This week on ‘Behind The Door With’, I’m thrilled to be catching up with an industry legend, Allie Hammet from Table Art. Located in Melbourne’s leafy inner city suburb of Hawthorn, Table Art is home to the most amazing selection of luxury, high end table linens including an array of tablecloths, napkins and cushions. You can’t miss the bright green shop front with the beautiful, ever changing table displays in the window.

Allie started Table Art eleven years ago after being made redundant from her job in the events industry and noticing a gap in the market for luxury, high end linens. “At the time the only options for fabrics were damask and organza” says Allie, “and I wanted to offer clients something better”. Allie experimented with upholstery and dress fabrics and found that not only was the quality better but also that the options for different patterns and styles was endless. After running the business from home for two years Allie found her perfect shop on Burwood Road in Hawthorn and hasn’t looked back.

As soon as you enter the shop, which is open by appointment only, a little world of fabrics in every colour and texture is revealed as well as a fantastic selection of props and event accessories. The front window always has a beautiful display table all set with place settings and elaborate florals which Allie says “some brides just choose for their wedding on the spot”.

There’s a comfy meeting spot for discussing options and looking at pictures and Allie loves having her desk in the front shop with all the natural light too. Out the back is the warehouse where all the linen is stored as well as where all the packing, receiving and dispatching of linens to the laundry happens. Upstairs is a flat where Allie lived during her first couple of years after starting the business, which now has become home to hundreds of cushions!

Allie says the best thing about having the store is the sense of community she finds in Hawthorn village. The shops next door will often hold onto linen for clients to pick up after hours and Allie says she couldn’t cope with out her coffee fix from the cafe across the street, Blood Orange. It’s also on a main road close enough to the city for most clients to pick up and drop back their linen which means Allie and her staff can concentrate on working in the store without too many deliveries to do.

When it comes to work/life balance Allie is honest and says it took her about eight years with the store to find the right combination. This has become even more important since her gorgeous baby daughter was born last year and now Allie has started doing more work from home. I ask Allie what her favourite jobs are and she says “I love clients who want to play with colour and aren’t afraid to try something bold and original”. I imagine that’s pretty easy to do when you’re in such a fabulous shop!

Images by Alexander Mcintyre, Andrew Hobbs,   Brent Lukey and Table Art

Ms Chinoiserie Says: I love this beautiful shop – imagine being surrounded by luxuriously beautiful fabrics and accessories all day; just dreamy! 

About Amelia Waddell of Make Your Day Wedding Styling: I’m a wedding stylist and proud store owner who loves to chat weddings with everyone and anyone! I love to talk shop with other business owners (particularly over some chocolate cake!) and am the first to try and have a sticky beak behind the scenes of any event. My free time is spent ‘investigating’ new cafes, stores and events.