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: 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!


Hope House Press – exclusive collection launch


Quite possibly the best gift you can buy a Dad - a notebook celebrating his genius!



And now for something completely different – we are so pleased that Hope House Press have chosen Design Essentials to be their first offline stockist of their Father’s Day and Wedding Collections. Hope House Press is the go to studio for bepsoke, personalised, truly unique stationery gifts and we can’t wait to share their work with you all and see why they have been featured as the must have gifts by Tatler, The Guardian and The Independent.  Join us for Pimms, cheese and nibbles and one day only discounts and offers on their ranges.

Hope House Press – Hope House who?

Hope House Press - luxury leather notebooks and diaries - for you, for me, for everyone.

Hope House Press is a luxury leather bound, personalised notebook and diary studio based in Cambridge, UK. We have been in existence for a number of years – founded in 2007 by someone who just loved making personalised, luxury notebooks that are very special indeed, for other people. The ‘other people’ loved them so much that it grew into a business and in March this year – 2016, we – the Weston Family – took it on when the original founder decided she wanted to move onto another, totally unrelated project.

Hope House Press notebooks and diaries are the stuff of legend. Not just because we’re loved by the likes of Tatler, the Guardian newspaper and the i newspaper. But because we spend hours working on every piece that we produce. We refer to our products as pieces, styles and collections because to us, they are not simply a product on a production line – they are something to be written in today and enjoyed forever. Whether you’re writing about your wedding day memories, the arrival of your first born child or simply noting your shopping list – they’re all things that you do and reflect on your life and where you are at. Your time, your thoughts and your life deserves to be documented, valued and remembered. And that’s what Hope House Press does – we help you document all those things and more. In a world where everything is about the selfie and a filter over the top of it, Hope House Press notebooks and diaries are hand made from scratch, printed on with ink and hand finished and packaged with a level of detail that’s not far from Rowan Atkinson’s packaging skit in Love Actually.

We’re also popular because we make life easier for people. If you’re ordering for Father’s Day and left it a bit late, don’t worry. Give us a message for your Dad and we’ll pop it into a card and send the gift direct for you. If you’re organising for a retreat or group event and need items posting directly for you, we’ll do that as well. And no, we won’t charge you extra for it. It’s just part of the loveliness that is Hope House Press.

And that’s the reason why we’ve chosen to partner with Design Essentials as our first offline stockist of our pieces and collections. We’re starting small, offering some items that aren’t available anywhere else and with personalisation that’s not available to the world at large. We’re sharing our beloved notebooks which celebrate Father’s Day and all things Wedding related. We chose to partner with Wendy and her team because they too are rather special – their knowledge is extensive, their service exceptional and their ranges are without exception beautiful, unique and in many cases raise a smile that stays with you long after you’ve left the shop!

We’d be thrilled if you’d consider joining us on Thursday 26th May, from 3.30pm to around 8 / 8.30pm for Pimms and cheese and nibbles. We’ll be doing a fabulous giveaway on the night and hosting some one day only deals and discounts on products as well. They’re likely to be for our the most popular ranges at the moment – Father’s Day and Weddings. So if you’ve got something or someone to celebrate in the coming months, please come and visit us so that we can help you find the perfect gift for that occasion.

For more information and to RSVP for this very special evening, please email or pop in the shop when you’re next in town and tell us you’ll be coming!

In the meantime, if you’d like a preview of some of the things we’ll be bringing, please keep reading!!!


Quite possibly the best gift you can buy a Dad - a notebook celebrating his genius!


Best. Wedding. Gift. Ever.


Vintage personalised leather notebook - Progress not Perfection is perfect for yourself as a place to document the things you're working on....

#MySW Saffron Walden Indie Retail Shopping Challenge

Saffron Walden #MySW Indie Retail Shopping Challenge




We’re very proud to be taking part in the Indie Retail Shopping Challenge, which is currently taking place in independent shops and businesses in Saffron Walden.

This is the 3rd year that the Independent Shopping Challenge has taken place. It has been organised by business owners Jude Cox from Jacks and Wendy Howell from Design Essentials, and as usual is being funded by the Saffron Walden Town Team and business owners taking part in the challenge.

This is year’s challenge started on Thursday 19th November and will run until 31st December 2015.

Participants taking part in the Shopping Challenge should drop their completed forms into the Saffron Walden Tourist Information Centre.

Winners will be drawn and announced on the 7th JANUARY 2016, and will share a prize fund of £620 in shopping vouchers which can be spent across any of the shops and businesses taking part.


High Street
Goddard’s Electrical
Saffron Sports
Art at Home
Handpicked and Gorgeous
Craft Days
Mad Hatters Vintage Emporuim

Church Street
Church St Gallery
Fanny and Frank

Market Hill
Riccio Hair Design
Jiminey Snippets
Arts Decrotif

King Street

Market Row
Joseph Barmes Wines
Design Essentials
Beauty Box
Toy Box
Goulds Pet Shop
Gun Hill
Tea Amo
Abracadabra Teddy Bears

George Street
Eden Lake
Cafe Cou Cou
Party Box
Jacks Outdoor

Saffron Walden Fitness

Early Christmas Shopping Event

Design Essentials are hosting an Early Christmas Shopping Event on November 12th

Our Design Essentials Early Christmas shopping evening is going to be held this year on Thursday 12th November.

Shop our ever-growing range of exciting Christmas gifts whilst enjoying music played by jazz musician Tony White, complimentary mulled cider and wine from Joseph Barnes Wines and enjoy festive cheese from Chisnalls.

We know just how to help make your Christmas shopping easy this year. Whether it’s a few of our brilliant stocking filler emoji cushions you’re after, or a tasteful interior or lighting piece that will light up a loved one’s home this Christmas time, we’ve got gifts for all ages here at Design Essentials.


Emoji Cushion Wink Kiss Face from Design Essentials


emoji cushions // £12 each  


  heart light // £40 

If you would like to attend this Christmas shopping event, please give Design Essentials a ‘like’ on Facebook and click ‘Attending’ on our Facebook event here.

We look forward to seeing some of you here at the shop next week.

Wendy x

Design Essentials Invite-Only Preview Evenings

invite only preview evenings to celebrate the launch of the new Design Essentials store on 5 Market Row, Saffron Walden

Join us on August 12th, 13th, and 14th from 5-9pm as we celebrate the launch of our brand new Design Essentials store.

We will be holding 3 invitation-only preview evenings, exclusively for our customers, at our new store on 5 Market Row, Saffron Walden. Come along for a sneak preview of our new collection at the shop we open to the public on August 15th.

On the nights, there will be cheese and wine served by our new neighbours in Saffron Walden, Joseph Barnes Wines, live music provided by artist and musician Tony White who recently played at Saffron Walden’s Fete de la Musique, as well as competitions, exclusive offers, and the chance to see our new pieces before anyone else.

If you would like to come along to one of our preview evenings, please RSVP to Wendy by emailing by August 4th and let us know which evening you would like to attend.

We look forward to hearing from you, and we cannot wait to show you what we have in store for you at our new shop!

Design Essentials. 5-7 market row, saffron walden.

Design Essentials New Shop Opening

WHAT: Design Essentials New Shop Opening

WHERE: 5-7 Market Row, Saffron Walden, Essex, CB10 1HB

WHEN: Saturday 15th August

We’re so excited to be able to confirm the location and date for opening our new shop’s doors to our customers.

Wendy will be hosting a series of midweek preview events and viewing evenings starting from August 12th to welcome people to our new shop, but Saturday 15th will be our first day of proper trading. We can’t wait to show you the new shop as well as a whole new range of interior pieces, lighting, furniture, and gift items to add to the Design Essentials Collection!

To revisit the Design Essentials journey, read our recent blog posts and join us in our nostalgia.

If you can’t wait until the launch of our new shop and want to keep up-to-date, please ‘Like’ us on Facebook and join our event for the opening on August 15th.

For more information about our relocation, follow us on Twitter @WendyHowell1, where we will be regularly updating all our customers on the Design Essentials relocation news.

Onwards and Upwards: Relocation Sale at Design Essentials




13 Market Hill

Saffron Walden

When: Until June 27th

Have you heard? Design Essentials is relocating! We’re currently holding a relocation sale online and in store in preparation for the big move.

We’ve got some great offers for you, including huge discounts on end of line or ex-display pieces, exclusive discounts on best-selling lines and up to 75% selected sale items.

Offers are only available until June 27th when we will be closing at 13 Market Hill and preparing for our relocation in Saffron Walden. Place your orders online now or visit us in store so you don’t miss out!

To see some of what’s on offer in our relocation sale, check out our Design Essentials Relocation Sale Picks blog post.



Monday 15th – CLOSED

Tuesday 16th – Saturday 20th – OPEN 10am-5pm

Sunday 21st – OPEN 11am-4pm

Monday 22nd – Friday 26th – OPEN 10-5pm

Saturday 27th – OPEN 9am-5pm

Sunday 28th onwards – CLOSED

OLSA at Design Essentials

Design Essentials is delighted to be exhibiting pieces from OLSA, a range of textiles and prints created by local artist Sara Booth.

On Tuesday 26th May and 2nd June from 10.30am-12 noon , you are invited to join us for coffee, tea and sweetmeats at the Design Essentials store. Come along for a spot of shopping and a chat as we will be delighted to have Sara Booth herself present to tell you a little bit more about what she does. 

OLSA is a collection of beautiful, practical products made by Sara using wonderful fabrics that cannot be used for whole garments or large accessories.



The fabrics used come from a huge variety of places: tailors, milliners, dressmakers and direct from fabric mills.

We love OLSA’s collection, which includes a huge range of individual and one-off pieces including textiles such as cushions, throws, and fabric phone cases to hand-crafted prints.

OLSA’s pieces are perfect when bought as a gift for a loved one or simply a unique piece for your home, and we’re very excited to have them in the shop and available on our website. 


To find out more about our events, follow us on Twitter @WendyHowell1 or like Design Essentials on Facebook.