Friday, January 23, 2009

To Karate Chop or Not to Karate Chop?

On a recent trip to the San Francisco Design Center (I will post about this soon with pics!), I noticed that a lot of the showrooms were full of karate chopped pillows. Now, I have been reading a lot of articles from top designers who say that the karate chopped pillow is now a big faux pas! In fact, designer Michael Smith just cracked me up in a recent interview when he said something to the effect that a karate chopped pillow should be punishable by jail time! However, these top design showrooms STILL have karate chopped pillows.

What is one to think? To karate chop or not to karate chop? How did this trend start? Did a designer one day just say to himself, “I think this couch would look a little more lived in if I just put a big DENT in the top of the pillow?” Hmmm…. WHACK! “There, that looks better!”

Or was it carefully scrutinized, studied and examined by top designers in the industry who decided that a karate chopped pillow would be the latest designer “trick of the trade”?

Here in Ryan Secrest’s Master Bedroom, his pillows are all karate-chopped. Obviously the room was staged for the photo shoot, but I really like to see a little imperfection in every room, and the karate chop isn’t the imperfection I’m talking about.

Lance Armstrong has won countless Tour de France competitions, but no one has given him the latest design word on pillow karate-chopping.

I love designer Thad Hayes, but he even has the karate chop here, although these pillows have less fill in them, so it’s not as obvious. In his defense, this is a photo from a 2002 Architectural Digest issue. I wonder if he still does the chop?

This Manhattan living room was published in A.D. a year ago (Feb 2008, MAC II Design). Perhaps something less arranged would be more aesthetically appealing? They are called “throw pillows” after all.

O.K. everyone. I want to hear your opinion. To karate chop or not to karate chop? Does it matter? Are we obsessed with this newest faux pas? Should we even care? I want to hear what you have to say about it!


Teacats said...

Well -- it all very well for designers with servants to fluff their pillows to say that the "chop" is out! LOL! But for the regular folks -- it helps to keep the pillows in place on the sofa!

Jan at rosemary Cottage

Stacey said...

I call it poofing but I definitely karate chop mine. Several times per day.

Callie Grayson said...

love this post! LOL
I don't like the karate chop, looks too perfect.
I like the lived in look. Comfortable and cozy is what i enjoy.
Sure i poof my seat cushions but the pillow, no.
If I wanted my house to look like a model home, yes.
so, there's my two cents:)
happy weekend to ya!

Jenifer said...

it took me twice through to see what you were talking about. i don't like the karate chop/fortune cookie points... i think fluffing is better for a picture especially.

~ ~ Ahrisha ~ ~ said...

I'm also a fluffer. Maybe it depends on your style. Mine is Elegant,Shabby Romantic. Stop by and check out some older posts.

Tobi Fairley said...

I still love karate chopped pillows! I like how it shows that they are plush down and nice quality!!

Terri said...

I hate the chop. It looks forced and ridiculous.

MIMILEE said...

Never have I heard it called that! That is toooooo funny!! To chop or not to chop, that is the question! GREAT POST!

Tobi Fairley said...

Rebecca, thanks for prompting me to get my tech guy involved in the subscription talk. Now you can go to my homepage and subscribe to my blog! I am excited about the new addition and it is all thanks to your comment!

LindsB said...

I'm still on the fence about this one. While I like the look, its just so hard to keep it that way in my house. I am always curling up on the sofa and using all the pillows that they never stay looking like that. Also, the BF is very allergic to down, so we can’t have it in the house, so the down-alternative just doesn’t look the same with a “chop”.

Thanks for your comment- I'm loving your blog too!