Library (a recent plan) by Emma Mawston, Liberty Art Fabrics Interiors



January 18, 2014
Library (a recent plan) by Emma Mawston, Liberty. Image (c) V&A Museum, London
Library (a recent plan) by Emma Mawston, Liberty. Image (c) V&A Museum, London

Emma Mawston and her team at Liberty Interiors have brought to life a library design from their archives, creating an exquisite Dream House room perfectly planned for curling up with a book.

The Liberty department store can trace its history back to 1875, when Arthur Lasenby Liberty started importing objets d’art from Japan and the East, to inspire the bohemian and artistic clientele of West London. In the early 1900s Liberty offered an interior design service, and many of the beautiful detailed plans remain in their extensive archives – ready to inspire current designers. As Head of Design for Liberty Art Fabrics Interiors, Emma is leading Liberty into a new era for interiors.

In their miniature room, Emma and her colleague Keighley had fun laying the floorboards, polishing the woodwork, and filling the shelves with tiny books bound in Liberty fabric from the 1900s. A fabulous range of artists and craftspeople also contributed to the room:

Library (a recent plan) by Emma Mawston, Liberty. Image (c) V&A Museum, London
Library (a recent plan) by Emma Mawston, Liberty. Image (c) V&A Museum, London

Paul Turnbull from Turnbull Design made the screen printed wallpaper and block printed border.

Jeweller Alex Monroe handmade the fire grate and two pewter pots, based on Art Nouveau designs from the period.

Moorcroft Pottery made three miniature pots from a series of designs they sell at Liberty, which were inspired by the 1900s.

The Royal School of Needlework, based at Hampton Court, created two hand-embroidered cushions and a hand-embroidered rug inspired by designs from the Liberty archive.

Reggiani, an Italian printer, produced cloth using Liberty fabric patterns scaled down to suit the miniature room.

N’Damus a bespoke satchel maker has made a tiny tiny brief case to go in the library so the miniature inhabitants can take the books out and read on the way to work.

Carol Clarke of Dolls House Interior made bespoke bookcases, tables, fireplace and picture frame for the room. She made some chairs from scratch to match photos of Liberty furniture and upholstered them in the newly printed fabric. Emma says Carol “has been an absolute star!!”

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