Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Coat of Arms in Design

A coat of arms or a family crest is a symbol used to represent your family, your country, or your military as a means of identification. Everyone knew which crest belonged to which family or even individual. They are seen as quite regal and filled with history. Today, although they are less common, they still show up in family rings or in homes as heirlooms passed down from prior generations. I've been seeing a lot of them lately in design in pillows, as wall decoration or elsewhere. It could be a nice way to add something different and personal to a room.

In Rob Southern's latest spread in House Beautiful he painted these chairs white but you can see on the back of them they have a carved coat of arms. The black and white contrast is gorgeous in this front hall.

Michael Smith found this extremely large coat of arms to put in the stairway of this California home. It definitely draws your attention upwards.

Like I said above, many stores have them as pillows. Even though it might not be your family crest, they still look important. By Joanna Poitier.
Christopher Coffin designed this elegant and traditional sitting room and put two small crests over the doors.

These are the most modern and daring looking coats of arms I've seen thus far. I just adored this entire spread from Elle Decor by Badgley Mischka. This room with the monogrammed pillows is so bold yet nonabrasive.

Monogramming has become so popular, perhaps it's time to go with something more subtle? An old family crest? I think one has to be careful not to use it in a pretentious manner-like all over the place. I still love monogramming, of course--it might be awkward if I put the Alicia B. family crest on an LLBean tote, right? One of my favorite crests is the Medici one HERE.

Alicia B.


highglossblue.blogspot said...

My favorite use of the crest is in Rob Southern's room, ita a witty take on a design motif that still conjures up images of Bunny, Samatha's (from sexinthecity) first mother in law....remember the Scottish party episode?!? Anyway! Love it, as always!!

LindsB said...

This is a cute idea, a nice change to the standard monogram. I'll have to ask my Dad if we have one and do something with it.

Sarah said...

The use of one's coat of arms should not be displayed in too much of a public space. The Queen, for instance, never wears her own coat of arms. One should be humble whilst displaying their heritage and not wear it upon their sleeve.

Alicia B. Designs said...

This is very true, Sarah. When decorating your home, you should always ask yourself: What would the Queen do?

Down Pillow said...

I'm not really big on this design element, but I really love how the arms are incorporated in the first photo - tasteful & subtle.