A is for accents, D is for decor.... I've been madly in love with typography since my days as a graphic design student at Sheridan Art College. In fact, I partnered with one of my classmates, Gerarda Parrott, who today is still a dear friend and an accomplished graphic designer, on a photography project in our graduating year titled "The Architectural Alphabet." We got an A! Today, letters of the alphabet are popping up in stores everywhere on everything from monogrammed tea towels to coat hooks. If you're a flea market junkie like me, you'll find your initials in the most unlikely places. We all know that's where all the good stuff is discovered! Look for old tin, wood or even electrified signage letters to add a unique personal touch to your decor. Not into digging for junk? Check out these fun alphabet products that I've found online and in shops around town recently. Photography ABCs A few years ago an interesting booth caught my eye at a local arts and crafts show. Much to my delight, I discovered photographer Jennifer Blakeley, who was selling gorgeous black and white photos of architectural and nature-inspired letters of the alphabet. My first thought? Why didn't Gerarda and I think of that! At 21 we had other things on our minds, I guess! Anyway, you can imagine how excited I was to discover Jennifer, who had turned her passion for photography and the alphabet into a booming online business called Alphabet Photography. Visit the consumer-friendly website to create and order your own personalized framed names, words or phrases like the ones below, from a stunning selection of photographed letters and custom frames. These whimsical decorative accents also make great personalized gifts for friends and family members. Alphabet Photography's warehouse is headquartered in Niagara Falls, Canada. Founder Jennifer Blakeley, continues to run the business while raising her young family. PROFIT Magazine has listed Jennifer as one of Canada’s top female entrepreneurs for the second year in a row.Above: Left: Alphabet porcelain hooks, $12. Right: Letter hooks, $14. Both from Anthropologie. Initialize your style Below: West Elm's washable, 100 per cent cotton canvas Baggu bags are dipped in colourful latex ($48.24 each). They're great for groceries, wine, sportswear and homework, especially when personalized with your own initials.
Above: Framed "Joy" and "Home" by Jennifer Blakeley, Alphabet Photography, $39 each. Make it personal Monogrammed items will always look chic and classic.
Above: West Elm's striped-border hand towels with tassled fringe are woven in 100 per cent pure yarn-dyed cotton. Available in Stone White/Platinum/Blue Willow, $10 each. Monograms available for an additional $7. Learn more.
E is for essentials These pretty and utilitarian hooks are essential for keeping things organized and off of the floor at home or in the office. Why not get one for every member of the family?!
Alphabet DIY Below: This photo, courtesy of Pottery Barn, inspired me with its framed letters of the alphabet. It's a simple idea to recreate. Enlarge family members' initials in various fonts from your computer and print them on plain or coloured paper. Frame them up with vintage or new frames and create a wonderful arrangement like the one shown below in a home office, family room or hallway.
Above: Rustic metal letters (M shown on desk) from Pottery Barn, $38 each. Monogrammed mugs Whether you're at home or at the office, it'll be easy to track your cuppa java if you have a pretty monogrammed mug.
Above: Homegrown monogrammed mugs, $8 each. Below: Monogrammed mug, $6. Both from Anthropologie.
Custom signage Create vintage-style signage for your spaces with large letters found at flea markets or antique shops. And don't worry about having them all the same font and made out of the same material – the quirkier the better!
Above: Red EAT sign in painted wood from Pottery Barn, 3 letters, $63. Hitting the nail on the head Get creative with the alphabet and head to the hardware store for a sack of nails. Here's a clever idea I found on one of my favourite websites, Remodelista. I think this would be a fun way to make signs for the cottage or a garden shed.
How well do you know your ABCs? Add a comment and tell us how you decorate with letters of the alphabet. Follow me on Twitter: @KKMe123