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Real Estate / Home + Design

The Monogram Rules

From Unfortunate Initials to Tired Edicts, a Lifestyle Expert Spells It Out

BY // 09.28.15
photography John Cain Sargent
Kimberly Whitman
Kimberly Schlegel Whitman

Monograms have been civilization’s way of marking personal territory for thousands of years, from Charlemagne to the modern-day boardroom. In Texas, we understand the importance of well-placed initials — haven’t we always branded our cattle? While hand-embroidery on linen is much more refined than searing hot iron into flesh, it makes sense that a Texan would explore the history and modern uses of the monogram in depth.

Monograms for the Home, available this month, is Kimberly Whitman‘s seventh book. The Dallas-based lifestyle expert makes regular TV appearances and has been covered in national magazines from Vanity Fair to Town & Country. Beautifully photographed by Dallas photographer John Cain Sargent, her book is packed with good information, stories and traditions from Whitman’s own family.

There are clever bits, such as monogram etiquette (what to do when your initials spell out something unfortunate, for example) and historic traditions meant to be ignored (according to old-school rules, the man’s initials always grace the barware).

At its best, a monogram reminds us of our roots.

Home, chic home.

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