Q: How can I integrate unique monograms of our family initials into my home?
A: Monogramming is a great way of expressing yourself. The historical uses of monograms are fascinating. For instance, members of bygone royalty used monograms to designate their valuable property or family lineage. Today, we traditionally use monograms in the form of initials. Three initials, instead of what used to be two, is a popular choice since a couple can showcase the union of their relationship.
Pretty much anything goes with monogramming as long as the monogram is well designed and positioned in a corresponding, well-appointed space. If you want to add customized monogram features in a distinctive way, I recommend monogramming dining chair fronts. The dining room is a wonderful place to incorporate family initials to personalize the interior.
Creative options exist such as a client for whom I designed a dining chair monogram to include a large letter “C” to represent the family’s last name, which was flanked by each of the couple’s first name initials. We decided upon a luxurious stitched border around the initials, boasting a dramatic crest to add a feel of majesty, yet comfortability, in the monogram’s overall design.
Q: I’ve read that adding family crests, symbols or signets is an interior design trend; is there a way to do this in a subtle and elegant fashion?
A: Symbols or emblems representing the family are indeed a prevalent interior design trend that help serve as an eye-catching hallmark of those living in the home.
In my home, I designed and hung an understated monogram display as a romantic symbol of the marriage between myself and my husband Roger. Similar to my client’s dining chairs, our last name’s initial was incorporated as the center pinnacle, and the initials of our first names were featured on either side.
This was once the centerpiece of my family photo wall, but I wanted to place it in a more visible spot, so I thought it would be a perfect fit for my beloved, blue and white porcelain display. My design concept was to both create originality when trying to fill a wall space as well as add a personal touch to the vignette.
Monograms or most any portraiture can be designed in numerous artistic styles to reflect the homeowners themselves and the home in which these insignias will be part of the décor. Hand-painting, stamping, stitching, embroidering, and even screen-printing are options for creating these appliqués. However, for a refined and graceful look, I recommended working with a designer or artist to plan this type of tailored characterization in the home.
Q: With summer in full swing, I want to make-over my patio for entertaining guests, but how can I create an inside-feel for my outdoor space?
A: Designing the exterior of a home to look and feel like an interior room has long been a popular design objective. In recent years, the trend has been helped by manufacturers and product design experts creating interior-style furnishings, accessories and rugs that are durable enough to weather the elements.
One of the best ways to plan an outdoor space is to think of it as a room or multiple rooms. The setting can be formal or casual, but I always suggest a design theme that expresses a personalized lifestyle or specified activity. Just as with an interior space, I start by assessing if the outdoor room will be used for alfresco dining with family and guests or more as a place of quiet reflection and relaxation. These factors should be considered in advance for a space’s general layout and the selection and installation of furniture or utilitarian, cooking and grilling areas.
Creating a soothing space with the arrangement of cushions and pillows is a great method for achieving a sense of comfort while being reminiscent of the interior. Decorating with elements such as those you would normally find in a home lends an inside-like ambience. Place outdoor rugs under a patio table or chairs. Arrange conversational seating to include an outdoor sofa with harmonizing arm chairs. Accessorize with lamps, art and décor items suitable for the outdoors.
I love to design outdoor rooms with bright and bold color palettes, which sometimes offers a certain design freedom not always in mind for interiors. A consistent range of three to five colors, like complementary shades of blue, green, yellow, and white, can be used to unify several different fabric patterns with a chic and fun flair.
When my team and I design outdoor rooms for some of our clients, we also choose pottery, ceramics or earthenware to place on outdoor tables. A well-placed vase or gorgeous urn atop an outdoor coffee table is a tell-tale sign of the luxury and comfort of an interior.
Have Design Questions?
If you would like to submit your own design questions for next month’s column, please email Kimberly Grigg at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note, a selection of submissions will be chosen for inclusion.
About Kimberly Grigg
Myrtle Beach-based interior designer Kimberly Grigg is the owner of Knotting Hill Interiors and specializes in designing, renovating and redecorating homes in the South, and beyond. Her book is entitled, Secrets of Southern Design. To learn more, visit www.knottinghillinteriors.com and www.itssofabulousblog.com.