New Products

Scandinavian design meets smart technology with KOBLE

The Design Essentials team are delighted to announce a brand new range of products from April.

Mooni Eclipse Speaker Lamp Design EssentialsThe KOBLE range of products are Scandinavian in origin, providing minimalist design for your home combined with smart function for everyday use. The inspiration came from a collaboration with a team of Scandinavian designers for a bespoke project for a Nordic retailer and the results are simply stunning.

KOBLE is part of the Justwise Group based in Saffron Walden, which has more than 35 years’ experience in developing furniture and lighting products for some of the UK and Europe’s largest retailers.

KOBLE is the home of Mooni UK and the Design Essentials team are excited to be able to add this fabulous new brand to our range of design led products.

Koble Cube Lantern Design Essentials

The quality of the KOBLE products is excellent and the pricing is extremely competitive. Come along to our store and check them out for yourself.

You can take advantage of our pre-order discount which runs from Tuesday 2nd April to Sunday 6th April. Simply follow this link to our Koble range, choose your product, add the coupon code, KOBLE10 and make your purchase.

If you are passing, feel free to stop by the store. We’d love to see you.

Wendy x

cheese wine party. Funny birthday card

Design Essentials loves to chat: Gail Grisham

Design Essentials loves to chat: Gail Grisham

men are not house trained. Decorative pillows. Observation comedy card. Partners for life

This week we were so very excited to have the chance to catch up with the newest doll on the block, Gail Grisham. Her dry witty humour is synonymous with her range of greetings cards, all featuring her returning character Gail Grisham, a creepy little doll who’s observations on family life will ring true to anyone. With such funny cards we are so excited for the interview as Gail’s humour really does shine through at all times. Read below to see Gail’s responses to both her work and inspiration along with a couple of personal questions sprinkled in for good measure. Find Gail’s work now live on the website under Gifts-> Cards -> Gail Grisham


What inspires your work?

Although a lot of Gail Grisham’s posts and experiences are made up, or inspired by mothers around me, some of it is true (no I’m not saying which). The start of Gail posting about her husband not putting the suitcase he’d used for a business trip away in the loft was the beginning of it and since then he and the children have inspired countless posts. I guess I should thank them for being so feral.

The doll herself was a creepy gift from a friend who left it on my car one dark evening after a Brownies pick up. Instead of thanking her for the weird present I gave her a name and put her on Facebook. The post I made up got a good reaction so I carried on, mainly because I found it entertaining. The idea of producing cards seemed like a natural follow on.


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

I enjoy all  Gail’s posts on Facebook and Instagram. I think after a Peaky Blinders post getting a like from Cillian Murphy was pretty good as he’s rather handsome!

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

I absolutely love my mac, probably more than is natural. No one besides me is allowed to use it, I have even threatened to snap fingers that look like they might touch my screen.

I miss you card

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

It’s great when people say they have really laughed either at a card or an online post. One of my priorities in life is to have a laugh. I think it’s vital to chuckle as much as possible, there’s far too much serious stuff to not enjoy a few moments of mirth.

The worst is the frustration of trying to get out there to a wider audience. Sometimes it feels like you might as well be shouting into the wind.

Just to indulge me, your favourite Take That member?

Gary. Gary Barlow I love you Gary. Although saying that, he blanked me at Wembley, not even a cheery wave and I was right in front of him, up a few flights of stairs, slightly over to his right a bit and behind a tall man, but I was there.

Gail Grisham funny lunch card

Favourite drink?

During the day (excluding sunny holidays/ sunny pub trips & not driving/ Newmarket races…) ok, so excluding most day times it’s fizzy water.

Winter evenings – red

Summer evenings – white

Got a bit of PMT and can’t make a decision for the life of me – Rosé

Before you worry about the state of my liver I don’t drink every night, these are my seasonal breakdowns if you like.

We hoped you have enjoyed getting to know Gail a little bit better and love her as much as we do!

Gail Grisham Special Moments Cards like baby milestone cards but for sarcastic adults Gail Grisham What man doesn't fart in bed. Funny Card for her to send on Valentines. Love him really

Personalised Ellie Necklaces with initial charms from Design Essentials

New Shaard Jewellery collection

Here at the store we are very excited to introduce our new jewellery collection by Shaard.  The Shaard Jewellery collection is by the same company as our popular vintage spoons, the collection ranges from bracelets to necklaces that can be personalised for any one or any occasion.

Both the necklaces and bracelets can be bought with either a star or a heart depending on personal preference and style.

Only £12.99 for the necklace and £8.99 for the bracelet.

Personalised Silver Plated Star Bracelet, new in at Design EssentialsPersonalised Ellie Heart Necklace, new in at Design Essentials


To add a personal touch and add as many charms to your jewellery as the charms are only £1.50 each. Whether you’re adding initials or a 21st charm, the wide range of charms so much diversity so that the jewellery is spot on the the occasion.

Ellie Jewellery Initial Charms for bracelets and necklaces just in at Design Essentials

The charms come in a range of letters, numbers and symbols so come in store to see the full range or visit the website to check out the collection further.

This beautiful gift idea makes the most perfect present for anyone and any occasion. The personalisation makes the gift so special, and adds that extra bit of thought to make it stand out.


Just In: Emoji Shelf Buddies!

You’ve got the cushions, you’ve probably got at least one of the key rings, so now we introduce you to… The Emoji Shelf Buddies!

Just arrived in the shop and online, these cute and cuddly emoji buddies will sit happily on a shelf, desk, or even perched on the edge of your bedside table.

Available in all the designs you know and love and priced at only £4.99 each, these emoji shelf buddies are the perfect addition to your emoji collection.

Simply click on your favourite emoji shelf buddy to shop online now

Winking emoji shelf buddy from Design Essentials Winking tongue emoji shelf buddy from Design Essentials Smiley emoji shelf buddy from Design Essentials 'Stay cool' shades emoji shelf buddy from Design Essentials Poo emoji shelf buddy from Design Essentials Monkey emoji shelf buddy Crying laughing emoji shelf buddy from Design Essentials Cheesy grin emoji shelf buddy from Design Essentials

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 – 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....

NEW IN: The Ultimate Hammock

We’re proud to introduce you to one of our favourite new product ranges – the hammock, which has arrived just in time for summer! These turned out to be a hugely popular present for those men and tricky teenagers who have everything.

Double hammock by Design Essentials, Saffron Walden. Available in assorted colours.

Created by a company called Ticket To The Moon, these excellent hammocks are made from high-grade parachute nylon fabric, meaning they are durable, breathable, anti-mildew, skin-friendly, rot-resistant and quick to dry (they’re suitable to be machine washed at 30°C).

These hammocks were originally by travellers for travellers, and have been tested in outdoor climates for decades. They’re great for travelling, as each hammock can be folded into its own lightweight pouch for easy transport, but are also perfect for spending a day in the park or simply relaxing at home!

Single hammock from Design Essentials, Saffron Walden. Available in other colours.

We’ve got a great range of colours available in the Design Essentials store, but the possibilities are endless.

Watch this handy video created by Ticket To The Moon, to show you how to set up our hammocks in less than 90 seconds!

Nautical quality hammock rope fixing kit available at Design Essentials, Saffron Walden

For this week only, we are offering you the chance to get a FREE nautical quality hammock rope kit when you buy any sized hammock. Our hammock rope kits are usually worth £12. Now the weather is (slowly!) getting better it’s the perfect opportunity to get your garden summer-ready with a little help from Design Essentials – hurry, this great offer ends this Sunday 7/05/2017 Simply put the hammock in your basket and we will send you the ropes for free. What could be easier.


Hangit Photo Display

Hangit photo display

This Hangit Photo Display is a fabulous new addition to our product range. The photo display provides 5 clotheslines to hang photos, memos, cards and anything that makes you smile to give your room a personal touch. It comes with 40 miniature pegs so that you can securely yet stylishly attatch photos or memos. This is the perfect design feature to display very on-trend Polaroid pictures, as you can see from the picture on the left above; here I have hung up pictures from my Polaroid and disposable camera for a retro feel. A nice idea would be to hang the pictures in time order to make a timeline of key events. This would also be an ideal addition to a milestone birthday party decoration, because you could dust off those cute, crazy or cringy old pictures from throughout your life and hang them up on the Hangit Photo Display to keep your friends amused. This photo display costs just £20 so drop by the store to have a look if you’re in Saffron Walden or simply BUY NOW online.

Lovely Letter Lights

As the nights draw, in it is the perfect time to liven up your room. These letter lights are the ideal design feature that will brighten up any space on a dreary autumn day.

They would also make a fabulous ‘back to uni’ present because they will add a personal touch to a student’s room, as well as providing a much-needed cosy atmosphere for those days when students may be missing home.


‘c’ metal letter lights // £22



A clever idea would be to use your letter lights to spell out words that have a special meaning, such as a favourite place or band.

We have up to six colours to choose from, including white, red, black, green, blue and yellow, so there’s a letter light for everyone.





Special thanks to our customer Jaqui Cully for this gorgeous photo. She’s used one of our letter lights to make a lovely tabletop feature, but you can create a bold statement by hanging the letter lights on the wall.





Head over to our store to check out our full range of letter lights, or you could BUY NOW from our online shop. If you would like to order online, please let us know which individual letter lights you want, along with your preferred colour letters, in the comments section when at the checkout.

For more posts like the one featured above or just to stay up-to-date with our new products, follow Design Essentials on Instagram @design_essentials1.

Design Essentials Chats to OLSA

Coming to Design Essentials later this month is OLSA, a range created by local textiles artist Sara Booth. She makes beautiful, practical products 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 unique textile pieces, which includes throws, prints and phone cases, and we can’t wait to have them in the shop and online soon.

We posed our usual collection of ‘Design Essentials chats to’ questions to Sara. Read on to find a bit more about her…

What inspires your work?

I am inspired by nature and all the intricate shapes, juxtapositions and colours there are in the natural world around us. I love where we live in North Essex and also the skylines and beaches of North Norfolk. It’s also pretty obvious I love the feel and fold of lovely fabrics. I love old books and libraries and typefaces.  I’m also inspired by personal and family events and memories and of course, by other artists. In summary, everything can be an inspiration.




Is there an element of art that you enjoy the most?

Different things on different days, sometimes it is simply working with colour and texture, or paper or fabric, getting lost in another material world. Then the unexpectedness of how things can turn out, either better than you thought or disappointing you. Printmaking is a bit like cooking, even if you have used the recipe before you can never be certain how a print will come out so the surprise and variety and experimentation are all very stimulating.

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

I am very pleased with the animal prints from the 18th century book, ‘The Cabinet of Beasts.’ With the textiles I love the cashmere and silk and suit-wool cushions (which I design and which are made up by a local skilled seamstress) – in both these cases part of the joy was finding first the book and then the material.


What is your most important artiststool? Is there something you cant live without in your studio?

I don’t have my own studio at the moment but go the Curwen Studio in Linton and Gainsborough’s House Print Studio in Sudbury – but for me silk screens and lino cutting tools are the most important implements for printing and needle and lots of different threads (preferably hand-dyed) for textile work.

Whats the best and worst thing about being an artist? 

I am a late starter and the best thing is learning new things and finding out new ways to use colour and shape all the time.   The worst thing for me is that I feel limited by my energy levels sometimes. I have a disease called SLE which limits my physical capacity at times and screen printing is very physical so I don’t always get as much done as I would like. You can cut lino sitting down which is an advantage!design-essentials-olsa-print-feather


Just to indulge me, your favourite Take That member?

I fail on this one! Can’t name one. My favourite music is classical, favourite composer WA Mozart.

Favourite drink

Tea, tea, tea – green or black, drunk without milk. Maybe tea should be the tool I can’t do without.