what is happening to decorative throw pillows?

[In honor of Design/De-sigh-n month, I decided to bust this out: A version of this piece previously appeared on one of my favorite humor sites, yankeepotroast.org, a while back.]

Is it just me or have decorative throw pillows become completely ridiculous? I mean, they’ve always been covered with tassels and scratchy materials, but lately, I’ve noticed far too many sequins, a preponderance of buttons, and fussy frills you wouldn’t dare lean against. I recently saw a pillow that looked to be made of astroturf. Who wants to lay their weary head on that?

I suspect that, like so many things these days, this un-comfortable pillow trend is a result of The Economy. In these troubled, insanely expensive times, we are no longer meant to relax: forget about reposing on the couch – you need to be doing something far more productive with your “free time.” Even though this saddens me, I’ve decided to contribute to this trend by designing my own line of decorative throw pillows that are sure to keep you as far away from the couch as possible.

Of course, all of the following items are extremely costly. But the question is: can you afford not to purchase them?

mirrorpillowcourtesy of yankeepotroast.org

Broken Mirrors: Composed with shards of broken mirror, you can admire yourself from across the room, on your way out the door. This mirror is far more realistic than the one in your bathroom since it will make you look exactly as fragmented as you feel. And no need to worry about that whole “seven years of bad luck” thing since that seems to be well underway, already. Sold in sizes L and XL depending on how much stress-eating you’ve been doing lately.

Cleats: Perfect for the spacious rec room that seemed like such a good idea before the housing crisis. This sporty design will remind you of your athletic youth, or that time you joined an intramural soccer league, back before you had to work 27 hours per day in order to pay your mortgage. Sold with or without clumps of mud and grass.

Splinter: This pillow harkens your own father and how he used to fancy himself a regular old lumberjack. It’s strange to think that his own career and role as a provider allowed him the time for such extracurricular pursuits. You hated being his assistant, and whined incessantly about the nightly extraction of splinters. But oh how you’d prefer that to the present. Tweezers included.

firepillowcourtesy of yankeepotroast.org

Fire: Get it while it’s hot! As soon as you put any pressure on this pillow, it spontaneously combusts, creating a warm, cozy glow in your room and filling the air with the sweet scent of singed hair. Though you may have to seek reconstructive surgery, you’ll be delighted to cancel the appointment with your costly hairdresser. Fire extinguisher sold separately.


Do you own any uncomfortable throw pillows? Or would you like to contribute any of your own uncomfortable throw pillow designs? Leave a comment below!

23 replies

  1. this is too much! and not so far off. i remember as a teen having this very bold and bright purple and yellow number with circular mirror sequins. i mean, it was a gaudy MESS and scratched the hell out of me. the world would be far better without ugly throw pillows! thanks for reminding us…:)

    • You really have to be careful. As in, “oooh, what happened to your face?”
      “Oh, it’s an old throw pillow injury…” 🙂

      Throw Pillow Safety is really a cause to get behind!

  2. That flaming pillow is the solution to all my cat-hair problems!!

    When our living room was finally finished, I was so delirious with joy, that I had some kind of breakdown in Restoration Hardware and bought a white sofa. Fast forward months later…black cat + white sofa = lint roller obsession.

    I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me before now to simply deter her with decorative incendiary devices.

  3. i love them and i am always buying them especially pretty ones with sequins and stuff i know i am wasting my money though because every cushion i get the dogs get them and i never see them again! have a fab day xx

    • Maybe you should get furry throw pillows or ones w/ pictures of dogs playing poker and they would treat them with a little more respect…? We don’t have dogs, so I’m just “throwing” out ideas here… 🙂

      • 🙂 i thought it was better to just buy them straight for the dogs and not fool myself into thinking they were to look nice on my sofa 🙂 have an excellent day xx

  4. Ha! I’ve always wondered how people actually “live” with scratchy pillows. Maybe they’re just for the rooms you look at, not live in. We don’t have any of those at our house. 🙂

    • I must confess: we really live in all our rooms and all of our throw pillows could be considered comfy, but I still don’t encourage really using them…I want to keep them nice, ha! (More on that to come…) Weirdly, I have the same attitude with napkins (linen and cute paper ones) Me: You know you weren’t supposed to use that, right? Rob: But it was on the table next to my plate!? 🙂

  5. I heard about a designer that convinced their client that she needed a pillow for the toilet because it was the focal point of the room. It’s just wrong on so many levels, but it does create it’s own category of pillow designs. 🙂

    • ha ha! that is crazy!! What is the opposite of the word “focal,” I wonder? Because I like to de-emphasize the toilet. I have been taking some pix of our bathroom for a future post and I keep saying…”how can I get a shot WITHOUT the commode?” It isn’t possible in this case bc the room is so small, but maybe I just need to get a snazzy toilet throw pillow. Thank you for sharing this hot tip! 🙂

  6. I needed a pet, and was also in the market for some throw pillows, so in order to econmize, I bought two porcupines. Turns out they are not really into the whole “throw” thing.

  7. Fantastic! I love the broken mirror one the most.

    I only buy nice-feeling cottony throw pillows with nothing poking off of them, including tassels. I don’t have an obsession with them by any means, but I confess I’m looking at six varying throw pillows on my sectional right now. 😦

    • I don’t think six is too bad especially on a sectional and bravo on keepin it real n comfy. It does always crack me up when, in magazines, they literally leave no room to sit on couches and place so many decorative pillows on the bed that they take up half of it. Come to think of it, I have stayed in hotels where it took like 10 minutes of pillow removal to get in the bed!

      • Decorative pillows on the bed — bleh. Too much work. My bed is lucky I even allow it pillow shams. Yes, I think I’ve been to those very hotels you speak of.

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