Café Liberty is a restaurant located on the second floor on London’s iconic Liberty department store on Regent Street. The place was originally built in 1924 using the timbers from two ships: the HMS Impregnable and the HMS Hindustan. The restaurant has been redesigned by SHH. It was a tight-budget project, even more difficult considering its location. The restaurant has been re-integrated into the spirit of the original Arts & Crafts building using a series of vintage elements combined with contemporary pieces.
Some of the new elements that could be mentioned here are the reclaimed 1920s doors, a 1920s Arts & Crafts washstand, the reading desk and mahogany cabinet, the hand-blocked wallpaper and a series of reclaimed glass lights and three neon flying ducks designed by SHH’s lead designer on the project, Helen Hughes.
The idea was to make the restaurant a part of the building, to give it an authentic look but to also make it stand out by adding striking new elements. The floor also got a new look and it was stained to dark wood in order to match with the original dark timbers. The lighting was also a challenge. The original fittings swinging from the ceiling track were not what the designers had in mind.
They were replaced with discreet, directional spotlights. The new decorations include new paintwork for panels and columns, in a strong and contemporary mid-dark grey. As a result, the restaurant is now a harmonious combination of vintage and contemporary elements.