Connoisseur

Dine Fashionably

Home decor designer Alicia Hamblett on dressing your table

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What inspired you to get into the fabric business and begin Alicia’s Table?
I started my web-based company two years ago. I had several inspirations, the first being that I simply love to entertain and to set a festive table. Having a dinner party with close friends, great food, wine and conversation is my idea of a perfect night. Second, I love textiles. My dream is to design my own fabric line someday. Right now, I just buy fabrics that I love and have them made into table linens. I’m also inspired by textile designer John Robshaw. His creation – an amazing cherry red Ikat tablecloth with a green zebra table runner – is a favorite of mine. I love his style.

Are you an expert sewer?
I am not. I have found some special and talented people who are extremely skilled at sewing. Everything is sewn in Rhode Island, which is something that makes me feel really good. Honestly, I don’t love to sew – I’m all about the end product. I don’t keep a huge inventory, and everything I stock is called a “limited edition.” I buy what I love and when it’s gone, it’s gone. I love updating my selection with new, favorite finds.

Have you traveled to Bali to purchase the Batik products you sell?
No. I have never traveled to Indonesia but it’s definitely on my list. I purchase my current offerings of Batik fabrics, which are printed on cotton twill, from a couple who divide their time between Bali and Telluride, Colorado. I have another vendor friend who sells a clothing line made from Batik fabrics made in Bali as well. The unique patterns are really eye catching. I’d like to go to Bali with my designs and find someone to Batik them.

Which of your custom fabrics do you have in your own home?
I specialize in custom sizing fabrics to fit any table, something that I began doing for myself; I have a custom-made dining table so it was always hard to find a tablecloth that not only fit my table, but was made from a fabric I liked. In my home, you will find a big mix of patterns – floral, animal print, Ikat and even a little check. I am not matchy-matchy, that’s for sure.

Which of those patterns are currently on your table?
I currently have one of my favorite Brunschwig & Fils Ikat runners on my dining table. My kitchen table is festive, with a tablecloth made from a red and white Hable Contruction fabric called “beads.”

Have you been asked to do any unique custom jobs?
Yes. I offer monogramming – I work with a vendor friend who monograms everything. One day, I was contacted by a woman who worked in the events department for TBS. She and a co-worker loved my website and asked me to do the table linens for Conan O’Brien’s launch party for TBS at the Soho House in West Hollywood last November. They ordered placemats and napkins, which each included a monogrammed TBS logo. The colors were bright blue and a color reminiscent of a sweet potato – or of Conan’s hair. I included monogrammed napkins for Conan, wrapped in a separate box as a gift, but I never got a thank you note. Still, it was an exciting job to do!