It’s once again time for
us at the home tome me to admit to some serious hypocrisy, a whole lot of contradiction, and since I’m referring to my stance on throw pillows, I’ll just come out and say it: I am a sham. Now it’s once again time for me to apologize for the punning. And now it’s time for me to explain what I’m talking about. I’ve done a lot of soul searching in the last few days, so here goes…
Remember, a few days ago, when I shared a hyperbolic, extremely sarcastic piece on the uncomfortable state of throw pillows? I lamented that they have become too bedazzled to actually cuddle up with? Well, I must confess:
I don’t cuddle up with my own throw pillows.
I don’t lean on them. I barely touch them. I sit a reverent distance from them. In fact, I encourage the other inhabitants of this household (Rob) to do the same. While I still stand behind the fact that our throw pillows rate high on the comfort scale, (at least I think so, though I’ve never tried them), I have deemed each and every one of them to be too precious to actually use. “Is their house a museum?” you might be wondering with an annoyed eye roll. No, it’s a throw pillow museum.
Take Squirrely, for example, pictured above. Yes, this throw pillow has a name. He only gets to sit on the couch when guests visit. Most of the time, he rests in a wooden bowl/plate/decorative thing from Ikea on the floor beside the couch – it’s kind of like his dog bed:
This shouldn’t be seen as a punishment, but an honor. I love Squirrely so much, I don’t want him to get ruined. I got this pillow at a cute (but now closed) gift shop in Hockessin, Delaware back when I was living in Manhattan. It’s not that I have a particular affection for real squirrels. In fact, I don’t trust them: anything with that much energy and agility is either too hopped up on Red Bull, is OD-ing on speed, or is simply to amped up on NO GOOD. Maybe while I was caught up in that cement jungle Squirrely represented my yearning for a more natural setting, more green space and trees. Or maybe I just related to this message on the back:
Whatever the case, I don’t want him to get stained or mis-shapen. And if our white couch is any indication (see that freshly pressed post here), daily life can do some real damage.
But he’s not the only Throw Pillow of Distinction (TPD) around here. This LAUGH pillow from CB2 has the power, like the best kind of life coach or therapist, to bring me back to my roots:
It says, “LAUGH= To express certain emotions, especially mirth or delight, by a series of spontaneous, usually unarticulated sounds often accompanied by characteristic facial and body movements…” Let’s just say that it’s not always fun and games around here, and sometimes this basic human need has to be defined, spelled out, and maybe even hit over our heads (but gently, don’t hurt the pillow!)
This citrus-y TPD is from one of my favorite stores, Marimekko. This sits in our library/book nook in a symbolic nod to summer:
In the winter, we change out the cover so that the cows come running in, also thanks to Marimekko:
Look, I grew up in Wisconsin – I don’t own one of those big orange cheese head hats, and I don’t obsessively root for the Green Bay Packers, but I’m allowed to have a little bit of pride. (I’m apparently also allowed to not iron this pillow cover for the photo shoot…)
Speaking of pride, I’ve had this hippo-shaped TPD since I was 14 years old:
Do you think if I’d ever actually used this pillow it would still have its handsome shape and luster after all these years? I got it when we moved from Wisconsin to Delaware and it was a central figure in a major design breakthrough. My childhood room back in the Dairy State had a white frilly canopy bed, white ornate-ish furniture and pink and blue flowery wallpaper. On the other hand, my teenage room had a bolder palette with laughable amounts of plaid. This hippo presided over a plaid bedspread featuring his same color of electric green mixed in with hot pinks and blues. (I’d share a photo of this colorful triumph, but the only shot I have would also reveal my perm, my train track teeth, and the unseemly amount of blue eyeliner I’d recently started to apply.) I couldn’t have been happier with this decorative tide change, and couldn’t be happier that the hippo has now agreed to hang out on the futon in my office. He couldn’t be happier to be free of that plaid prison.
This orange cylinder/hot dog-shaped pillow sits on our guest bed:
I searched high and low for the perfect, unique pillow to match the vintage (garbage pickin’s) orange chair that sits in a nearby corner:
But I couldn’t find anything that coordinated the way I wanted, so I settled on this striped pillow and improvised by wrapping it in this reversible table runner:
I have every intention of sewing this so that these two pieces stay together. And I have every reason to believe that this will never actually happen. So apologies to past and future overnight guests who have become understandably befuddled by this precarious arrangement. After my mother left one time, I found the pillow in this state:
In our own bedroom, we have our own trifecta of TPD fun:
The orange and blue one in the back came from Sears, of all places. I’ve never purchased anything of a decorative nature there before, but I thought it worked well with the Ryan Sarah Murphy collage on the opposite wall:
The Palisades Parkway souvenir banner pillow holds a special place in our heart because that’s the road that takes Rob and I into New York City. As I wrote in a previous post, we affectionately call this road The Driveway: when we moved away from the city (we’re about 40-60 minutes away now), it was important to tell ourselves that the hustle and bustle of NYC was still close by. And this road, which rarely has traffic but does have nice scenery, keeps us connected to all that we love there. The funny thing is that I found this pillow not locally, but in a shop in Columbus, OH.
Finally, the square pillow in the foreground was made by Rob’s friend Jade – it is filled with corn and makes a nice heating pad after a few minutes in the microwave.
Jade also did this tree drawing we have in the bedroom:
This is all the long way to say that our throw pillows, though theoretically comfortable, are usually just looked at but not touched. They are held in high esteem and are treated with great reverence as decorative embellishments. Please don’t let this scare you off: when you visit, you are quite welcome to lean against them, hook them under your arm, or lay your weary head upon them. Just know that they’ll be fluffed after you’re gone and will sit undisturbed until the next guests arrive. In fact, the same is true of our napkins (both linen and paper) and our vast dishtowel collection…but more on those cherished items at a later date.
Do you have any Throw Pillows of Distinction or does this whole concept only prove that, as the back of Squirrely posits, that I’m nuts?
Thanks to mainstreet.com for taking me up on my advice regarding under-cabinet lights: though they can be difficult to install, I do believe in these wholeheartedly, without any hypocrisy.