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Liberty London

On a recent trip to London I just had to pop in to one of my favourite shops, Liberty's. A design haven on Regent street, London, I have been visiting intermittently since I was sixteen when I first discovered this timeless emporium. The first time I visited I remember being awed by this gorgeous department store.


Founded by Arthur Lasenby Liberty, the store has a colourful history. Originally the son of a draper from Buckinghamshire, Liberty moved to London and began working at a cloak and shawl emporium on Regent Street; 'Farmer & Rogers.' During his time working there Liberty managed their 'Oriental Warehouse.' Here he met with artists such as William Morris and Rossetti, soon becoming good friends. When Liberty decided to leave 'Farmer & Roger's' his friends followed him. In 1875 he borrowed £1,800 from his future father-in-law and Liberty's was founded. Originally selling ornaments, fabric and artistic objects from Japan and the East, Liberty soon repaid his loan. The business thrived and became the most fashionable place to shop in London.


Liberty London Wallpaper


Determined not to follow existing fashion but create new ones, Liberty's products proved irresistible to a society obsessed with opulence from Japan and the East. Building relationships with English designers and artists such as Archibald Knox and other key artists in the Arts and Crafts movement, the style which Liberty promoted effected interiors and clothing to the extent that the Art Noveau period in Italy is called 'Liberty Style.' Today the store continues to work closely with British artists and designers and is famed for championing many new designers at the beginning of their careers.



Liberty London

If you visit Liberty's for nothing else it should be the beautiful architecture. Spread over six floors, it was designed in 1922 by Edwin T. Hall and his son Edwin S. Hall. from the timbers of two ancient battle ships. Designed with three atriums, each are surrounded by smaller rooms to make it feel more like a home. Details such as beautiful tiled fireplaces complete the homely feel. All of the intricately carved archways, door frames and details that can be found dotted throughout the building were carved in Liberty's own workshop which was run by Lawrence Turner. Unfortunately Liberty died seven years before the building was completed.


Liberty London attrium

Liberty London wallpaper

Liberty London

When I was younger I loved to spend hours wondering through each department, lingering for much of the time in the textiles rooms. Famed for their floral fabric prints and quintessentially British design their vast print archive contains well over 45,000 designs- a pattern lover's dream! At university I specialised in children's products and would often visit just to see the beautiful Tana Lawn floral print's made up into pretty dresses.


Liberty Children's Wear


Liberty London Textiles Room


Liberty London Fabrics

Today I still love to dawdle in the textiles rooms. Inspiration is everywhere, from the wallpaper on the walls to the fabric sample books. A reminder of my college days, Liberty's will always have beautiful memories of college research trips.


Liberty London Products

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