Today Baltimore shop Linens & Lingerie turns 30! That’s a long time for a small shop tucked away in Ruxton to stay in business. (Although it’s no wonder; it is a local gem!) In honor of the occasion, we re-publish an “Insider” we posted on the store last November. Congratulations to our friends at Linens & Lingerie. – The Eds.
Inside Baltimore’s Linens & Lingerie
Originally published November 9, 2012 -
Linens & Lingerie‘s straightforward name belies the stylish sophistication that awaits within: bespoke linen, pretty lingerie, smocked dresses for little girls, cashmere throws, monogrammed towels and more fill the shelves. This is no Bed, Bath and Beyond: the distinctive products promise decadent comfort not found in a strip mall chain.
The central source behind all the panache? One Baltimore family who has owned and operated the shop for nearly 30 years with a certain kind of Baltimore graciousness that mixes equal parts good manners and good taste. One can almost see the polished silver that will sit atop the hemmed-stitched table linens they sell and visualize the mahogany four-poster bed the monogrammed comforters will snugly embrace.
Southerner Elizabeth Franke first opened the store in 1983 after her husband died — she didn’t want to be a “lunch lady” her daughter says — and long after the kids had graduated from Gilman, Garrison and Bryn Mawr. She modeled the shop after Gattle’s in Palm Beach and Hannah’s, a fine linen store that used to be on Howard Street. Her daughter Blair has run the shop for nearly a decade, carrying on a genetic predisposition for refined elegance.
The special occasion table linens standout, ranging from beautiful white linen and damask for the holidays to colorful everyday washable cotton (napkins to go with, too, of course). There’s still time to order tablecloths for holiday dinners.