Do you toss, fluff or karate chop?

No, I am not talking about your salad making skills.  I am talking about how you display your accent pillows.  If you know me then you know about my obsessive love for throw pillows.  In my humble opinion they are the easiest way to update a room, add some color and pattern or make switches for the holidays or changing seasons.  But decorating with pillows is more than simply placing it on the bed, couch or chair.  So the question of the day is:  do you fluff, toss or karate chop your pillows?

Toss or throw

Tossing a pillow involves just what it says–simply throwing or tossing it onto the chair for a casual and relaxed feel.  Hence the name “throw pillow”, which, by the way, is the same thing as an accent pillow– meant to be decorative vs. a bed pillow meant for sleeping.

A random selection of pillows casually tossed onto a window seat.  photo from Tory Burch

A random selection of pillows casually tossed onto a window seat. photo from Tory Burch


If you are a fluffer you know what this term means.  You are the person that punches, smooths or plumps up a pillow, especially after someone has had the audacity to move the pillow, thereby altering the shape and look of said pillow.

Karate chop

Some designers say the karate chop is dead but I disagree.  To begin with, a karate chop is simply an indentation placed in the top center of the pillow by “chopping” the pillow with the side of your hand.  Fortunately, yelling out “heyah” while doing it is not required but go ahead if it releases some tension.  I like the finished look this gives the pillows.  This can only be accomplished if the pillow is stuffed with either down or feathers—the shape of solid foam cannot be altered.

Some throw pillow tips:
  • Choose a pillow throw that is at least 2″ larger than the cover for a plump look.  Ex:  an 18″ pillow case should be stuffed with a 20″ form.
  • A symmetrical placement is a bit more formal than a casually tossed arrangement
  • Have zippers sewn into pillow cases in order to easily store them when not in use and to reuse the pillow form when you switch out pillows.
  • Update your pillows for new seasons, holidays or when you just need a change.
  • Throw pillows are a great way to try out a trendy color or pattern without committing to the look with something expensive such as an upholstered chair or sofa.
  • Always finish the edges with a self welt, contrasting welt, fringe, cording, tassels or fabric flange. This will give your pillows a finished and designer look.

So fess up—do you toss, fluff or katate chop?

About hayniedi

What about me? In a nutshell I am a middle-aged interior designer and freelance writer, mother of an amazing 27 year old daughter, wife to my semi-retired lawyer husband and step-grandma to two delicious babies. From my earliest memories I have been fascinated with interior decorating and love to share my passion for beautiful rooms with anyone who will listen. Join me on this blog as my husband and I enter our empty nest years and move back into the first home we bought when we were first married that has been a rental for the past 15 years. I will share our experience with remodeling as well as other ideas and thoughts that I hope will inspire you.
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