Our lovely market town of Saffron Walden are holding their annual Late Night Shopping event Friday 6th December.
The market square will be buzzing with locals selling their handmade goods, and we will be open until 8pm.
Grab all those last minute Christmas gifts for the whole family, from Tonie boxes, to personalised diaries and prints, to luscious smelling candles! And why not indulge on our wine and nibbles to keep your energy up and get into the Christmas spirit!
The best part is that there is FREE parking from 1pm onwards during the run up to Christmas, so take full advantage!
We launched our new collection last week at a Private event here at the shop.
It’s never easy being a small business owner I am no exception to the hard work required, however once again it’s the people who surround me that I am grateful to. I have to say a huge thanks to the team for all the help that they gave me . This team include friends and business owners in the town who helped with either a lot of coffee, ear bending, cooking me dinner, alongside putting a light or two up.!!
If you had passed by the shop and asked if there was something you could do then my answer was always yes. I even roped Paxtons in when I spotted Andy helping his sister Julie who owns Beauty Box. Mistakenly thinking he was wielding a drill outside the shop I asked nicely if he could help out with a few jobs requiring said tool. Turns out it was an angle grinder but he promptly got a drill and helped out anyway much to his sisters amusement.
Thank you Erika Daw owner of Skylar and Willow who helped every step of the way from the many Trade shows we visited to the final layout, hours put in, colour scheme and window display which will take us through Autumn Winter. Inspiration for this theme also came from the Saffron Walden Intiative . This is the 2nd year they have held a competition for best window display on the theme ‘ Light It Up ‘
‘We were quite sad to say goodbye to our Botanical themed window, however we still have the range instore. In its place however we have a lovely window to entice customers to come and shop ; be inspired with us over the seasonal period , with an exciting array of gifts and gadgets, there’s something for everyone this Christmas .
We have a wide choice of innovative and inspiring brands such as Ebb and Flow, Nkuku, Culinary Concepts and brands and products rarely seen outside London. The latest in wireless technology Koble Designs have a great range of speakers, lanterns USB ports and smart technology furniture and desks that we now have displays of instore. Gingko design have widened their range at the shop and the must have children’s Audio Box Tonie are also in store amongst our well established brands Gpo Retro, Extreme lounging Bean bags, vintage cutlery , bulbs and shades to name just a few.
Thus far we have been delighted with the feedback on the window and store from the evening and since.
With many thanks to Saffron Fish company and Mini Miss bread teaming together to produce the exceptional canapés to be washed down with a glass of something lovely from Adnams.
Thank you Saffron Apparel for this fantastic review! So much time and effort goes in to getting our shop “just right”, so we really are grateful for such kind words.
“Plan twice, three times, even four….but only ever build ONCE!”
When planning a room, think about it’s function and usability. Unsurprisingly, this is more important than colours and textures! Establish the function of your room, space and/or building before anything else. Without forward planning, costs can easily spiral out of control and at the end of it, the space may still be unusable.
“I love the chair, I’m buying it!”
Stop! You love the furniture you’ve seen online, in the shop or wherever…have you measured?! It may well be your dream chair (for example), but is it too big or too small or just right?
Too big, and the piece will become overpowering and an eyesore, or too small and it will look out of place, an after thought and not fulfil its initial function.
“We must have an island in our kitchen!”
You have your heart set on having an island in your kitchen, you’ve got visions of the perfect area for socialising and knocking up mouth watering cuisines, just as you’ve seen in the glossy mags. But the designer (or the other half!) has said “NO!” Ahhhh, my worst nightmare!
There may be good reason. Are you able to open the cupboards and move around them? Can you open the dish washer fully and load and unload it? Are you able to cook without being barged into? Can you turn from the oven with a hot dish to the worktop comfortably? There really is so much to consider when designing a space.
Keep it timeless
Functionality is key, and we chose the kitchen simply because it is the hub of a household. But whatever the space and function, consider time. Will your family grow or are your babies getting ready to fly the nest? Keep your spaces functional, to your taste, yet adaptable for when these inevitable milestones occur.
Natural light will alter how colours appear. Darker colours absorb more frequencies of light, whilst lighter colours reflect.
The direction in which the room is facing and from where the natural light is coming will have a massive effect on the appearance of colours.
When is the room used?
What time of the day will you be using this room? Does the room get good natural light if it is a day time room? Or will you light it with lamps and lights because you use it during the evening?
What direction does your room face?
South facing rooms have the advantage of warm luminous sunlight, while north or east facing rooms can be attributed with the darker blue light. Because of this, the colours from the natural lighting and their wavelengths will bring out different colour pigments from the colour of your designs, some will reflect whilst some will absorb.
With south facing rooms, the warmth of the natural lighting will bring out both warm and cool colours at their best. Darker colours will look brighter and lighter colours will show their brilliance.
North facing rooms with their blue tinge from natural light will allow bold colours to flourish, and give the feel of warmth and relaxation, whilst lighter colours can appear muted. Nonetheless, lighter colours do reflect more natural light, so the colour choice very much depends on what you’re using the room for, and the feel that you’re looking to create.
East & West Facing
East and west facing rooms have the advantage (or disadvantage) of having the bright warm sun of the south and the blues of the north facing sun; obviously, each at opposite ends of the day. Here’s the next dilemma….what time of the day the room is being used the most?
What is their role?
An interior designers role is to liaise and advise their client to create a functional and aesthetically pleasing design for their space. It’s not all as fun as choosing furniture, lighting, swatches and paint colours, the safety is of upmost importance for their client and is always at the forefront of their minds, especially if designing for a “big change”.
What is the process?
After lots of chatting, and getting a real feel for what you want and need, and of course discussing the budget, the behind the scenes research commences! Options, options, options! Then comes the reveal….but let’s not jump the gun! The reveal is still on a mood board, or in the form of samples. Here really is when the fun begins and the design concept can come to life!
The final “look”
Once you are happy with colours, textures and finishings, it’s time to put it all together! All you have to do is sit back and wait for the final “Wow” factor!
Where have the years gone?
The years have flown by and now it’s time for your baby to fly the nest for the first time. We say for the first time, because they WILL be back! The transition to University is an exciting time, and often more daunting for the prospective parents than it is for our kids!
It only feels like yesterday I packed my life into the back of my little Renault Clio and followed my parents (their car also looking like a knock off removal van!) all the way up to Middlesbrough to start a new chapter to my life.
I’m not sure if I was more shocked that Middlesbrough was the polar opposite of our quaint little Saffron Walden town (and they had “funny” accents) or, that despite my best efforts to unpack the cars, there was no possible way my worldly possessions were ever going to fit into my tiny dorm room – it was most definitely not the Tardis I had hoped for!
When space is at a premium, but your “grown up” child feels the need to keep up to date with trends and life demands, parting gifts can be hard to come by. University means a lots of photos, lots of charging, lots of musics and possibly the chance of some studying! Here are just a few items do not compromise on space nor fashion!
Speakers for all budgets, whilst being small enough to carry around to communal areas, wireless and with an awesome sound!
IBomb £25Mi Speaker £45
On the occasion students do study, if past experiences are anything to go by, it’s usually during the middle of the night and sponsored by energy drinks and coffee! Our desk lights can offer differing light intensities, built in speakers and built in wireless phone chargers!
Book light £65
Octagon Desk Lamp £65
Arc Lamp with phone charger £64.99
Puls Lamp with bluetooth speaker £69
There will be countless nights out and nights in with selfies galore! Let them save some off their memories off of the cloud and in their rooms with our simple and stylish frames.
Nkuku Frames £14.95-£22.95
We love local businesses
Our latest collaboration is with the talented hair queens of Saffron Walden….Penney’s! They tame my mane every week, and now they’re offering you a CUT & BLOW DRY for just £15! (worth £35).
“What’s the catch?”
No catch! All we ask is that come and say “hi” to us at the shop, and check in to Design Essentials on Facebook. What’s even better, is tag 2 friends and they will be in with a chance to win s FREE Blow Dry worth £20! The draw will take place every Friday and is valid until the end of August.
Meet Victoria Gray, our newest designer to be collaborating with us:
What inspires your work?
Nature has always been a huge inspiration for my artwork for many years. In each project I try to focus on different aspects of nature and make each project individual, but nature is always the main inspiration behind each piece. I am inspired by shape, texture and patterns within nature that can be merged together to create new and exciting artwork.
What has been the work you are most proud of?
The piece of work I am most proud of is one of my latest lino prints. The Fern Lino Print captures the shape, texture and stylisation that I like to work in.
What is your most important artists’ tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?
Not so much now but when I was studying at Uni it had to be my screen printing tools, screen printing was a massive part of my degree!
What’s the best and worst thing about being a designer?
Best: Being able to have the creative freedom and a passion to create and design something
Worst: Sometimes it’s knowing where to start and how to create something others will enjoy too
Just to indulge me, your favourite Take That member?
Not a fan….sorry!
Daytime: Strawberry lemonade
Evening: Pink Gin!