COLLECTING| Initial Attraction with Romantic Homes Magazine

There is something exciting about setting a table with real linen napkins, isn’t there?

It’s almost like you are investing in spending some time with people you love at the table by placing cloth napkins there.

I am excited about my article in Romantic Homes Magazine this month. The magazine has a new editor, Courtney Allison, as well as a whole new direction. I think you will LOVE IT!  It’s about a whole new romance, an updated, fresh new look to the magazine

I have a slight addiction, ahem, love for antique linens, and monogrammed ones? They are at the top of my list of things to love and use on a daily basis.

Sharing about the history of monograms, linens and tips on how to enjoy monogrammed linens was pure joy.

Once only royalty or nobility could afford linens adorned with their own initials. Their household linens were painstakingly embroidered with white satin stitches with great finesse by hand.

I love the antique linens, one-of-a-kind pieces with monograms that have storied pasts.  I think about who made them, who owned them, and how many dinners and fancy soirees they were a part of, don’t you?

Like this set. One of the most unusual tablecloth and napkin sets I’ve ever had to offer for sale. Tapestry 18th century musicians are woven right into the damask, the napkins have a violin player on one side, a triple monogram on the other.

Was this part of tables set by a famous conductor?

A violin player in an orchestra? That to me is the mystery of antique and vintage pieces, their history and what if’s….

Antique linens with hand embroidered monograms took months of patient and devoted stitching.  Household linens comprised a large part of a family’s wealth, they were carefully preserved and handed down from generation to generation. They were so important they are mentioned in the household contents in most 16th, 17th and 18th century wills.

Brought into being with great love, using antique monogrammed linens is one of the best ways to express your personal style at home, they bridge the past and the future.

The joys of collecting antique linens with monograms are many, there is a certain romance to weaving your own stories into their provenance.



1. Use your Antique Linens.  Monogrammed linens were meant to be used daily, for the lifetime of a husband and wife, and then passed on. Most have been used over 100 years, these linens still have plenty of years left to make your home beautiful.

2. Launder.  Avoid using bleach, it’s too harsh on the natural fibers.  A gentle soaking is usually all that is required to get out spots, you can use a product especially made for antique linens. You can carefully rub a combination of lemon juice, white vinegar and salt on a spot and lay the piece in the sun for a few hours.

3. Dry Outside.  Avoid using the dryer because dryers will remove lint from antique linens, which makes the fabric feel less smooth.  Hang your linens outdoors to dry, they will be fresh and smell wonderful.

4. Iron if Needed. {If you love the way antique linens look without ironing, then skip this. } Try to time your ironing so that your pieces are still damp, this will make it easier to press out wrinkles. Use a spray bottle of water to spray each piece, then roll up in a little bundle. Place the monograms right side down over a terrycloth towel on your ironing board, so as not to flatten the embroidery, and press. You want to iron the linens completely dry.

5. Store with Care.  Store you antique linens in your linen closet with care by gently folding each piece. Add some lavender sachets for fragrance. Drape heavy hand embroidered tablecloths or sheets over a padded hanger and hang in a clothing closet.  Never press on folds, as this weakens the fibers.

6. Mix & Match.  It’s great fun to mix and match your linens, using antique shams with different monograms together with a contemporary duvet on your bed, or a different napkin at each place setting.  There are no rules to follow, if you love antique linens, use them every way you can think of!

Truly exceptional antique monogrammed linens are getting more difficult to come by. As the old chateaus and family homes are being sold, less and less heirloom quality linens are coming on the market.

Collect antique monogrammed linens and buy the best you can find. Use them everywhere at home,  these old treasures were meant to be seen, and pull on your heartstrings.



Shop for the best in French Antiques, furniture with the patina of age, vintage accessories to delight you and your family & friends, and French Country utilitarian pieces. Treasures that make your home fresh, beautiful, inspirational and uniquely yours. Visit our shop

13 thoughts on “COLLECTING| Initial Attraction with Romantic Homes Magazine”

  1. Lidy, I will definitely have to go find this issue. I used to get Romantic Homes for a long time and then somewhere along the line, I stopped. With you as a contributor they have to win!

    1. Thank you Stacey, that’s so sweet of you to say. It has been such a pleasure to share my love of antiques and their history, and special stories with the Romantic Homes readers.

  2. I love antique linens, and monogrammed ones all the more! I’m really looking forward to the RH refresh. It was time! Glad you’re part of the team, Lidy. You help elevate its style.

  3. Nancy Bailey

    Thank you Lidy! I will look for this magazine. I love the antique monogrammed linens and I love ironing them. My grandmother taught me to place a double folded towel on the ironing board and place the monogram face down on top of it. Place a damp, clean dish towel over the linen or napkin and press carefully over and around the monogram. The threads of the embroidered area do not become squished that way. Time consuming yes, but a labor of love.

    1. Nancy, I sometimes love ironing them! Especially with a lavender ironing water. You are right, these beauties are a labor of love, and deserve every moment we are willing to give them to make them shine!

  4. Oh be still my heart! I can always count on learning so much through your articles in the various magazines and here on your blog. I was mainly raised in the South where we covet our monograms. My shoes were monogrammed….yes my shoes! Whenever I am in an antique shop I look for monogrammed linens. I used to just collect my initial, but lately they have been harder to find, so I look for any that “tug at my heartstrings”.
    Your collection of antique linens are exquisite!! Thank you for another great article/post of beauty and history! On another note, I am so very excited for Courtney! I know she will take RH to another level of excellence.
    Have a wonderful day dear Lidy!!!

  5. Antique linens tell a story, especially if they are associated with a monogram. I always marvel at how they are still in good condition after decades of use. Mine are certainly not as pristine; but I will try and apply some of the clearning and care techniques that you mentioned.

  6. I agree Lisa, I marvel that they are still so beautiful after all this time to. That only speaks to their quality, and sturdiness. Which is one of the very reasons antique linens are so beloved!

  7. Hello Lidy! Thanks so much for this informative post. I will refer to the section on caring for linens, a great resource. I always appreciate the history or story of an old piece and didn’t know much about antique linens. I have a few nice monogrammed things and now I’m going to look at them in a different light. Looking forward to the new RH look. Hugs, Pat

  8. Ginger Valdes

    Congratulations on another beautiful magazine feature! I too love antique linens, especially with monograms! Thanks for the cleaning and care tips. You’re a treasure, Lidy!

  9. I’m looking forward to the changes in Romantic Homes. I so admire you for your contributions, your articles are always interesting and well written; you give us inspiration in collecting and using treasures from the past.

    Oh, be still my heart with these napkins. You have my monogram!

    I’ve not been lucky finding much… I have silver with the monogram ‘H’, who cares?! And I was able to find silver-plate napkins rings with our ‘B’ monogram. My kids are placing dibs on them before I’m even gone!

    Wonderful post, Lidy!

    Jane x

    1. Thank you so much, Jane! I too love a good antique “story” and am always thrilled to ignite a passion for antiques in others. Love that you’ve found monograms that are yours!

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