Thanks to my longtime friend and favorite lifestyle expert, Kimberly Schlegel Whitman, I monogram anything and everything I own (though she strictly told me monogramming my child is forbidden, not to mention potentially illegal), so it seems perfectly fitting that her seventh book is all about just that! In Monograms for the Home, she not only goes into the history of these personal touches – which dates back to the sixth century BC – but she also offers ways to elegantly incorporate them into every room of your house. With gorgeous photos and tips from fellow etiquette experts, this is just the style guide you need to start the new year off with! For more tips from the Editor-at-Large of Southern Living, take a peek at my exclusive interview below. Monograms for the Home available on Amazon for $36.
1. What are the dos and don’ts of monogramming?
Oh my! I don’t think there are many don’ts, but I’ve outlined the traditions of monogramming in a chapter of the book. The most important thing to remember is that it is meant to be a design element that stamps your item to make it uniquely yours; therefore, your monogram should be an expression of your signature style.
2. How should people handle hyphenations (if last name treatment is personally important)?
If it is a single initial monogram, it is really up to the owner! If it is a two-letter monogram, it is nice to use both of the hyphenated last names. For example, if the last name is Smith-Jenkins, the two-letter monogram could be SJ. If it is a three-letter name, then treat the first part of the hyphenated last name as a middle initial (so Kimberly Smith-Jenkins could be kJs).
3. Other than initials or dates, what is a fun monogram to use?
I love Elvis-monogrammed everything with TCB for “Taking Care of Business!” If you have a signature phrase or motivating quote you like, consider using that!
4. With monogramming, do you feel that there are varieties that should be retired or used less frequently?
I think every monogram style certainly suits someone out there!
5. What do you wish people monogrammed more often?
Heirloom items in their homes such as silver or linens that can be passed down. Many people skip the monogram because they want to pass it down, and the family member will probably have different initials; but I like that the initials are there and help tell the story of the history of the piece.
6. What is your most-treasured monogrammed item?
The silver that my mother-in-law gave to my husband and me when we were married. It has the most beautiful W on it, and I’ve used the same W on items ranging from our wedding dinner napkins to a bracelet that Hannah Ferguson made for me (pictured above).
7. What’s the most interesting or unusual item you’ve seen monogrammed?
Well, I haven’t seen it, but Nate Berkus told me that he was in a home that had monogrammed toilet paper!
8. Who inspires your style?
History! I love adding a fresh spin or a new twist on classics.
9. In your line of Halo Home linens, which is your favorite piece?
That is like asking a mother to name her favorite child! 😉 But…if you were forcing me to pick…I guess I would go for our emoji cocktail napkins (on Snob Essentials for $48)! They are modern twists on classic white linen hemstitch.
10. Which brands or retailers do you recommend for monogramming on a budget?
If you already have an item that you want to monogram, ask your tailor if they can do it! You would be surprised how reasonable it is. If you are looking for personalized items, check out Etsy or Mark and Graham for great finds!
11. Is there such a thing as too much monogramming? Do you have a “less is more” approach?
I don’t think you can monogram too many things as long as they are in a similar monogram style. I love the “more is more” look!
12. What is your best piece of advice for other working moms?
Keep your chin up! It is hard to juggle so many things, but I just try to keep organized lists and a good working calendar, as well as schedule time for myself to get projects done. I’ve learned that I get frustrated trying to multitask when I have an important project, so I try to ask my mom or my husband to help and take the children for an activity so that I can have some time while I know that they are busy and distracted!