Privilege Blog

9 Pillows That Add A High WASP Touch To Your Sofa, Or Chaise Longue

It has come to my attention that High WASPs believe throw pillows to be a critical component of house decor. That with a naked sofa, or chaise longue, you just haven’t finished decorating. Luckily, should you be inspired to try High WASP decor in your house (for reasons known only to yourself), nifty pillows these days are easily come by.

That did not use to be the case. Interior designers were required, with mysterious swatches. Terracotta chenille squares, flecked with blue, strewn across the floor. Although the ultimate luxury is to have a skilled human being directing your pillow implementation, one can now, if necessary, do without.

I remember, my first sofa ever came from Macy’s in New York City. For some indecipherable reason it was brown. No pillows. It’s possible that this bothered my mother. She never said. The next sofa I had made by some fab New York design studio or other, with the guidance of a designer. It was a mushroom colored velveteen. Definitely had pillows. Cream and gold ikat-style silk with a fuchshia accent. Quite subtle, actually. Really, they were.

When that sofa’s upholstery finally gave up the ghost, we had it recovered. Never got around to the pillows. A sad situation. When I finally sent that sofa off to live with my daughter, I was no longer interested in or able to afford custom furniture. I made my way to Pottery Barn. Where I discovered that they did the pillows for me. I will love Pottery Barn forever.

However, if you have the energy and desire to do your own pillowation, here are some pillow thoughts.

Restful, serene, camel cashmere. For the bedroom, on your chaise longue. (Note. This particular piece of furniture is not pronounced chaez lounge. It’s more like chaez long. The term means, simply, “long chair,” in French. Who knew?) One would not monogram one’s living room. But the bedroom, yes, in peaceful shades.

You might decorate your living room, in mid-century style, the pillows an ironic commentary on something. Or not.

The Artsy among us might opt for Bengali handiwork.

Or make pillows ourselves. Not forgetting, of course, the purple zipper as a discreet color rumpus.

Others might prefer a Grande Dame Palm (Beach or Springs, no matter) reference to the vacation house.

…or a Sturdy, tongue-in-cheek, poke at themselves.

You might find these in your mom’s living room. Oh, wait, that is my mom’s living room. Because she, of course, is never without the right accoutrements. I doubt she’s ever bought anything at Pottery Barn. But times change. As they must. And should.

*Jill also has a thing for pillows over here.
**This is my favorite pillow of all time.
****Spellcheck courtesy Lauren

Queen of Cashmere via Saks
People Pillows from Bloesem via Love You Big
Purple Zipper Pillow via Love You Big
Folk Art Pillow via Toast
Links Pillow via Jonathan Adler
Fresno Pillow via Jonathan Adler

33 Responses

  1. I must say what lovely taste in pillows, especially the monogrammed one, just love it!
    As always, spot on with your picks!

  2. Love your pillow (or as we say in England, cushion!) selection – my favourite is the monogrammed one too… – just so smart and very classic. x

  3. Why would I not put a monogrammed pillow in the living room? Not that I have any throw pillows there, because the dog would just sleep on them and, consequently, shed all over them.

  4. I love that white on white pillow. Sadly mine are all covered in cat hair too.

  5. Jan, I suppose because monograms are either a) to tell people who don't know you who you are b) return a comforting reassurance of your identity. In one's living room, presumably anyone invited would know who you are, and it feels too intimate to be reaffirming one's identity in a room used to entertain others.

  6. Fun! And thank you for the pronunciation lesson on chaise longue. It's rather a pet peeve of mine, being corrected for saying it properly. Tend to try to avoid the term entirely but that can be comic and generally my avoiding description leads directly to someone saying, "Oh! you mean a chaez lounjjjje"! Eeeek!

  7. I love this post! I'm currently in the middle of doing my own 'pillowation' (LOVE that word! I'm keepin' it!) and it is SO. MUCH. FUN. Definitely going for a mix of sturdy and whimsy, with of course some color rumpus thronw in for good measure. PS I felt compelled to do a shout-out to the 'No (Ooooo-OOOH!) upon sight of the Fresno pillow, even though I have no connection to that specific city….

  8. My grandmother was a needlepointing factory, so growing up we had several of her pieces that had been made into pillows.

    Love "Fresno." What a riot! (I may have to take up needlepoint again…)

  9. I currently need pillows! On my bed and bedroom arm chair. In yellow.

    Well, maybe need is a little strong…. I want yellow pillows.

  10. how do i love thee, throw pillows? we removed some of the standard issue pillows on our new sectional so that we'd have more room for randoms. and random they are; at present our seating features a pendleton san miguel, a black scorpion painted on linen, a green hable construction number (you'd be fond of hable, i think, LPC), and some mysterious red silk thing from one kings lane.

  11. Oh, I love the people pillows..! Sweet *and* ironic (or not, as you said). Genius.

    I hope this little note finds you well, dear.


  12. I too, have a thing for throw pillows. It can amzingly change the entire feel of a room! I just bought some yummy silk shantung ones in bright colors for spring.

    Now if I could just get my dog to not love them as much as I do…

  13. Who knew Pottery Barn did that? And so elegantly as well, this is a good tip Miss Privilege. And we adore Mr. Adler's pillows, it is amazing we haven't purchased any yet.

    Love this post!

  14. Thanks for the pillow love, LPC. I can't imagine a sofa without pillows. Squashable, nap-able, usable pillows.

  15. I love pillows and come from a long line of pillow-loving people. Great ideas!

  16. Gramman usage – a new subject that I would like you (LPC) to occasionally address. I am sorry this did not occur to me when your survey was open. I'm sure there are high-WASP conventions!

    I was struck by the following phrase. "That did not use to be the case." The way you used "use" has long been a pet peeve of mine, but I have been unable to locate the rule behind my opinion. My soluntion has just been to avoid the sentence structure, as in, "Formerly, this was not the case." Or, "This is a recent development." But your use of it makes me think I must be incorrect, since my impression is that your grammar educuation came from actual formal instuction and mine came piece-meal through occasional quality school and a life-time love of quality writing.

    Care to take this up?

  17. My sofa has 0 pillows. Instead, I have have a largish fur throw on it, in a `seemingly´careless way. I used to have pillows, but then there was no room for sitting, without removing the pillows somewhere. This started to bug me aesthetically so much, that I threw the pillows away. I do, however, have pillows I like, but not on the sofa we now have.

  18. ah, pillows! I like to add Josef Frank's design, available at Svenskt Tenn:
    "Svenskt Tenn is a company that has strong ties with its roots; in particular the legacy inherited from the founders, Estrid Ericson and designer Josef Frank."

    plus: Josef Frank in detail

  19. My pillow/cushion collection is obscene. My-Reason-For-Living-In-France likes to point out — not every night, but a couple of times a week — that he has to head into the bedroom 10 minutes before bedtime in order to unpile them. Of course they're arranged just so.

    My best friend from childhood — who always has her houses professionally decorated, right down to her "personal" collections — passes her time whopping her pillows in the center to give them that perfect pitch or whatever.

    We're well-pillowed over here, including a needlepoint with dogs and one I gave my daughter who left it in her room that said: "If At First You Don't Succeed, Do It The Way Your Mother Told You." I thought it was hilarious. (At least it makes me smile when I see it in her room when she's thousands of miles away.)

    Oh yes, as you can see: Loved this post.

  20. The correct High WASP sofa (not couch) has pillows needlepointed by the lady of the house.

    The incorrect High WASP sofa, i.e., mine, has correct needlepoint pillows done by my correct mother, as well as very incorrect pillows needlepointed by someone in a developing nation. And tapestry done by some machine somewhere.

    Honestly, there's no hope for me. I'm NQOKD.

  21. What fun, L! Pillows make marvelous house gifts (given that you know the decor). I'd take the Bengali one for a kids' room or beach house in a flash!

  22. Hi LPC,

    Ahhh, pillows. They drive me craaaazy! Why? God only knows. But for the life of me I can't ever find ones that I love. I have a ridiculous amount of pillow covers and I like them all but don't love any of them. This keeps me on the never ending search for more. I seriously need an intervention. A 12 step program maybe? One day I'll get it right.


  23. p.s. ~ I couldn't help but notice that the anon commenter and his/her pet peeve about correct grammar, incorrectly spelled the word grammar!

  24. Hi Lisa, thank you for making the QoC monogram pillow (or cushion in English) the headliner! I can sleep happy tonight.
    By the way, the Pasha is available in a inclined, I can e-mail you an e-shade card and selection of over 45 colors of which only a few are available at If anyone is so change the saks order from the back end… we aim to please.

  25. And thank you from me, too, Lisa! Very exciting that someone else is as excited as I am about that purple zipper!

Comments are closed.