Through the Wardrobe Children's Books

I was asked to help create a magical feeling in a small shop owned by my wife and her sister.

BRIEF - An inviting and relaxing space that customers will love to sit down and spend time in, inspired by children’s literature, especially the Narnia series.

Through the Wardrobe Children's Bookshop interior


Originally, the shop had a low, office-style suspended ceiling and wood effect wall covering; these were ripped out, revealing the original timber boards which were painted white with all their imperfections left. These timber boards extended to the ceiling, which was a wonderful discovery, giving the space plenty of height. Off-the-shelf bookcases have had their backs removed to allow the timber boards to show through and an existing drawer unit has been freshened up to use as the desk/till area.

Through the Wardrobe Children's Bookshop Interior tree sculpture and reading nook

Magical Tree and reading nook

The budget was incredibly low, so reusing as much as possible was essential. Existing wood units were reworked and cut down to form new picture ledge shelving to display toddler books. The off-cuts were used to form the branches of the tree… very little went to waste!

A reading area was an essential part of the brief and a small, child-sized nook was created beneath the tree.

Exterior of the beautiful Through the Wardrobe Children's Bookshop in Mirfield, West Yorkshire

Classic Exterior

The exterior of the shop was given a new classy look with a deep green colour and gold detailing, inspired by the gilding on classic novels. I also designed an open book motif styled to resemble the top of an old wardrobe; a further nod to the Narnian theme.

Through the Wardrobe Childrens Bookshop interior design lighting

A canopy of lights

Eight pendants bring the warmth of the lighting down from the high ceilings and the green fabric cables act almost like a forest canopy, adding to the cosy, relaxed feel of the shop.

Through the Wardrobe Children's Bookshop Interior lamp post and paper hanger

Lamp Post

As part of the story of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, a lamp post was another important part of the design. This was again, created using reworked material from the old fixtures with a rewired garden lantern on top.

Wrapping Paper Hanger

An old cot has been cut down and recycled, making the perfect place to display the shop’s selection of recycled wrapping paper.

Flexible Branding

I was also asked to design the branding for the shop which would incorporate the lamp post. As with any business logo, it was important to have the flexibility to be used across different platforms and the lamp post motif made this a possibility.

Have a look for yourselves

If you happen to be in the Mirfield area of West Yorkshire, do pop in and have a look!

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