Collaborations

Win a FREE blow dry!

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.

The Process of Photograms – Victoria Gray

Whilst Studying Textiles: Innovation and Design at Loughborough University I used a lot of my own photography to gain inspiration and develop my understanding of patterns in nature. As a lot of my work was based on silhouettes of nature I decided to take my photography skills further and explore the process of photograms.

A photogram is a photographic image made without a camera by placing the object directly onto photographic paper and then exposing it to light. This results in a negative shadow image that shows variations in tone. Areas of the paper that have received no light remain white where as those exposed for a shorter time appear grey, while fully exposed areas are black in the final print. This makes each and every photogram ever created truly unique and original as all are complete one off designs.

All of my photograms were created by placing aspects of nature under the unit ready to expose to the light. I then used these to create repeat designs which were either screen printed or digitally printed onto wallpaper or fabric. The original photograms have now been framed and for sale, I hope you enjoy my collection!

Victoria x

Design Essentials are specialists in interior design and lighting.

Original Unique Botanical Black Lines Lino Print Victoria Gray Design Essentials

The Process of Lino Printing – Victoria Gray

Specialising in printed textiles at University mainly involved screen printing however I also explored another form of print designs – Lino Printing. As with all my projects, I was inspired by nature, in this case it was a mix between particular leaves and also mark making which explored the patterns and textures found in nature.

Lino printing is a form of printmaking  where lino cutting tools are used to cut into lino. The lino is then inked, a piece of paper placed over it, and then run through a printing press or pressure applied by hand to transfer the ink to the paper which results in a linocut print. The lino prints that I created are all monochrome and one layer designs, all are mounted in black frames and are available to purchase in store or online .

Victoria x

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Meet The Designer – Victoria Gray

Who am I?

Hello! I’m Victoria and I am a recent graduate printed textile designer. I have just finished four years studying Textiles: Innovation and Design at Loughborough University which included a year out in Industry, and therefore also graduated with a Diploma in professional studies. Having the year out to trial different career paths was an amazing opportunity and I managed to gain experience with five separate companies.

What is my background?

I began the year as an Intern at Monsoon Head Office in Notting Hill where I was based in the Home and Licensing department where I was involved in supplier meetings, design development and was lucky enough to have a cushion and a throw I designed put into production and up for sale on the website.

From then I went over to Chelsea Harbour Design Centre and gained client based experience in one of the interior design show rooms – Pierre Frey. Here I dealt with clients on a regular day to day basis and helped interior designers find the correct fabric and wallpaper samples for their schemes. As I was there during September Design Week I was able to sit in on talks and presentations on future design trends, which made me well aware of the upcoming botanical trend.

Halfway through the year I moved over to Marks and Spencer Head Office, based in Paddington and spent time in two different departments. The first was the Home department where I took on the role of Design Assistant. I assisted print designers in creating prints for Autumn Winter 2018 as well as Christmas 2018 and Spring 2019. I learnt lots of new techniques here and developed my skills with Photoshop and InDesign and learnt new skills and ways of putting designs into repeat. As well as this I helped designers and buyers with mood boards, comp shops, re-colouring prints and designed a set of alphabetical tote bags which were put into production and in stores for Christmas 2018. After this I moved departments and spent time in the Womenswear fabric sourcing team. This was a very hands on experience that involved a lot of admin work and supplier meetings.

The final company I completed work experience at was an independent Interior Design Studio in Cambridge – Sara Slade Interiors. This experience was completely different from the rest as it gave me an insight into a independent company as opposed to a bigger brand. As it was such a smaller environment to work in I was able to be more hands on and worked on several residential projects including an entire show home – design and installation, as well as commercial such as a restaurant design. I was also involved in the design of a room-set for Grand Designs Live.

What do I do?

All of the skills and techniques that I learnt over the year helped to enhance my studio practise in my final year of University. As I specialised in printed textiles, screen printing was a huge part of my degree. In order to get imagery to print onto fabric a lot of drawing and mark making was involved. I liked to bring other creative aspects into my studio practise so I focused on lino printing and photography – especially photograms. This brought together a series of photograms and lino prints that I am now happy to share with you. I truly believe that my designs are a true representation of the current botanical trend and the fact that they are all completely original and unique adds to the quality of each design. I hope you love them as much as I do!

Victoria x

Original Unique Botanical Eucalyptus Small Lino Print Victoria Gray Design Essentials Original Unique Botanical Gypsophila Photogram Victoria Gray Design EssentialsOriginal Unique Botanical Fern Lino Print Victoria_Gray Design Essentials

Design Essentials specialises in interior design and lighting. For more information or an informal chat, pop in to our store or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Christmas Shopping Event. Design your own Christmas

All day shopping event.

Wednesday 28th November

Star bag

On Wednesday 28th November Design Essentials we will be hosting our annual early Christmas Shopping Event (open 11am – 7.30pm) to start off the festive season. We will be holding a raffle with all proceeds going to a local charity.

Christmas is right around the corner and it’s a great time to get inspiration and those items personalised and gift wrapped whilst enjoying a glass of Bucks Fizz ,some eats and of course great company.

We will have in residence on the day the awesome Gail Grisham and Erica Swaine to tell you all about their brand new collections.

You can sign up for our gift service which gives you money back on purchases made too.

So do come along and start the season with us and enjoy a glass of wine and festive treats. We will have much more happening at the event and we look forward to seeing you there. Let us know if you can join us.

artisan lane gifts at Design Essentials

artisan gift, hand crafted mugs, artisan treats and loose tea, perfect for gift for him and her, thank you gift, new home gift, thank you gift

artisan lane – a collection of lovingly crafted gifts by local and artisan producers

artisan lane is a small family business, based in Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire. We select high quality gifts from local designers, small batch and artisan producers here in Britain – including Saffron Walden’s potter Claire Folkes Ceramics and glass gift designer Molten Wonky. These gifts are often handmade and hard to find, which we think makes them extra special. You can even see the artisan who designed or made your gift, all are featured on the artisan lane website.

Our range of modern curated gift box collections, all beautifully packed in luxury keepsake boxes, are ideal gifts for family, friends and colleagues.  There’s a box for every occasion and season, whether it’s a birthday, new home or thank you gift.

We make gifting effortless for you, by sending your selected gifts straight to your chosen recipient’s doorstep (or office). We’re also delighted to offer a selection of gift boxes and an exclusive range of smaller gift bag options in the Design Essentials shop.

artisan lane gifts, Pamper collection, artisan gift, perfect gift for her, well-being gift, birthday gift, thank you giftartisan lane box, Restoring collection, gift for well-being, aromatherarpy gift, perfect get well gift,artisan lane gifts, Afternoon Tea gift box, gift for him, gift for her,artisan lane gift box, Baby collection, new baby gift, christening gift, artisan gift, handmade gift, gift set

We have a few fantastic ideas for Teacher and Dad gifts – don’t forget it’s Father’s Day on 17th June!

OFFER AT DESIGN ESSENTIALS  – we are delighted to offer a FREE, Love You Dad, clay heart decoration (pictured below) when you purchase any artisan lane gift at Design Essentials. Available until 16th June, 2018 and while stocks last.

artisan lane gifts, Love You Dad heart, Father's Day decoration, add to make perfect Father's Day giftartisan lane, gardeners care collection, gift box, perfect for gardners, gift for dad, gift for Grandad,

Recommended gifts for Dads and Grandads in the artisan lane collection include: Afternoon Tea Collection, Tea for Two, Take Five or Gardeners Care collection.

 

Teacher Gifts  – give something different and meaningful this year whilst supporting local producers.  Checkout our recommended teacher gift selection.

artisan lane, gift box, Comfy Teacher collection, beautiful pashmina, teacher notebook by Bespoke Verse, perfect teacher gift,

  • Teacher Comfy collection  (pictured) The ultimate luxury gift for your favourite teacher and includes our handmade soft pashmina and touching Teacher poem notebook Teacher Comfy collection
  • Take Five Teacher collection Both practical and enjoyable this gift includes our handcrafted mug, artisan shortbread and touching Teacher poem notebook Take Five Teacher collection
  • Teacher Pamper collection Features some wonderful award winning soothing skincare treats, beautifully fragranced candle and our Teacher poem notebook Teacher Pamper collection

 

We hope you find the gift you want at Design Essentials and thank you for supporting local and artisan producers.

Rachel, owner at artisan lane gifts

artisan lane gifts, owner

PS. Bespoke and mix & match options are also available. Just contact us with your requirements at artisanlanegifts

 

Design Essentials loves to chat: The Plant Pot Shop’s Chloë Fiddy

What inspires your work?

I’ve always believed in the power of plants to transform surroundings. I started working with plants in containers a long time ago, while I was renting a house. I was soon captivated by the design possibilities you’re presented by the constraints of working with such a small surface area. You can plant a container or window box with such an enormous range of styles. There are always the classic box balls which will never fail to look stylish. You can add a few low growing flowers like pansies around the base. Or you could start with a standard tree and under-plant around the trunk with salvias and grasses for a prairie effect. You can play with contrasts – I love for example a deep purple leaf contrasted with a green and white variegated grass.

I guess you could say that plants are my inspiration. Whenever I visit one of my nursery suppliers I go into a sort of trance while I look around and mentally design the layout. Once I’m back and planting it’s quick and easy, the plan is all there in my head.

You just need to know three fundamentals about the plants you’re choosing; they need to all like the same soil type and the same amount of light and water.

 

What has been the work that you are most proud of?

I’m always delighted to see my clients’ faces when they receive their planters, especially when they’ve ordered them already planted up. I’ve often had compliments along the lines of “Wow, you’ve totally exceeded my expectations!” It’s always given me so much pleasure to arrive back at my house and see my own planters, so I’m really proud to think that my work has spread that joy to other people.

This new range of personalised planters is completely unique to the market and they add such a smart touch to a front door step and such a fun and stylish touch to a wedding venue.

I’m just hoping that somewhere there’ll be a wedding anniversary NOT forgotten because there’s a planter in the garden to remind a couple of the date. That would be a moment to be proud of!

 

What is your most important artists’ tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio? 

Music. Without a doubt, every creative process requires music in my opinion.

 What’s the best and worst thing about being a designer?

Well, as a designer you’re really putting yourself out there, you’re telling the world that this is your opinion of good taste and good design. Of course this is subjective, so you’ll never please everyone!

Once in a former life as a textile designer, a client, from an extremely prestigious French design house, looked at a design I’d submitted, and said “Do you think this is nice?!” Crushing! But it didn’t matter too much, we’d worked together on collections for 13 years and I saw hundreds of the designs I did for him in shops on Bond Street and on real people.

Which brings me to the best thing about being a designer. It’s the pleasure of that moment when you see that someone you don’t know has picked your design, paid for it, and is using it. I think that’s what keeps all designers going back to their drawing board to make a new collection. There’s a compulsion to create.

 

Just to indulge me, your favourite Take That member? 

Take who? I’m more of an indie kid myself.

Favourite drink?

Good quality gin and tonic. A classic. It needs to be COLD. Keep the gin and the tonic in the fridge at all times. And use at least 4 ice cubes in each glass.

Happy planting  🙂

Chloë

Thanks to Chloe for chatting to us at Design Essentials, we are looking forward to welcoming her personalised planter designs at the store. Here’s a look at a few on our website.

 

Design Essentials Shop Saffron Walden

One of the hardest things I have to do in Design Essentials is to attempt to drive every angle of the business by myself. There are limited resources and time and where do you focus that attention is for ever my quandary.  I would however like to say thank you to Day Glow Media for  creating this video for Design Essentials which I hope gives you a taste of our shop in Saffron Walden and gives those of you who haven’t visited a feel for what we are about. Do click on the link below and have a peek inside the shop.

 

 

and here’s  just a little bit on what Day Glow Media are about.

BRIM FULL OF BRIGHT IDEAS

25 years of endless passion and enthusiasm for broadcasting and storytelling means they can offer you a stunningly professional and bespoke service. They could tell you about all the famous people they have worked with and all the accolades received, but no doubt they will all in good time. Just check them out here to begin with.

 

Sheepskin Rugs at Home

How to style sheepskin rugs in the home, simple steps to make your interior ooze with character…

  • Do you want to add your own stamp on a room but don’t know how?
  • Do you have a rug at home but you’re bored of looking at it on the floor?
  • Do you love furniture, colour and textures?

 

Check out a few styling steps below, ITS EASY PEASY!

DONE! Check out Design Essentials collections on the website or visit us in the Saffron Walden store.

These sheepskin rugs are all £45 and can be purchased on the website here. Colours change often so give them a call on 01799522417 to bag yours.

This post has been written by yours truly (Lauren Bouch) Snoop through my website here https://bouchlauren.com  and keep up to date with my on Instagram. 

 

https://twitter.com/Wendy_howell1/

https://www.instagram.com/design_essentials1/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Melting Messages – ‘Meet the Designer’

Logo inverted

 

Having grown up around the Saffron Walden area, it was inevitable that I would come across such a unique shop that Wendy and her team run. My design background has given me a keen eye for what looks good, and from the moment I saw Design Essentials I knew I wanted to sell my candles in this shop. Melting Messages started in February 2015, thereafter came a year of development and seeking out the hotspots to stock them. When I finally launched the business in February 2016, I felt it was time to drop in and meet Wendy herself. I gave her a mini pitch of the business which went a little something like this…

Melting Messages’ journey

Our journey began, when I was searching for a gift for my mother’s birthday. Unable to find that special gift, I decided to create something unique for her. My sole purpose was to create a product which conveyed a message in an original way. Hence why there is a message hidden inside the candle, creating that big ‘REVEAL’ moment.  She loved it and from that moment Melting Messages was born as I decided to share this experience with others. Candles are used in a variety of different ways – to celebrate an occasion, give as a gift, create an ambiance or decorate a home. I wanted to create a product that could reflect these. I wanted to create a timeless product that would allow any moment to be preserved and be something worth remembering.

Our candles

Melting Messages is a UK based company. All our candles are designed in our studio and hand poured here at our factory. We source our wax and other key components from other UK manufacturers. We are proud of our heritage and we can proudly say they are ‘Made in Britain’.

“Meet The Designer” event

Wendy and her customers loved it, so much that we have decided to dedicated a whole two weeks on the collaboration. Saturday 2nd July will be a ‘Meet The Designer’ day at the shop from 11am – 4pm. Please come and see us and these amazing candles. Whether you are searching for a Birthday, Anniversary or even a simple Thank You present, our Melting Message candles will be perfect for these special occasions.

For more information and to RSVP for this special event, please email: wendy@designessentials.org.uk or pop into the shop if you’re in town.

Here is a sneaky peak of what’s to come…

 

Happy Birthday Melting Messages's candle

I Love You Melting Messages's candle

Marry Me Melting Messages's candle

Thank You!