The word “monogram” can spark images of stuffy bathrooms where hand towels are distinguished between “his” and “hers” by elaborately embroidered initials. But a monogram is also an opportunity to personalize your home with a little style.
What makes a monogram is arguable, with some saying that it must be two to three stitched letters, where one letter forms part of the other letters. But the definition is applied loosely to the current trend where letters can be stamped on glassware and etched into metal and often consist of just one letter hung on a wall or sewn onto bedsheets.
Richard Jarden, writing in Stitches magazine, says the earliest monograms served to mark laundry so that when women got together to wash it they wouldn’t get their skivvies mixed up. It was not until the 16th century that people began to commemorate their families and decorate their possessions using their own names.
The key to the modern monogram is a little moderation and a monogram that fits with the look of your home — sleek and clean for the modernist, curly and ornate for the shabby chic at heart.
Marina Stojik-Friedman owns Night and Day, a fine linen shop in Scottsdale. She says about half her customers are requesting monograms on their bed and bath linens.
“People come in (and) have monograms done on their bedding or on a custom coverlet. Some are very straightforward, very contemporary,” she says. “There’s really two styles that are most popular. One is more of block letters, and the other has a little more of a script look. There are a few that are more ornate, but that’s not for everybody. Someone who likes flair goes with that.”
Her customers typically request to have the top flat sheet of a bedding collection, a duvet cover, hand towels and even bath rugs monogrammed.
“Pillowcases are not always monogrammed,” she says, “but a pillow sham or a decorative pillow will be.”
The size of your monogram should coordinate with the size of the item being monogrammed. For instance, a pillow sham will have a 3-inch monogram, whereas a duvet’s will be 12 inches.
“That way you can see it,” she says. “It looks good and presents itself nicely.”
And which letters do you choose?
Stojik-Friedman says that if it’s informal or if it’s placed in a guest bedroom, opt for a single letter. If it’s in a master bedroom, go for the more traditional monogram with the first letter of the last name and the first letter of each person’s first name.
Night & Day
7033 E. First Ave. Scottsdale (480) 481-5106