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Ways to Bring Decorative Monograms into Your Home

Linda is a seasoned writer and bedroom authority. She loves sharing design trends, decor ideas, and useful tips with her readers.

We live in a logo-crazed society. Why not ditch the designer emblems and create one of your own? It’s time to put your mark on your home. Monograms add an air of sophistication to any room. Look through any shelter magazine or home decor catalog and you’ll see them everywhere. You can personalize almost any fabric surface you can think of, The ideas for embroidered monograms in your home are endless.

Applying monograms to personal items have been popular among the royal elite and even us commoners since ancient times. Adding monograms to household items and decorative accessories is a great way to inject a bit of personality into your home’s decor. Not sure how or where to start? Before you embark on your monogramming odyssey there are a few things you should know…

What Is a Monogram?

If you are not familiar, a monogram is an embroidered, drawn, etched or engraved image consisting of letters. Dictionary.com defines monogram as “a design consisting of two or more alphabetic letters combined or interlaced, commonly one's initials, often printed on stationery, embroidered on clothing, etc. or a single emblematic or decorative letter; applied initial". The origin of the word monogram is from the late Latin monogramma, mono- (one) + gramma (letter). A modern monogram typically consists of one, two or three initials.

Monograms for a Single Person

If you are are unattached your monogram can be comprised of a single initial. You can use the first letter of your first name or your last name. You can also use the first letters of your first and last name as a two initial monogram.

If you want to convey the ultimate in formality, use a three-letter monogram with the first letters of your first, middle and last names in order or with your last name initial taking center stage. Or, you can throw caution to the wind and opt for your entire first name.

A first and last initial monogram works well for a single person.

A first and last initial monogram works well for a single person.

Monograms for Couples

A couple's monogram is a little more complex. After all, you want to incorporate both parties into a single grouping. Use a one-letter monogram with the first letter of a couple’s last name or the entire last name if both go by the same name.

A two-initial monogram consists of the first letter of each person’s first name or the first letter of each last name for couples with different last names. It can be placed in whichever order you choose.

Here’s where monograms become more a matter of personal preference. Where one or both parties have hyphenated last names should opt for a two-letter monogram using the first letters of the last names in the order of their choice.

A three-initial monogram is traditionally arranged as such: the first initial signifies the first letter of one person’s first name, the middle initial is the first letter of the couple’s last name, and the third initial is the first letter of the other person’s first name.

This masculine monogram would look perfect on barware.

This masculine monogram would look perfect on barware.

Creating Embroidered Monograms

You can easily create your own embroidered monograms with a fancy computerized sewing machine. If you don't have one try freehanding a monogram on a basic machine. It's frustrating but once you've practiced a few times you might get the hang of it. If you have no patience for this project hire the services of a local sewing expert to do the work for you or you can order monogrammed items from retailers for a nominal charge.

Creating a Monogram on a Sewing Machine

Monogram Styles

A traditional script monogram has three letters with the middle letter being larger and in the center. The letters can be intertwined or not. This classic monogram style is formal in nature and is primarily used by women or couples.

A contemporary monogram features initials of the same size in a block or print font. An exception to the same-size contemporary monogram is the circular or diamond monograms in which the initials conform to that shape. Block monograms were originally used by men but are becoming much more prevalent for women, same-sex couples and families.

A diamond monogram is a sophisticated style.

A diamond monogram is a sophisticated style.

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Monograms Around the House

Bedroom

Give your bedroom a luxurious feel by applying embroidered monograms to your bed linens. Your duvet cover, sheets, pillowcases and shams are all fair game for an elegant and colorful accent. Monograms are a great way to spice up plain white bedding and pick up colors from other furnishings in the bedroom. This simple yellow monogrammed bolster coordinates with the ribbon banding on the top sheet. It provides a perfect contrast to the aqua coverlet and shams.

Matelasse bedding gets the royal treatment with a personalized monogram.

Matelasse bedding gets the royal treatment with a personalized monogram.

Dining Room

Over the years, monograms have made their way into almost every room in the house including the dining room. Embroidered cloth napkins are extremely passé. So what about a monogrammed chair? Dining room chairs look classic with a regal monogram. If you don’t want to foot the bill for a new upholstery job purchase inexpensive slipcovers for the head chairs and add the monogram to achieve the same posh look. Or use a single initial to designate a chair for a each family member.

If you have a computerized sewing machine and a penchant for upholstering, then by all means update your dining room chairs with a fancy monogram!

If you have a computerized sewing machine and a penchant for upholstering, then by all means update your dining room chairs with a fancy monogram!

Bathroom

Bath towels are the most popular home item to receive monograms. They are still a considered a thoughtful gift for newlyweds and housewarming gifts. Choose a nostalgic script monogram for a vintage bathroom. They look fabulous hanging near a clawfoot tub and other period fixtures. A classic block monogram suits a contemporary bathroom giving it a spa-like feel. It will feel like you are in an upscale resort.

Monogrammed towels are a great gift for newlyweds.

Monogrammed towels are a great gift for newlyweds.

Common Areas

Throw pillows are the perfect canvas for a monograms.There's no better way to personalize your happy place than with a monogrammed pillow. This special touch adds warmth to your sofa and makes a great gift for friends and family.

Initials are great but don’t stop there. Try this idea for something a little different and creative with whimsical lettering. For instance, add embroidered words on pillows in your bar area describing favorite mixed drinks (stirred, shaken, neat, rocks) or wines (dry, crisp, soft, bold). These aren't exactly monograms but they're s fun way to make your mark.

Monograms are even popular with millennials.

Monograms are even popular with millennials.

© 2012 Linda Chechar

Start a Conversation!

Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on July 11, 2012:

I love the idea of the monogrammed backpack, Tamara! Good to hear from you. Thanks for reading my Hub!

Tamara Wilhite from Fort Worth, Texas on July 10, 2012:

You could also monogram your child's backpack to make it clearly theirs.

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