02 November, 2006

Fresh Ideas for the Old Art of Monogramming

Often times we tend to think of monogramming in terms of the basics, such as towels and linens, silver jewelry pieces, barware, children’s clothing, luggage, women’s bags/purses (which has gained a great deal of momentum and popularity in recent years), and above all, stationery (my one true love in life). But sometimes it’s nice to think outside of regular monogramming standards and find other ways to incorporate our monogram into our homes without it being obnoxious. This is a question I seem to be receiving more and more and let’s face it, sometimes too much of something, such as a monogram, just isn’t too well received by others (at least that has been my experience).

Did anyone else receive the Pottery Barn Kids catalog this August? Well, even if you don’t have kids, it’s worth hopping over to their website and have a little look at the monogrammed valences they are now doing. I say, IT’S ABOUT TIME. And it’s also about time that they started doing a more streamlined, simple preppy crib bedding style that is available for monogramming also, but I’ll hop off my proverbial Pottery Barn soap box. But I want you to go check out these valences because really, I don’t think it is something that has to be done just in a nursery. I am thinking something similar in a rich, silk dupioni, with a formal monogram would make a really stunning addition to a room, such as a guest room. Throw in there a few matching/coordinating pillows and you’ve really personalized a usually bland room that is often an afterthought. Or, what would really look gorgeous is a matching silk bed skirt with wide pleats, and a matching monogrammed centered on each side of the bed skirt (so, a total of 3. one for each side). Obviously you can tell I love my silks and I try to incorporate them wherever I can in my own home (no, I don’t think that just because I have young children means I shouldn’t have nice things but that’s a post for another day). However, if you opt to do that, then I would not do monogrammed pillows. There is, after all, such a thing as overkill when it comes to monogramming, believe it or not. Even monogram momma knows that!

Now, another example of how I’ve incorporated monograms into my home is by doing a French calligraphic border with mini monogram #2’s monogram in the center. I painted it directly on the wall, centered over his crib as you can see in this picture. Can’t paint, you say? Well truly, neither can I. So I cheated. Don’t act so surprised either, it’s not like I cheated on a mid-term. I just gave my creative ability a much needed little boost in the painting department and there’s nothing wrong with that. So here’s what I did. I borrowed an old-school style overhead projector, then had my border (which I took from a design book of non-copyrighted images) & monogram copied onto clear projector sheets over at Kinko’s, projected it on the wall, sketched my design lightly with a pencil, then went back over it with paint. It was that easy. If you wanted to make it three-dimensional, then you could also go over your pattern w/ wall spackle, and then go over it with paint. I have seen this done with stenciling (which I am not a big fan of, in case you were wondering) where you fill your stencil in with the spackle to give it a raised, 3-D effect, and then painted over it. It looked pretty neat when done with a tone on tone sort of unobtrusive look, so that’s something else for you to consider. Clearly, you can see I am not one for primary colors in a nursery so both of my boy’s nurseries were very soothing and calm with chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, silk drapes, and toile-type fabrics, so this monogram goes perfectly with mini #2’s room. I’m hoping it will work as I slowly change it into his “big boy room,” but I’ll have you let you know if that’s going to be at all possible. I know you’ll all be sitting on the edge of your seat, but I can tell you know I will be one unhappy momma if I have to paint over this decorative monogram on his wall.


Across the hall in mini #1’s bedroom, he does not have his monogram on the wall, Instead he has big letters that spell “Sogno” which means “Dream” in Italian. So I opted instead, to do his monogram on his pillow shams (excuse the pink lollipop mark on the sham. GRRRRRRRRR. “Someone” snuck a lollipop into his room and tried to hide it from me. I’m not saying who because I will not point fingers, but it was NOT mini #2 or Mr. Monogram, I can tell you that much). But this is very common and not something you haven’t thought or done yourself before. But what about monogramming the actual bed? If I wanted, and I did think about it, I could have monogrammed the center of his bed, since it is all hardwood. And I would have either used my trusty black transfer paper that you all probably think I need to take stock in (and don’t think I haven’t thought about that myself), or again, using the overhead projector. But if you love the monogrammed headboard idea but are more of a charge-it type of person, you can buy a beautiful one from my church, also known as Horchow, that is priced really great I think. Oohh La La, can’t you see yourself laying under this beautiful arched headboard? Or, head on over to Ballard Designs and they can do a monogrammed fabric headboard for you as well. Either chose one of the many fabrics they offer, or you can send in your own. Your choices are endless but again, use the monogram in small doeses. You don’t, for example, want to do a monogrammed headboard, pillow shams, and valence. That my friends, is what we’d consider an overkill and instead of being elegant and classic, you cross the line to tacky. And monogram momma just does not do tacky, let me assure you!

Also worth remembering are all the other monogramming projects we’ve already tackled here. Like the monogrammed shower curtain or the monogrammed drink tins, monogrammed dinnerware, etc.. And while some of these ideas may not be fresh ideas so-to-speak, you can freshen them up with more modern or fun fonts. So as you walk around your house today, look at your everyday things, and just ask yourself how you can freshen up your look with a simple 1 or 3-letter monogram. As for me, I’m off to go look at furniture for mini #2’s big boy room, then I’m going to attempt early voting today (these elections sure are getting down and dirty!) before picking up the mini’s at pre-school. Sadly, I must admit I am not looking very cute today as I’m in Yoga pants (how do I love elastic? Let me count the ways…) and long sleeved tee, hair up in a bun, sporting my glasses today. Well I can’t look cute everyday! Some days it’s all about comfort and today is just one of those days.

15 Comments:

Anonymous said...

Your house makes me smile, I love what you've shown us! I stick to my first initial for monogramming because I have a steady boyfriend and what if my monogramming changes in the next year and 1/2. I hate things not matching.PLUS I don't want to be walking around after I have a name change with my old monogram. So am I weird? :)

Anonymous said...

I too saw those monogrammed valances in the PBK catalog and fell in love! Definitely filing those away in my memory for when little ones come along. Great idea though for doing it in a guest room or other room of the house.

Anonymous said...

Amber Lee, I do the same thing! I know that once I get married (hopefully in the next few years) I'll want to flaunt my new monogram and won't want to wear or use things with my current monogram anymore. I'm glad I'm not the only one!

Susan D said...

I love your ideas! We received several monogrammed gifts for our wedding & two of my favorites are a large candle with our mongogram that resides in our den and of course, our bed pillow to match our duvet with our monogram. Loved your wall monogram & pillows!

Anonymous said...

I envy you, seriously. You and the monogramming is just so cute!

emma's pulse said...

I love all of your ideas...that blue monogram is especially gorgeous. Thank you for sharing all of your beautiful ideas.

Monogram Momma said...

Thanks, everyone! Amber Lee & J: I used to be that way about my old monogram (w/ my maiden name), but I do find myself wearing some of my older monogrammed things. There's truly nothing wrong with it! I can understand as a newly married gal you might not want to, and I probably didn't either, but I'm 8 years into marriage and I wear my signet ring, my monogrammed earings, bracelets, etc.. (not all at once though!) when I'm in the mood for those pieces.

Susan said...

As always, fabulous ideas!

Anonymous said...

I love the Church of Horchow and worship often.

I like my current monogram besides who wants to wait to get something monogrammed - what if you never get married, then you've totally missed the boat - I will always be ALP!

Marissa said...

Beautiful, I just adore the stenciled monogram wall - what a fabulous idea!

spymum said...

MM, I swear to God you really should do a book. Seriously. No, seriously - these ideas are great and you are so good at this! The monogrammed wall (over crib) is a clever idea!

As a completely cack-handed klutz I am in awe.

Monogram Momma said...

SpyMum you have got to be kidding b/c if ANYONE in the blogging world deserves a book deal it's you, my friend!

Anonymous said...

Preppy Princess, my initials are ALP as well!!!

spymum said...

;-)

Just imagine you as the monogramming 'Martha' with a coffee table book full of perfect photography with your own projects. I can!

Kimberly said...

That looks GREAT! Love your blog :)