Monogrammed chair backs are an upholstery detail that personalize furniture and a room.
Monogramming is not the usual way to enhance a set of chairs — that would be nail heads. It’s not the most elaborate — fringe gets my vote on that score. But it’s one of the prettiest and most personal. Today, most monograms used for upholstery are machine made and romantically rendered. But if I ever have time I would consider learning to do elaborate monograms by hand. That’s something of a lost art mainly seen on vintage French linens. But real needlework is always a challenging project and would be beautiful do on the backs of my dining room chair slipcovers which resemble those in the photo below. Meanwhile, I am collecting photos. The graceful scrolling R [top] on the backs of French style oval back armchairs is beautifully placed and large enough to impress — simple but elegant. The white initials stand out well on the pale green fabric because the monogram is rather thick and white is picked up by the wall color in the room. Some designers might go for a contrasting fabric on the back of the chairs instead.
Modern side chairs are often inexpensive but can look generic. Here are chairs where customizing upholstery can make a huge difference. The addition of delicate contrast welting in taupe highlights the lines of the back. Welting also brackets the monograms while still remaining discreet. With chairs this blocky I could see a more contemporary monogram style, — perhaps something square and Art Deco, or large and linear to pull things in a more current direction. But the elaborate scrolling S has a special decorative quality since it’s almost abstract.
In a way, monogrammed chair backs are similar to the custom embroidered medallion motif designer Ruthie Sommers used on traditional Queen Anne side chairs in our Embroidered Chair Backs post. Both involve extra expense but for monogram lovers it’s traditional design well placed.
For more ways to use monograms see Monogrammed Easy Chairs and Grand Bedroom Monograms
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