Your Grandparents’ Pillows Just Got a 2023 Glow-Up

published May 11, 2023
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Credit: Sylvie Li

Visiting my grandparents’ house always meant one thing: comfort. Regardless of style, they made sure to have cozy seating in every room. Pillows, especially round pintuck pillows, were peppered in on almost every piece of upholstered furniture, and maybe your parents or grandparents had these kinds of textiles as well. Seeing them always reminds me of home.

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These days, the round pintuck pillow is back, but like you’ve never seen it before. Fewer pleats and sometimes sans buttons, this new wave of curvy cushions is still retro in silhouette but sleeker in design, and you’ll find way more variety in terms of fabrics and patterns now, too. Adding a circular or disc-shaped pillow is an easy way to bring nostalgia into a living room while still keeping your decorative textiles fresh. Here’s a roundup of my favorite options on the market right now. 

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Lulu and Georgia

Designed by Sarah Sherman Samuel, these velvet cushions nod to pillows of yesteryear with a much more minimal, streamlined look. Details like the piped edges and ribbed siding add dimension and visual interest to a sofa or chair. Choose from warm, neutral tones like amber, blue, juniper, and ivory.

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West Elm
was $54.50

For a playful and soft touch, look no further than West Elm’s update on the classic pintuck pillow. Perfect for layering, these cotton-velvet cushions add vintage punch with tons of tufting. Choose from earthly colors plucked straight from nature: ocean, sand, burnt umber, and slate.

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Anthropologie’s top-rated Adelina Velvet Pillow toes the line between understated and luxe. Evocative of 1970s glam, these slub velvet pillows add a bit of shine with their glimmery surface.

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Crate & Barrel

Kids like cool, retro pillows just as much as the rest of us. These cushy discs come in a delightful mix of colors — yellow, pink, blue, orange — and pair well with cheeky prints. They're perfect for late bedtime reading and early morning snuggles.

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With no button in sight, these Velvet + Wool Circle Pillows from Schoolhouse are as structurally pared-back as a pillow gets. The wool side promises practical durability, while the velvet side provides a nice, sumptuous contrast. If you somehow already own a 17-inch round pillow, you can just buy the cover for an easy update.

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West Elm
was $54.50

Hand-woven in sturdy cotton-jute and plumped up with recycled filling, these water-resistant pillows can stand up to pool parties and patio hangouts. You’ll love the lively striped pattern, too, which is available in four different colorways.

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Urban Outfitters
was $59.00

Craving something a little more old-school? This ‘70s-meets-‘80s-inspired pillow — hello, mauve and corduroy material! — will instantly bring you back to sitting on your grandparents’ well-worn armchair or sofa. You could always style any of these cushions on a bed, too.