What is their role?
An interior designers role is to liaise and advise their client to create a functional and aesthetically pleasing design for their space. It’s not all as fun as choosing furniture, lighting, swatches and paint colours, the safety is of upmost importance for their client and is always at the forefront of their minds, especially if designing for a “big change”.
What is the process?
After lots of chatting, and getting a real feel for what you want and need, and of course discussing the budget, the behind the scenes research commences! Options, options, options! Then comes the reveal….but let’s not jump the gun! The reveal is still on a mood board, or in the form of samples. Here really is when the fun begins and the design concept can come to life!
The final “look”
Once you are happy with colours, textures and finishings, it’s time to put it all together! All you have to do is sit back and wait for the final “Wow” factor!
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.
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!
Daytime: Strawberry lemonade
Evening: Pink Gin!
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!
Design Essentials are specialists in interior design and lighting.
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 .
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Summer is finally here and the sun is shining! Now, take yourself back to a Miami ice cream palour, circa 1950’s; think vanilla, strawberry and a scoop of mint choc chip, and there you have the latest summer trend!
Choosing your palette really is as exciting and as choosing your favourite gelato. Teaming creamy colours with retro floor tiles, and throwing in scallop and semi circular patterns really allows you to make a statement. Or, stay cool this summer and balance the vibrancy with a backdrop of white keeping it fresh and crisp. If its more of a sophisticated gelato parlour look you’re you’re going for, lush velvet with brass fixtures and accessories will really add finesse to your home.
We enjoyed a fantastic day at Walton-On-The-Naze last week and their cafe (photo above) was the epitome of this look….and their ice creams weren’t bad either!
Bring the outside inside, blur the lines, be as one, and connect with nature
Offering an easy way to reconnect with nature while satisfying our ever-growing desire to go green. The growing botanical trend allows you to use the revitalising shades and materials of the natural world to create a sense of serenity in your home or office. This trend as time goes on will evolve more to reflect a growing necessity to save the planet. For the moment though as an Interiors trend we are just demonstrating an affordable way that can transform rooms in your home.
Plants, Plant, Plants!
Energise yourself with additions of plants and foliage. Not only are they easy on the eye, but they also help to reduce stress and of course help reduce pollutants in your home. Oversized house plants can offer a bold statement, team these with clean lines and effortless furniture and you have added an easy feature piece to any room. If, like us, (in particular Wendy) you struggle to keep your plants from turning a darker shade of brown….opt for smaller succulents or fakes. Easy to care for, and with no additional decorating, will add a pop of colour to what otherwise could be a blank canvas.
Get the family involved!
If you’re feeling more of an overhaul for a particular room in your house then wallpaper, wallpaper, wallpaper! Add flourishing green hues to your walls and team with zesty yellows and golds to really feel the summer botanical vibe. Not one for wallpaper or large statement pieces? Don’t worry, this trend is so versatile, floral and foliage accent cushions or smaller accessories work just as well. Come in and download your ideas on us we are more than happy to give you advise on what could work to get the look you want. In the meantime start to have a bit of fun with it and get the kids involved during the holidays; have them rummage for leaves and petals and pop them in a simple Nkuku frame. Team your treasure’s treasures with a banana paper backing for a beautiful, on trend, keepsake. You will feel quite proud of the look and it’s always nice that you have a have a story to tell about your lovely Botanical inspired home.
Our botanical shop front
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With blue becoming the new black on Monday and then black becoming the new blue on Wednesday, global trends are a tricky club to follow. Thankfully we have some great tips on how to update, renew and rejuvenate your home without re-doing the whole room.
Through fashion and global trends, Aztec and IKAT patterns are looking to be a very popular these coming months. These patterns are perfect for transitional seasons and variation in colours allows for different themes and tones to develop and match your own personal style.
Here at Design Essentials we have plenty of products that can transform the Aztec trend into something personal to you. With different themes with in the patterns I have been able to create three unique looks for any room.
Gold: In Design Essentials we have a huge range of gold items, ranging from vases to pendant lights. The warm wooden tones keep the feel of the room stylish and homely.
Madeira wall clock Gold smoke pillar pendant GPO Retro radio Acacia chair Gold rough vase
Modern edge: Using the blacks and greys allow for a larger use of patterns with simple pieces still having a large impact.
Mila chair Dunes gold floor lamp Ripples vase Skeletal wall clock Black console table
Bronze and Brass: The warm feel of the brass adds a sense of boho chic and relaxed living.
Antique bronze clock Nkuku glass frame Zephyr table lamp Bronze giraffe head Stag lampshade Black Tea reed diffuser
Hopefully the inspiration from these three separate looks will help you with the final push to complete this years summer trends from all around the world!
New Trends 2015
Wendy and I spent an inspiring day at the Pulse trade show on Monday, browsing over 450 fabulous stands filled with gorgeous products at London Olympia. Trade shows and exhibitions are one of the best places to spot emerging interior trends for the coming seasons, and we left Pulse very excited about some potential new interior ranges for Design Essentials in the Saffron Walden shop and via the website. A few exhibitors specifically caught our eye, and over the coming days and weeks Wendy will be working with them to pull together the Design Essentials ‘looks’ for later in the year, but in the meantime, here’s a little sneak preview of the Autumn and Winter trends which will be heading to Saffron Walden soon.
Inspired by Nature
Bringing outdoor references in to the home is a big theme for autumn and winter – as it is already for this summer – and in the colder seasons the colours become more muted and subtle, with intricate prints inspired by flora and fauna, and we particularly loved the collection below of co-ordinating lampshades and cushions.
We are intending to introduce this range to the shop and website very soon, along with other lovely finds to help you create the outdoor look in your home. Industrial Chic The massive interior design trend of industrial chic shows no sign of waning, and Pulse showcased some great examples of how this look can be introduced to our homes. Lighting is a great way of incorporating a hint of industrial, and we already have some brilliant copper and wood pendants which fit this theme. At Pulse we found a fantastic new nostalgia range to complement our existing lighting and placed an order on the spot, so keep checking the Design Essentials website for more information on when the new stock will be with us.
You don’t have to live in an edgy converted warehouse to drop a hint of the industrial in to your interior scheme. There are some fabulous pieces out there which give a nod to the trend without overdoing it. Use industrial styling with other trends such as warm metals, natural materials and tactile fabrics to soften the look, as shown in the look-book below: