London Design Week 2017

We all like a good day outside of Saffron Walden, Essex. Some like a day at the seaside some like a day in with their family. But what if you were offered a day full of colours, textures, design and shapes? Well, that is my kind of heaven and I am still bursting with excitement.

So, where have we been? Wendy and I treated ourselves to a day at Chelsea Design Centre for the launch of London Design Week 2017 and with our ever popular Interior design consultation service here at Design Essentials, we love to keep an eye on changing trends and expand our imagination. Somebody has to do it.

If you have not been before then let me tell you it is THE best place to explore the greatest variety of design brands under one roof. They were all there, the decision makers, the style settlers and inspirational speakers. It left us breathless.

We have loved the lot but this is what got us talking the most on the way home.


Whistler Leather had a very eye-catching window display as you can see. The “hot on trend” green wallpaper with a shade darker green leather sofa surrounded by a leafy green house plant. Bang on trend. I was impressed by the colour choice of their leather from the deepest brown, greys to pastel pinks and nudes and the embossed texture adding to the character. As we all know, leather improves with ages but you can start on a smaller scale with a few leather accessories which you have seen at our shop. So there you go, the retro is still cool, in fact as cool as cucumber you might say.

green sofa        table



Porta Romana surprised us with the launch of Cosmos a new and ‘other-worldly’ range of lighting inspired by space and the planets. A wall light created with glistening star constellation and a moon mirror and if that wasn’t enough there was a gigantic solar system clock just behind us! A must for every boy or girl bedroom and any future astronaut! This new collection kept surprising us with beautify stylish Luna pendant with a marble finish. In fact we were looking at blown glass milky white sphere with swirls of grey and bubbles which looked amazing a cluster of three. We are passionate about lighting so we thought this product would sit very nicely amongst our selection too. Innovative, we thought, a bit magical.

stella light marble light


Ceccotti Collezioni was love at first sight. A formal type of room set, dark wood, everything had a place, there was quality oozing out of every piece and then we saw this. The bookcase! Or was it a room divider? We fell in love with the idea of displaying your favourite books, decorative item, and family photograph in such a classic unit. We instantly thought of a very experienced and talented local cabinet maker in Essex to help us!



… words of the day “expand your parameters”…

If you loved these images and would to find out what else we saw then you should pop over to our Pinterest and browse our new board called London Design Week 2017. Enough to inspire you for days. You will find us under  DesignE1.

So, we left totally exhausted, overloaded and excited about the next client that walks through our door. We are itching to offload at least some of these amazing ideas so who is going to be the lucky one?

Jana and Wendy x

5 Magical Mother’s Day gifts over £30

After last weeks blog on all things for under £30, some of us may be lucky enough to spend a little more on our Mother’s to say thank you. Here at Design Essentials we have such a large range of products to share with you, I hope we can help you find that special gift for your special Mum.

First up is one of my favourite products in the shop and its our Hope House Press Leather notepads and books. Available for personalisation with a range of 8 bespoke colours, paper choice between squared, lined and plain, sizes of small, medium and large and can be ready from personalisation in only 48 hours! Perfect for mums that are constantly writing lists, the secret novelists or just to jot down your own memories. Small books starting at £46, medium £50 and large £55. To view the whole range press here.

Hope House Press only uses the finest leather in our personalised notebook and journal ranges

Number two is also an absolute gem in the store, which I was lucky enough to get for my birthday this year that I’m totally in love with and use all the time. Our GPO Record players are our best selling products and also come in a range of colours: black, brown, red, green and baby blue – to match any interior. Perfect for Mother’s who still have all their old record and with an aux cord and usb they can be used as a speaker too! At £84 any mum would be sure to love such a classic gift.

record playerdesign-essentials-attache-red-02 design-essentials-attache-green-01

Number 3 is our newest product from our brand new range: Tina’s Pretty Pieces. We have a fab variety of all her Family Tree range with all trees coming with up to 5 names on them with personalisation on colour, design, accessories and number of names. Starting at £115 the family trees are the perfect gift from all the family so say an extra big thank you. Just click on the images to find out more!

personalised family tree yellow names grey design essentials saffron walden personalisations gifts wedding mothers day bespoke handmade framed wood designessentialsfamilytreeautumn1tinasprettypieces 4personalised family tree black tree white diamente words design essentials saffron walden personalisations gifts wedding mothers day bespoke handmade framed wood

Number 4 is also one of our hot products right now and our neon is flying off the shelves. How about treat your Mum to a special sign with her name on it or just “mum” with a choice of 14 colours for £225 just like this one for Mother’s Day.


If £225 is a stretch for your wallet then our Little Lovely Company heart is perfect at £65. Show your mum you love her with the newest trends and keep up to date with neon.

neon heart little lovely company at design essentials

The final product is more of an experience for all those super Mums who are busy when the house needs a bit of TLC. Just moved house or tired of Mum complaining about the “outdated living room”? We offer an amazing interior design service with a unique and surprisingly affordable approach to interiors. Drop-in or call us for a chat about how we can help you update your home and organise a date to treat your lucky Mum. Our silver service is £300  where we follow up the initial chat with a home visit and consultation to really understand your needs and work with you to develop a personalised Pinterest board where we can share ideas. We then arrange an appointment in the shop to talk you through your mood board and share fabric books and accessorizing ideas. You will also take home plenty of other suggestions on how to adapt the proposed design to truly reflect your personality.

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Top 5 Mother’s Day gifts under £30 at Design Essentials

Mother’s day on Sunday 26th March is fast approaching and we want to help you find that all important gift to try and show your Mum just how much you appreciate them on this special day. Whether you’re ready to splash the cash or you’re like me and a teen girl who wants to be able to say that all important thank you without breaking the bank, we have something for everyone. Ranging from £3 to £150 we cover all areas to make sure we find that perfect gift that fits just for your Mum.

  1. First up in the middle is our Geodesis candles and reed diffusers. They are available in a range of scents and all available in candle or diffuser format. The reed diffusers also have refills that can be bought separately, thinking ahead to an all important birthday later on in the year! The candles are £20 and have burning time of over 60 hours and the reed diffusers are £28 and have a scent time of 30-40 days.Geodesis Black Tea Scented Candle - Design Essentials mother's Verbena Reed Diffuser from Design Essentials mother's
  2. Next for a more personalised Mother’s day gift, we have a huge range of jewellery now instore. Local designer Tamba’s jewellery by  Tania Olatunji consists  of beautiful beads and precious metals from £22.99  Whilst our Shaard collection we have bracelets and necklaces with the option of  hearts and stars available in silver and gold with free gift wrapping. The bracelets prices at £8.99 and necklaces at £12.99, these beautiful accessories are perfect to that special thank you. With charms available at £1.50 each, adding an extra heart or your initial adds that personalised touch for a tiny price to make that gift go that little bit further.

Personalised Ellie Bracelets featuring initial charms, new in at Design EssentialsPersonalised Ellie Necklaces with initial charms from Design Essentials

3.  On the theme of personalisation I also really love all of our vintage spoons. Ranging from £14 to £28, depending on spoon size and personalisation, these spoons have been so popular and are just the cutest gift to give to all the home loving Mums. All of our bespoke vintage spoons come gift wrapped and boxed as well to save you some time in the mad rush on the run up to Mother’s day. 
I Love You Mummy Teaspoon Best Mummy in the World Dessert Spoon ‘Keep Mums Bubbly Bubbly' teaspoon all that i am or hope to be i owe to my amazing mum desert spoon

4. Keeping in this price range and a fun gift for you and your Mum, is our most popular item, cinematic light boxes. They come in a range of sizes, colours and finishes and with all of them coming with letters in with them, you can write a special message on the light box before giving it to your Mum! Our most popular size, the A4, is £25 and comes with 120 letters and symbols all included. We also have the smaller magnetic light boxes that are only £12 and still just as much fun!
Cinematic light box Magnetic Mini Cinematic Lightbox from design essentials in saffron walden

5. If your Mum is lucky enough to already have one of our fab lights boxes why not get her an extra letter pack for it. From £7-10 give her something unique and fun to add to her light box, ranging from colourful letters to unicorns and rainbows, we have everything.

letter pack for light boxes multicoloured emojis alphabet fun kids gift emoji packs for light boxes cinematic unicorns cute children lollipops starts girls

And of course if you’re still stuck pop in to see us in the shop and we will be more than happy to help you!

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Emoji Smiley Lamps take on Britain

Another week, another product here at Design Essentials; but this time it’s not the usual new product announcement, our trusty Emoji Smiley Lamps are taking on Britain as Design Essentials has teamed up with a partner to create Design Essentials Imports and with the help of Get Ginger Snap are now the national distributer of them.

smile lamp smiling design essentials lighting playful trio sticking out tongue cool sunglasses heart eyes

2017 is all about emojis with The Emoji film coming out in August featuring stars such as James Corden and T. J. Miller. This year is guaranteed to send all things emoji though the roof and we are well on our way with getting our fab lamps into every home.

emoji film

We have such a wide range of Emojis Smiley Lamps in the store and now also online, so click on the photos below to go straight the the website and shop all things emoji!

emoji smiley lamps smiling design essentials lighting playful wink cheekyEmoji Smiley Lamps from Design Essentials emoji smiley lamps smiling design essentials lighting playful tongue sticking out emoji smiley lamps smiling design essentials lighting playful sunglasses cool emoji smiley lamps heart eyes design essentials lighting playful

At only £24.99 they make the perfect statement to any room for anyone and have such variety there is sure to be a perfect one just for you. Taking social media by storm, our Emoji Smiley Lamps will be flying off the shelf all over England, so get yours now!

Gingersnap are one of our distributers selling these amazing Emoji battery operated lamps with a whole variety of designs available, to view their Smiley Lamps press here.

Not only is it just Emoji lamps but we also so many other accessories and other gifts too. Ranging from our popular Shelf Buddies to clip on key chains we have everything for Emoji loving kids. The emoji section on our website is jammed packed with all things emoji so make sure to have a look here.

Crying laughing emoji shelf buddy from Design Essentials Monkey emoji shelf buddy

cool shades emoji keyringEmoji keying - tongue wink from Design Essentials

Emoji Cushion Smiling Poop from Design EssentialsEmoji Cushion Wink Kiss Face from Design Essentials

Just click on the photos to view the products on our website and be ready for emojis to take over this year. Be ready and get all things emojis here at Design Essentials.

Make sure to stay tuned to all out social media for upcoming offers and competitions! To receive £5 off our smiley lamps  ENTER ‘ SMILEYLAMP5 ‘ at checkout

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Perfect presents from Pretty Pieces

Mother’s Day and Wedding season are right around the corner and here at Design Essentials we are so lucky to have a brand new stockist bringing in the most perfect presents and gifts for the upcoming months. Tina is the proud owner of Tina’s Pretty Pieces, who are a local design company based in Essex who invest their time into making the perfect personalised gift for any occasion, for anyone. Whether it’s a vintage wedding piece or a retro addition to your home, every design comes to life with all of your personal details making it as special and unique as the occasion it celebrates and Tina truly presents this in every single aspect of her work.

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Every customer has the chance to design their bespoke piece with their own choice of wording, colour and decorative detailing and along with the colour matching service, their creation will make a stunning centrepiece in any decor or colour scheme, which can all be done instore and now online on our website as well. Instore we will talk first hand to you about your choices and variations making sure you get exactly what you want, helping you wherever you may need it.

A gift will always mean more if its personalised, bearing the special date of a wedding or the details of a new baby’s arrival and with the large range of products that we now have instore we are sure that we have something just right for any occasion.

My favourite item from the collection, that I absolutely love at the moment, are the family trees. With a variety of colours, themes and finishes the tree really can be made unique for that one of a kind couple.

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The family tree featured is handpainted in a beautiful mix on neutral tones to compliment any home decor. The trees coming in neutral (top) prices from £125 and natural (bottom)priced at £115  but also a much wider colour palette to find that perfect match. Come instore to have a look!

An amazing way to congratulate a couple on their wedding anniversary this year is to include their whole family. A total of 25 names can be added to the family tree, these names are smaller and compliment extended  families as well. Names can have  polka dotted leaves, diamanté detailing added to make it extra special only for a small cost as well.

designessentialsfamilytreeneutral3tinasprettypieces designessentialsfamilytreeblackandwhite4tinasprettypieces

The collection is so extensive with a specific wedding collection now instore as well, so we are sure that we will have something to match your needs this wedding season. Pop instore to have a look and if you have any question let us know and we will be sure to help. Leave a comment or find us at:

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Tina’s Pretty Pieces: Design Essentials chats to Tina

Here at Design Essentials we are so excited to introduce Tina as one of our new stockists instore and online. Tina specialises in personalised family trees and wedding gifts. Her handmade bespoke creations, can be personalised to match colours, names and designed to match your home to be the perfect gift. I was lucky enough to have a quick chat with Tina and ask her some questions about herself and her art. What really shone through was how passionate Tina is about her work and how much thought goes into each individual piece. Tina is such a bubbly and enchanting woman who’s products reflect her personality perfectly. Her work as you will see fits well with Design Essentials, we can’t wait for you to see her work and we hope that you’re half as excited as we are!

What inspires your work?

My work has been and always will be inspired by my family. My first family tree creation still sits pride of place on my lounge wall with all our names together. I want to create happiness and that for me is seeing the names of the ones I love all together. Creating a piece with the details of the ones we hold in our hearts is my favourite thing.

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

Colour!! I love to bring wood alive with colour, subtle tones or vibrant shocks, I love them all.

4personalised family tree autumnal colours tri colour design design essentials saffron walden personalisations gifts wedding mothers day bespoke handmade framed wood

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

It has to be my family trees. They bring so much joy when received. A tree I had painted gold for a golden wedding anniversary gift. This tree had 25 names on it and was for a nan and grandad who had created such a much loved family who adored them.

personalised family tree yellow names grey design essentials saffron walden personalisations gifts wedding mothers day bespoke handmade framed wood

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

Music and coffee!!

What’s the best and worst thing about being an artist? 

The best thing is no restrictions in what I can create, I love the freedom to indulge my creativity. The worst is that I am over critical and only my favourite pieces are ever seen.

Just to indulge me, your favourite Take That member?

Robbie!! Can I have Robbie? lol

Favourite drink

Vanilla latte all day long


Thank you so much to Tina for giving up her time to talk us, we are so excited to have her gorgeous products now instore for all our lovely customers to see.

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Neon is live on the website

Following my last blog all about how neon is the next biggest trend and on its way on to our shelves, I am so excited to finally announce that it is finally in store at Design Essentials and live on our website as of today!

At Design Essentials we pride ourselves on having a vast and diverse range available from instore and now online.

Here are a few of my favourite signs and neon  lights that are all online now!

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The best part is that all our signs can be personalised for that perfect match.  From uplifting words to vibrant shapes, our lights are designed in the UK and crafted in a durable and environmentally friendly material that, unlike traditional glass neon, is safe for the home; perfectly fit for your home environment. To find out more about our neon click on the photos or visit the neon section of our website here.

One of the best ranges that we have in is the bespoke name which are all handcrafted to enable you to have your own neon sign just how you want it. There are 2 options with our bespoke lights. Your neon can either be white or coloured when not in use. There is a choice of 12 colours, all available to view in store. Prices range from £200-300 depending on the number of letters used: Olivia (6 letters) is £249 to order online but come see us or call us in store to see and hear about our offers.


Do pop in and see us to hear about the endless possibilities that are available with these stunning new ranges.  You can reach us Tuesday’s to Saturdays in store from 10-5, email us on or call us at 01799 522417 during the working hours to find out more or ask us any questions. We can’t wait to see you all!


Neon arrives at Design Essentials!


Here at Design Essentials Neon has arrived. With trends changing all the time its hard to know what to buy and what not to, but we have it right again with this one; neon is looking huge for 2017 with celebrities and art galleries both posting as the number one hot top pick. Especially in art, neon installations have been the craze recently. Social media of course not far behind with documenting this, Instagram, Tumblr and VSCO have all been hopping on the band wagon with this as well. Check out the interior magazines and you will see it in many featured homes.  Here are some of my favourite photos from these sites ;




Here in the shop, at Design Essentials, they come in a range of 14 colours and are able to be completely personalised. They start at £200 and will be sure to add that wow factor to any room. From a simple design to a personalised name we are able to do almost any design to make sure that it’s perfect for you.



This neon cloud is now in store so make sure to pop in and see it for yourself.


If splashing the cash isn’t so much your thing you are in luck, as we have also just got in a range of neon lights from The Little Lovely Company for only £65 and still add that wow factor to any room. Here are some of the ones we have in store:

llc littlelovelycomp


I love looking at new and upcoming trends, and when I saw how big neon had got already in the media I knew that it wouldn’t take long for it to reach the shelves of  cutting edge shops like Design Essentials and make it’s way into our homes in no time at all. Make sure to keep an eye out for this huge trend in 2017 and grab yours first here at Design Essentials. For January we are offering the bespoke hearts and stars for £156 .

Conatct us on 01799 522417 to discuss further or simply pop into the shop.


10 Downing Street

We often have exciting weeks at Design Essentials but this one was especially notable. Our very own Wendy Howell made her way down to London for the Small Business Saturday’s event at 10 Downing Street last Thursday.


A quick selfie at the Penney’s the hairdresser and she was ready to go. The bobble hat did of course make an appearance at 10 Downing Street, tying the  whole outfit together!

Small Biz Saturday 100 focuses on getting all kinds of small businesses to get involved, so know that whether they’re are a family business, local shop, online business, wholesaler, business service or small manufacturer, Small Business Saturday is supporting all of them!

Wendy has worked so hard over the past few years to really give back to the community and all her hard work has really paid off. Design Essentials and all of Saffron Walden could have been better represented by anyone else and on behalf of Design Essentials I couldn’t be more proud.


During the day Wendy had the chance to meet all the other Small Business Saturday participants, great for networking and leaning about all the wonderful independent businesses around the UK. She also got to meet Margot James, Minister of Small businesses, industry and enterprise.

We have been featured in the Saffron Walden reporter where Wendy said: “It was also inspiring to learn how the other small businesses also supported one another. It’s not easy being a small business, it’s incredibly tough, and after four years of establishing Design Essentials, to be recognised in such a way was a very proud moment.” To read the full article click here.

Also Michelle Ovens, campaign director for Small Business Saturday, said: “We aim to showcase the level of diversity, innovation and talent that is active within our small business sector and persuade people to get out and support their friends, neighbours and family members and reinforce local communities and economies.”


An amazing day all round, such a privilege to take part!