the FR and they are 'dipped' more than 'chopped'. So I guess I'm really a dipper. :) I have an open 'leather type' basket that I hold high 2 throws and let them fall in! I don't usually leave them laid out over an arm or back b/c I think they are a nuisance! They look purdy though!

    Great post!


  23. Michael, something else we have in common.

    Anon, many share your thoughts.

    Renae, I wish I had thought to have everyone start like would have been hilarious!

  24. It always makes me laugh when people karate chop their pillows!

  25. Pillows start out chopped, but never stay that way for long. I'm in complete agreement with you about throws. They add wonderful color and look best in a staged home. In real life they're messy, but oh so lovely on a chilly evening!

  26. no to the chopped and yes to folded or neatly draped.
    and yes to freshly brewed coffee - amazing what we can do while it is brewing.


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