This Is the New Living Room “It” Pillow You’re About to See All Over Instagram

published Sep 19, 2021
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Rose Greenberg pillow on a Togo sofa

Organic shapes are the look du jour for 2021, and they’re appearing in the form of bulbous sofas, squiggle shaped mirrors, and wavy room dividers. The H&M ceramic donut vase came first, then it was the vintage twisted floor lamp, and now it seems to be squiggle pillows. That’s right — there’s a new “it” pillow in town, and it reinvents the traditional square and lumbar cushions you’re used to seeing on couches. Specifically, Rose Greenberg’s comb and squiggle pillows are popping up on Instagram in living rooms and bedrooms, as are designer Hollie Velten-Lattrell’s wave pillows. These unique cushions are more than a trend though; they give us a window into how the pandemic is changing home decor.

Velten-Lattrell’s designs are rooted in what she calls “aesthetic curiosity” and tap into things the inner child would love. Her vision revolves around “play,” and she prefers rooms to have a few high-impact pieces rather than a jumble of furniture and tchotchkes. That’s where her Big Sur Cushions come in, which are inspired by the California waves and hills of her youth. A third-generation Californian, Velten-Lattrell is now raising her family in New Jersey. Because of that, her work has a hint of nostalgia in it. “I try to instill the romance of my home state in what I do,” she says. “I miss the landscape — the rolling hills, the rolling waves, and both the irregularities and routine patterns of nature.”

The Big Sur Cushions first launched during the start of the pandemic in 2020 and are meant to tone down statement headboards and replace “cluttered sofas with something both sweet and strange,” according to Velten-Lattrell. These cushions also touch on nostalgia. “Nostalgia definitely trends in times of hardship… it just triggers comfort,” Velten-Lattrell says. “Without leaning too far into a single trend, scallops and wavy lines have been a part of my design aesthetic for some time and remind me of my childhood room.” Maybe that’s the case for you, too. Either way, there’s something so happy and whimsical about these silhouettes; they don’t take themselves too seriously, and they come in a bevy of patterns and colors, which means something is bound to work with your decor.

Rose Greenberg’s comb and squiggle pillows illicit a similar reaction. Greenberg, who sadly passed away in 2020, saw her pillows as more than just decor. They were “half home accessory, half entertaining friend,” according to her. In honor of Greenberg’s memory, both Greenberg’s mother, Zoe Friedlander, and two friends, Anna and Bailey, continue to make her sculptural cushions. Greenberg first made the comb-shaped cushions for her own apartment, but she loved the way her friends interacted with the cushions. This made her think others would love a squiggle pillow of their own.

“Rose started with the comb pillows, and because they kind of have limbs and are often made from tactile fabric, people were literally embracing them,” says Friedlander. “As more and more people bought RG pillows, they would often send photos of themselves tangled up with their pillows or of their friends snuggling with the pillows and, most often, of their pets with the pillows. People were DMing saying, ‘Your art is the universal friend’ and ‘My dog truly only sits next to or under your pillow.’” Greenberg loved these stories and to expand upon the role the pillows could play in others’ lives, she began brainstorming what other interactive shapes she might create, which led to her making squiggles and spirals.

All of these shapes bring a lot of comfort and joy, and these last couple of years have made many want to pad their homes (pun intended!) with fun pieces that bring delight. “The COVID lockdown caused people to stay home a lot more,” says Friedlander. “Rose saw that people were lonely and needed comfort. Her combs, squiggles, and other sculptural pillows are uplifting, therapeutic, and also fun to look at, which is just what people need now.”

So if you’re looking for a playful piece that’s defiantly happy in the face of today’s trying times, either of these designers’ designs just might be it. Handmade and unique, they’re all very much splurges, but if something as simple as a squiggle pillow can put a smile on your face and give you something comforting to cuddle, you can’t put a price on that.