New Products

Design Essentials Love To Chat – Victoria Gray

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.

Original Unique Botanical Fern Lino Print Victoria_Gray Design Essentials

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!

Favourite drink?

Daytime: Strawberry lemonade

Evening: Pink Gin!

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

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

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.

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

Interview

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.

menopausal

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: 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!

 

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 wendy@designessentials.org.uk 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!!!

Drumroll……

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....