09 May 2012

decorating with letters

I am SUCH a huge fan of home decor that involves any kind of words, letters, and numbers.  Keep reading for tips on best strategies for adding typographic excitement to your own space.  But first, here's a springtime inspiration board, courtesy of products from ModCloth and Polyvore:

Decorating with Words

I also tend to incorporate lots of WORDS into my own home decor via stand-alone letter blocks, vintage typewriters, and typography prints (typography themes have sneaked into my photography as well!).

Typography at home: my dining room bookcase display.

And Target, often simultaneously the joy and bane of my existence, has also caught on to this trend; this is an Instagram image I snapped in an East LA Target a couple of weeks ago:

Oh, Target.  Stealing my money one cute home decor display at a time.

Some tips for incorporating the typography trend in your home, if you are so inclined:

  • Make it meaningful.  Letters and numbers are so much more fun if they hold some significance for you.  I LOVE the look but it felt unnatural for me to start collecting something that didn't have a deeper level of importance for me (though a collection for collection's sake, for example collecting one of each letter of the alphabet, is cool in a totally different way!).  Because of my instinct for finding meaning behind the melange, I have several letters "E," "R," "Z," and "A" because those are our first and last initials.  I have a few letter "M" for my mother, Melanie, and my dog, Mickey.  I took a very cool vintage house number (#2) from my old apartment in Huntington Beach (don't worry, I went to Home Depot and replaced it before I moved out!) as I LOVED that apartment and my time in Huntington Beach was an important chapter in my life.  I fancy "7" as my lucky number, so I have some of those, too.  You get the idea.

  • Mix it up.  Don't buy all of the same design, font, size, or color.  It's more visually-interesting when you have a variety of sizes and shapes to your collection, and it gives a greater sense of flea market authenticity (even if you are, as some of my pieces came to me, shopping at Pottery Barn, Target, or Anthropologie).  

 See how cool it looks to mix letters with fun typographical wall prints? {source}

  • Integrate some genuine vintage.  Like I said, some of my typographic treasures have come from mass-produced retailers, but for a collection you can be proud of, I recommend mixing it up with truly one-of-a-kind pieces.  If you're in Los Angeles, I highly recommend the Melrose Trading Post, which takes place every Sunday at Fairfax High School in Hollywood (free parking and $2 admission), or REHAB Vintage Interiors on Beverly Blvd. (go to the physical location, it's much better than the website).  REHAB is where I scored the tiny bronze letter "n" in my photo above, and I got the Olympia typewriter at Melrose.  It'll also just make you feel cooler to say "flea market" instead of "Restoration Hardware" when guests ask you where you found your great decor.  :)

 Side note: check out this GREAT do-it-yourself tutorial to make your own version of Anthropologie's zinc letters.

  • Be creative.  Notice that there is a combination of letters and numbers AS objects as well as letters and numbers ON objects?  Think outside the metaphorical box when planning and arranging your space in typography by collecting numbers and letters as well as other antique and vintage-inspired items that display numbers and letters, like typewriters, old printing press equipment, product signage... really anything you can dream up with TYPE!  Case in point: the aluminum rectangular canister in my photo above with "No. 2" on it in white.  Still fits my theme but is certainly something different from the letter "n" leaning against it. More ideas:

Examples of typography and other ways to decorate your home using lettering!

Do you already have some typography art or decor in your home?  Are you planning on incorporating some?  Good luck and let me see the results if you go for it!



  1. Great post with lots of great tips! I really want an old vintage type writer but all the ones I have seen at antique type stores are all around $90. I do have an old printers drawer though that now displays photos and other little odds and ends that I love. Enjoyed the post :)

    1. Thanks DeAnn -- I was lucky enough to snag this typewriter at around $25 if I remember correctly... I was ecstatic to find one that was affordable!

  2. I really love this idea, but had no idea how to go about it - thanks for the tips :)


  3. I love that 'go outside and play' print and your typewriter is AWESOME!

    Pop over to my blog sometime too: http://www.dottypinkdesigns.blogspot.com


  4. I totally saw those letters at Target and I was thinking that typography decorations was on the rise! Great post with awesome inspiration!


  5. Oh, goodness! This just reminds me that I used to own a typewriter when I was a kid. I asked for a computer, haha. Back then, I didn't like it because it made writing very slow and erasing was impossible. Now, I wish I would have kept it. *lesson learned* :(


  6. I have that ampersand at home and LOVE that framed envelop!!


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