“We have three different types of mugs. This one is a beaker—it doesn’t have a handle on it—but it’s designed not to get too hot when you hold it. I took all the mugs home to test them and it’s also good for cappuccinos.”
Sarah de Havenon is talking about the new line of tableware available at her home design shop in Amagansett Square, French Presse.
“This one has a large handle, while this one has a more narrow handle,” she explained. “The grey one has a deeper handle and the pink goes up more.”
Ms. de Havenon has displayed the tableware outside for our photo shoot. It’s a gorgeous sunny day and trays of goodies from nearby Cavaniola’s Gourmet Cheese Shop have been added to showcase the plate ware.
“People love mugs, so you can really personalize what you like by the way it feels,” she said. “Do you hold with two fingers? Do you hold with one finger or for men who would want a larger handle to hold?”
You can expect that kind of attention to detail and service from Ms. de Havenon, who created French Presse Linens in 2014 as a high-end, environmentally-friendly linen laundering service. From her own experience renting homes in the Hamptons, Ms. de Havenon saw a need for a linen service, so she bought a van and began picking up client’s laundry.
“I could never find a place to wash and press the sheets, so it was a no-brainer,” she explained. “But then I opened this place and it just jumped over the other business; it took off!”
French Presse, the shop, now sells luxury retail linens, bedding, pillows, blankets, and throws. It sits on the corner of Amagansett Square, a magically beautiful green in the center of town, framed with shops and restaurants.
“We try to create a nice energy in the store, that’s a priority to me,” she said. “People know me by my first name, that’s a lot of the character of the square.”
Expanding into tableware was the next step. The line, called Mud Australia, includes plates, bowls, mugs, glassware, bakeware, and vases. French Presse is only one of a few stores that carry the Aussie line in the U.S. Mud Australia porcelain is handmade, using porcelain clay sourced from Limoges, France. All glazes and porcelain bodies are non-toxic, as well as oven, microwave, dishwasher, and food safe.
“I think I fell in love with the pink first, I love pink and grey together, it was the colors that attracted me,” Ms. de Havenon explained. “If you have a neutral or minimal home, here’s an opportunity, like a throw pillow, to add a little color and personalize it by adding some of your favorite things.”
Ms. de Havenon’s son, Dylan Fowler, who handles the daily operations of the shop, is also excited about the new line.
“I think it’s awesome, it gives more reasons for people to come back to the store,” he exclaimed. “People seem really excited about it and it’s within the flavor of the store.”
Adding Mud Australia is also part of Ms. de Havenon’s plan to make French Presse a one-stop design and decorating destination.
“We try to custom-service people,” she explained. “What are your colors? What kind of textures do you like? If you’re looking for a unique centerpiece to your home, there’s a good chance you’re going to find something here, but it should bring a smile to your face, I want people to fall in love with these things.”
French Presse is located at 160 Main Street in Amagansett. For more information call (631) 604-1455 or visit the store’s website.
Want to set your table Hamptons-style? Read on for some of Sarah de Havenon exclusive tips!
1. Have a variety of heights, even squinting your eyes and looking at the whole table. You want a lot of range, so try to get an overview of what the objects look like.
2. Think color. Do it by instinct using what you love, but also ask yourself: What is the food going to look like on the plate? For instance, red food looks gorgeous on a grey plate, so tuna would look amazing against grey.
3. Keep it simple. Don’t overthink it and don’t forget to have fun.