A WELL-DRESSED HOME

by ALAENA HOSTETTER / photography by HOLGER OBENAUS

To dress your bed in the very best, consider what interior designers and well-heeled shoppers have known for nearly 20 years. They rely on The Linen Boutique, a Park Cities emporium, for fine bed, bath and tabletop linens, plus bath and dining accessories, gifts, baby items and more.

“Think about the amount of money people spend on clothes because they like the way a certain garment feels or how they feel while wearing it,” owner Joanne Walgren says. “You spend at least eight hours a day in bed, why shouldn’t you have fine quality fabrics to sleep on?”

Walgren spent much of her career in corporate America before opening The Linen Boutique. She loves fine linens and has a background in sales, which she parlayed into opening her own store in 2003.

She selects imported linens for her store based on their reputation for quality. The linens hail mostly from Italy and France, bearing illustrious names like Sferra, Matouk and D. Porthault.

“Matouk is known for amazing custom work, both appliqué and embroidery,” Walgren says. “Designers flock to this brand because everything can be unique.”

Sferra offers sateen or percale sheets of up to 1,000 thread count in a variety of colors.

The French brand D. Porthault (pronounced Dee Porto) is the go-to line for beautiful prints and patterns.

“What’s great is that everything coordinates so you can mix and match between lines,” Walgren says. With more than 200 vendors represented in the store, that’s quite a selection to choose from.

“These are heirloom-quality pieces,” Walgren explains, saying that she wouldn’t be surprised if sheets and towels from her store last for decades under the right care, which includes avoiding bleach, not washing and drying on hot, and removing linens from the dryer before they’re bone dry so as not to scorch the fibers. Her own household items have held up for 20 years.

One might expect that level of quality to come with a daunting price tag, but Walgren’s business doesn’t only cater to the 1%. While The Linen Boutique does stock sheet sets that cost thousands of dollars, the store also offers moderately priced items, including sheet sets for less than $400.

Pricing can vary based on the thread count, finish and extra embellishments, like embroidery and monogramming. Shoppers can feel assured that regardless of price point, these brands only use the highest-quality long-staple cotton for its durability and softness.

“I feel like I should do sheet angels when I go to bed,” Walgren’s sister has told her, likening her joy and excitement about her soft sheets to kids making angels in freshly fallen snow.

In addition to quality sheets, having the right pillow makes all the difference in a good night’s sleep. The Linen Boutique carries several lines of pillows in down and down alternative. It also offers a Pillow Bar solution, which allows customers to fill pillows to their desired firmness. “We ask people to try out several different fills in the store and tell us what is most comfortable to them,” Walgren says.

Aside from personal preference, pillow firmness is also dictated by a person’s size and how they sleep—whether on their back, side or stomach. Each will have different firmness needs. “You should have proper spine alignment while you’re sleeping—it’s important to keep your spine as straight as possible,” Walgren explains.

In addition to linens, The Linen Boutique stocks an extensive amount of bath accessories, serving pieces, picture frames and cheese boards, as well as accessories from Michael Aram and fine glassware from Simon Pearce.

And this trade-friendly store offers discounts to designers and prides itself on customer service. “It’s important that when people buy something, they feel satisfied with that purchase,” says Walgren.

The Linen Boutique’s associates help with design questions and send swatches home with customers so they can see how things will look in their home. The store also offers limited returns if customers aren’t satisfied.

“We try really hard to make our customers happy and make sure they understand the quality of our products,” Walgren says. “I’m pleased to say that my customers come back year after year.” *

Alaena Hostetter is a content strategist, editor and journalist who writes about art, design, culture, music, entertainment and food. She can be reached via her website alaenahostetter.com.