Create Your Own Personalized Style


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By Barbara Kaplan –

If you read my column regularly, you know what a great advocate I am of personalizing your interior spaces.

Lately, I’ve become aware of the growing trend of another kind of personalizing. It is with monograms, both in the fashion and home industries. You see it on shirts, blouses and sweaters, belts, bags and jewelry.

In the home fashions industry, you’ll find monogramming on towels, blankets, bed sheets, picture frames, diaries, stationery and glasses with matching pitchers (which I remember receiving as a wedding gift). If you like to camp, you’ll be happy to know monogrammed sleeping bags are in.

Personalizing is an old custom. When I got married, my mother gave me several tablecloths that she had embroidered when she was a young girl for her wedding trousseau. These handmade items are truly treasures. I also have a pillow case with my grandmother’s initials.

A few years ago, I gave myself a birthday party and invited a few friends to Las Vegas for a long weekend. To each friend I gave a body wrap towel with their name embroidered on it. Two weeks ago, I received a phone call from one of those friends asking for another party because her wrap was looking a bit shabby from all the washing and she wanted a new one. I didn’t realize at the time what a beautiful memory I was making for my friends to use every day. I only knew I wanted my friends to know how special they were to me.

Last year, for my holiday shopping, I bought dish towels color-coordinated to my client’s kitchens, and had them embroidered with their names.

I also had a personal symbol embroidered on each towel. For instance, if they loved cats, I had a cat embroidered and added the cat’s name. If they loved golf, I added a golf motif. My clients said they experienced joy using a dish towel!

In the workplace, personalizing your space is more difficult because it may need to be subtle. To accomplish this, you can use personalized stationery, pens or picture frames – all of which are widely accepted in offices and on desks. If you select your favorite colors for these items, you are personalizing them even more. The subtlety may only be known by you.

When people are identified with the things in their lives that have special meaning to them, they feel validated. Identifying with our most personal spaces is one way to do this. A personal stamp has been placed on our home or belongings. This can be important both personally and professionally.

Living in a space that says “this is me” makes us feel good. We can belong and be real. We can let go of the stresses of the day and sink into comfort and tranquility. Then the creativity inside of us can be released.

We are all creative – whether it’s the way we cook, communicate or relax. But first, we must feel safe and comfortable to tap into that place inside ourselves. We can carve out our personal monogram when we express our individuality through creativity.

Place your signature in your personal spaces. And always remember, rooms have no feelings, YOU DO!

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