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Monograms can be the letter-perfect embellishment for your home

What better way to personalize a space than with your monogram? Monograms look sensational in every style of home and in just about every spot. Here are some tips and tricks for working magic with monograms in your home.

I think the ultimate in dining luxury is using monogrammed linens on your table. Start with a set of white napkins monogrammed in black or white so you can use them all year long and with a variety of plate colors.

Or hunt for vintage or antique monogrammed napkins at flea markets or antiques stores. If you're lucky enough to find some marked with your initials, you've scored! If not, just find some that melt your heart, no matter whose initials they bear. Who cares if they are not yours? I have two different sets of antique napkins that feature beautiful raised monograms that aren't mine. The script on the napkins is so elegant — and unreadable — that you can't tell whose initials are on them. But even if the letters were clear, it wouldn't make a difference to me. I think of these treasured old linens as works of art and am thrilled to invite them to my dinner table.

Consider placing monograms on dining room chairs to give the set a distinctive air. My friend Marsee changed the look of her dining set by having monogrammed slipcovers made for the host and hostess chairs.

By picking a neutral linen fabric and a tone-on-tone monogram, she can easily change the look of her tabletop display without having to change the slipcovers — they go with everything. Another option is to add monograms to the back of custom upholstered dining room chairs. It blows me away how easy it is to transport a dining room from "fine" to "fabulous" just by adding a few embroidered letters to the back of a chair.

Adding a monogrammed pillow to the mix on your sofa or showcasing one on a side chair is an easy way to bring this fun look to your home. Or, make the look even more dramatic by mixing together a grouping of pillows, with several featuring different style monograms.

When Marsee had a lovely antique chair refinished, she decided to make it exceptionally beautiful by decorating it with a monogram. I'm crazy about monogrammed upholstered furniture, and we do this all the time at Nell Hill's Briarcliff. It takes a few extra steps, but it's well worth it when you see the results.

One of the great things about a home office is that you can make it truly reflective of your style, not the company's. What better way to make it yours than by decorating it with your monogram? A monogrammed pillow is the perfect finishing touch for a stylish home workstation.

Monogrammed bed linens, meanwhile, are a terrific way to give your bedroom character. My friend Melanie had custom pillow shams made for her bed, one of which featured her monogram and the other, her husband's. This is an especially good choice for couples who have different last names.

Another great spot to monogram is an upholstered headboard. We're seeing a resurgence in the number of people who want a custom fabric headboard, and these singular pieces look amazing decorated with a monogram.

Hallways and foyers can be hard to decorate because they are often small and focused on function. Here's a great way to add charm to this busy spot: Tuck in an upholstered ottoman backed with a lovely monogrammed pillow. This simple but attractive grouping not only fills a dead space, it serves as a welcoming spot to put on your shoes or flip through the day's mail.

For fun, I had my house number monogrammed on an outdoor pillow and placed it on the wire benches that grace my front porch. The pillow adds a wonderful decorative element and assures visitors that they are in the right place.

This column has been adapted from Mary Carol Garrity's blog at www.nellhills.com.

Monograms can be the letter-perfect embellishment for your home 07/23/11 [Last modified: Friday, July 22, 2011 7:20pm]

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