Using Monograms in Your Home

Face it, 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 décor catalog and you’ll see what I mean. Personalize almost any fabric surface you can think of—the ideas for embroidered monograms in your home are endless!

Applying monograms to personal items has been popular among royalty (and 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 monogram typically consists of one, two or three initials.

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Monograms for One Person

If you are are unattached, your monogram may be a single initial--the first letter of your first name or your last name.

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You can also use the first letters of your first and last name as a two initial monogram.

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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.

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Or, you can throw caution to the wind and opt for your entire first name.


Monograms for Couples

Couples monograms are a little more complex. After all, you want to incorporate both parties into a single monogram.

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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 for a couple is commonly the first letter of each person’s first name or the first letter of each last name (for couples with different last names)—in the order of your choice, of course!

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A three-initial couple’s 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.

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

Monogram Sources

You can create your own embroidered monograms--if you own a computerized sewing machine (freehand machine embroidery is a pain--if you don't believe me, watch the video below!) or you can hire the services of a local sewing expert to do the work for you, or you can order items from retailers like Pottery Barn. They will (for a nominal charge) add a monogram to your purchase.

I've Tried This and It's Not Fun!

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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.

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A contemporary monogram features initials of the same size in a block or print font (see examples under "Monograms for One Person"). An exception to the same-size contemporary monogram is the circular or diamond monograms, in which the initials conform to a circle or diamond shape. Block monograms were originally used by men, but are becoming much more prevalent for women, couples and families.


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Ideas for the Home - 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 monogram accent. Monograms are a great way to spice up plain white bedding and pick up accent 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.


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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 so passé. How about a monogrammed chair? I absolutely love dining room chairs 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 your family monogram to achieve the same upscale look. Or use a single initial--then you can designate a chair for a each family member!



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Bathroom

Bath towels are, by far, the most popular home item to receive a monogram. Many retailers offer a towel monogramming service. They are still a considered a thoughtful gift for newlyweds and as 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. You'll feel like you are in an upscale resort!

Shared Spaces

A throw pillow is the perfect canvas for a monogram. Initials are great, but don’t stop there. Try these ideas for something a little different. Get creative with whimsical lettering (yes, online retailers will do this for you. In fact, I got this very idea from Ballard Designs). In a bar or lounge area, add embroidered words on pillows describing your favorite mixed drinks (stirred, shaken, neat, rocks) or wines (dry, crisp, soft, bold).

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Ready, Set, Mark Your Territory!

Now, design a great monogram and have a blast using a few of these ideas for embroidered monograms in your home!

Do you like monograms?

  • Yes, I can't get enough of them!
  • No, they're frivolous
  • Hadn't really given them much thought
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Do you currently have embroidered monograms in your home?

  • Yes
  • No
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Would you consider including embroidered monograms as part of a room's décor?

  • Yes
  • No, I don't think so
  • Absolutely not!
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© 2012 lindacee

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Start a Conversation About Monograms! 2 comments

tamarawilhite profile image

tamarawilhite 4 years ago from Fort Worth, Texas

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


lindacee profile image

lindacee 4 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

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

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