KDHamptons Home: Sarah de Havenon Brings Luxury Fine Linen Service To The Hamptons With French Presse
This week KDHamptons catches up with native New Yorke and Hamptonite, Sarah de Havenon, who recently launched her signature fine linen service French Presse, a comprehensive luxury linen management company. Originally launched on the East End in summer 2014, French Presse offers unparalleled cleaning and pressing of everything from duvets and sheets to napkins and towels — a “must” for the ultimate Hamptons hostess. What could be more luxurious than a weekly pick-up and delivery service tailored to keeping your linens looking perfectly pressed? Learn more about French Presse in this NEW KDHamptons Design Diary below:
Not only does French Presse wash, press, package beautifully and deliver linens (bedding and table), they offer a full range of the finest in linen management services. French Presse will assess, prepare and stock clients’ complete linen closet contents. The FP team will coordinate with homeowners, interior designers, caretakers, house managers, real estate agents and renters directly to ensure that every aspect runs smoothly.
KDHamptons: What inspired you to launch French Presse in the Hamptons?
Sarah de Havenon: I have been summering in the Hamptons since the sixties. At that time there was a “laundry service” where the Laundry restaurant first set up shop that we used to use. When I was renting my home in East Hampton two summers ago, I was shocked to find there wasn’t a luxury linen service around to care for my sheets on the turn around days. I had a small army of housekeepers who buzzed through the house in two hours but there was no way to get all the sheets done. So like most new business, it grew out of a personal need, coupled with an understanding of the Hamptons market. Since the original inception, it has evolved in to much more as a business concept.
KDHamptons: How does French Presse work in the Hamptons?
Sarah: French Presse is really a first – we are a complete linen service. We sell and rent all types of bedding at all different price points. We roll up to your home in our store on wheels. We provide the ultimate care for your linens – washing, pressing, mending. And we customize our service to your needs. For instance, I have had clients send sample folded napkins so we have the exact measurements to replicate for their dinner parties.
KDHamptons: Hamptons hostesses seem to really covet their linens, why is that?
Sarah: I think there are a few reasons. First many New Yorkers/Hampton homeowners prefer to do their entertaining in the country. Country homes lend themselves more to sharing the leisure life – there’s more room and a little more leisure time. When we fall in love with the Hamptons, we fall in love with the sensual and aesthetic appeal of its beauty. Why else would we sit on the Long Island Expressway and Route 27 for hours if not for the promise of its light, its produce, the ocean breeze and shingled homes? Whether you live in a 800 square foot cottage or a 20,000 square foot home, they are both surrounded by the wonderful Hamptons landscape. For me, gorgeous curated and well-selected linens are just an extension of this aesthetic sensibility. Combine this with the blissful appeal of slipping in to freshly pressed sheets after a day in the sea air. Heaven!
KDHamptons: What kind of products does French Presse use for cleaning?
Sarah: French Presse uses only environmentally friendly techniques and products. Using a fragrance free PH-balanced method, the signature French Presse method removes dirt and stains without the use of harsh agents. As a result, luxury sheets are free of the kind of yellowing produced by home laundering and bleach, and have the softest and freshest results. French Presse believes in pressing sheets when they are still damp (as manufacturers of fine linens suggest), which produces the flawlessly smooth surface provided by five star hotels.
KDHamptons: Share a tip on how to create the ultimate bedding design?
Sarah: Your bed should be the centerpiece of your bedroom. There are many things to consider in sheet selection – both the look of the bedding, the feel and of course the maintenance requirements. I still love a beautiful 400 count cotton percale, but recently I tried linen just to see what the fuss was about and I’ve been been seduced. In fact I just ordered another duvet cover from my source in Spain. Nothing compares to the angelic look of a well-pressed linen duvet cover. Coupled with the slightly crisp and rough sensation on your skin and it creates a novel bedding experience.
Image via John Robshaw
KDHamptons: In a nutshell, how does your consulting service work in the Hamptons?
Sarah: When I do an in-home consultation with a client there many things I research:
*Do they keep their home cool with air conditioning or the ocean breeze?
*Do they have a full-time staff that makes their beds or do they make their
own beds in the morning?
*Do they run hot or cold at night? What about their partner?
*Do they have allergies?
KDHamptons: What are your favorite bedding brands? Does French Presse sell linens as well should clients wish to refresh and update their closets?
Sarah: In addition to my own signature house-line of high quality European bedding imported from Portugal, I draw from Matouk, John Robshaw, Pine Cone Hill and the Downtown Company (specializing in goose down comforters, pillows and mattress pads) when wardrobing linens in a home. I have also discovered some of my own lesser known gems which give more variety to the assortment and allow for customization of linen and cotton bedding. We are presently perfecting our custom dying technique so that we can dye cotton to any Pantone color. Clients can schedule an appointment with the FP@home Bedding Boutique which will arrive at their home with a multitude of products to consider.
KDHamptons: Do you like to acquire vintage linens?
Sarah: Well I happen to come from a family that loves textiles and sewing. One of my treasures as a child were the hand-embroidered pillowcases crafted by one of my great grandmothers in Washington State. I crocheted my first lace by the time I was nine. My sister began collecting antique textiles while living in Belgium many years ago. Since then, she has built a business around it. She has become a source for designers and decorators and has now launched her own gorgeous website www.textilemagiccollection.com. She is my go-to person when I have any questions about dealing with very delicate antique fabrics.
* For more information please go to: www.frenchpresse.com