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  • Bedroom by Cathy Kincaid Hudson © Linens: For Every Room and Occasion, Rizzoli New York, 2014
  • Bedroom by Alex Papachristidis © Linens: For Every Room and Occasion, Rizzoli New York, 2014

The Founder of Leontine Linens — who has a new book out, Linens: For Every Room
and Occasion
— shares her expert guide to the art of fine linens.

On entertaining…
You want other people to feel comfortable. It doesn’t have to be all contrived and perfect. Mix together your chinas, your glassware and linens.

On colored table linens…
When you use them, it gives the impact of flowers. It also makes people feel a little more comfortable than the traditional white hemstitch. You don’t want somebody to walk into your dining and say, “Oh, I should have worn black tie.”

On the LBD of tabletop decor…
Ivory table linens with a gold metallic thread monogram — it goes with any china and with any look.

On bathroom linens…
I think it’s nice to have some terry fingertip towels (14″ x 20″). They’re smaller than a hand towel, and stack neatly on the basin. It’s more comfortable for your guests. Even me, I hate to walk into someone’s bathroom and deface their perfectly pressed linen hand towels — I’ll wipe my hands on my pants before I do that.

On bedding…
For me, it’s about over-pillow length — which is when your blanket cover has an extra bit of length to cover your sleeping pillows — and using a 20″ x 60″ body pillow instead of having various embroidered and appliqued pillow shams. It’s a fabulous finishing touch: one elegant long pillow.

On making the perfect bed…
I prefer to fold the duvet at the foot of the bed. When you have a duvet spread out and you’re trying to fluff it right and get coverage on the sides… it can make you crazy. If you just have a coverlet and pillows, it looks neater. And the folded duvet looks nice and inviting at the bottom of the bed.

On ironing your sheets…
Nobody is in your bedroom checking your hospital corners or your sheets to see if they’re ironed. I mean, you can iron your pillowcase — that feels good on your face — but these are things people shouldn’t worry about.


On the best gift to give the hostess…
A sweet boudoir pillowcase that’s just for her. Or if it’s a couple, monogram cocktail napkins.

On linen luxuries for the linen lover…
Beautiful Italian cotton sheets are wonderful, but where self-proclaimed linen addicts really get excited is with the embellishments. So find something with a really intricate embroidery or pretty appliqué.

After reading my book, I hope everyone…
Takes some pleasure in putting out special things in your home for people (and your family) to enjoy. In our culture of chicken nuggets and soccer practices, where everyone’s on the fly, sitting down for a meal has become a lost art. So if there’s some way to make the table special… I mean, this morning, I put out these lime-green napkins from Mexico that had little cross-stitched animals on them for the kids for breakfast. Try to remember that the little touches are the things that last. These are the things that will make something special — even if it is a meal of chicken nuggets.

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