Editor Rebecca Moore catches up with florist Erica Clements the founder of flowers, home and gift store Bleujen to talk interior inspiration, foliage favourites and following her dreams in Cornwall.
Tell us how Bleujen came about…
I always knew I wanted to do something with floristry, retail and interior. I opened Bleujen in 2009 in a small store down on the Lower Wharf in Bude in North Cornwall. It was small but quirky and it allowed us to build the brand to what it is today.
We started off as predominantly a florist, but stocking small interior pieces that complimented the flowers and plants we had in store.
Starting out as a florist, why did you decide to venture into interiors?
My husband is a partner of Bond Oxborough Phillips estate agents, and together we have been lucky enough to buy and sell a few houses around Cornwall, and managed to keep a couple along the way which are now holiday homes which we rent out. I fell in love with the process of doing a house up, particularly the interiors department! It became my dream to combine and stock all the things I adore in one retail space.
As our store on the Wharf was quite small, we couldn’t hold much stock. So we were fortunate enough to move into Bude’s town centre in 2017. It’s a much larger store with two floors. There’s a great workspace for the flowers and wedding flowers downstairs, while upstairs it’s allowed us to branch into larger furniture and much, much more! By moving into a larger shop it’s enabled me to follow that dream of mine!
Have you a favourite room in the house to decorate?
I love doing a whole house and bringing it all together, but if I had to pick one room it would have to be the lounge, as you can change the layout with each season. I like to create a warm cosy area using lots of yummy textures and tones.
What colours do you think look best in the home under the Cornish sunlight?
To be honest I think you can make most colours work, but I always lean more to a muted, warm and natural colour scheme.
At Bleujen you have stock some amazing plants. Any houseplants that you’d recommend keeping in a holiday home?
Adding fresh products into an interior space creates the finished home. We stock some ideal house plants in Bleujen that work well in holiday homes as they are easy to care for. I always recommend people pop into the store if they can, then we’re able to offer bespoke tips.
Monstera plants are one of the most iconic plants in the house plant world. With its emerald green, perforated leaves, they are sure to make a characterful addition to any home! Aside from their lush foliage and easy to grow nature, Monstera plants have been voted by NASA as one of the best house plants for purifying the air too.
Zamioculcas is a great indoor air purifier too, filtering out airborne toxins such as xylene, toluene, and benzene. Easy to care for and doesn’t need too much attention.
What would you recommend for a few staple homeware pieces for a house in Cornwall?
A gorgeous large freestanding house plant from Bleujen is a must – bringing the outside in creates a calm, sanctuary feel. We also stock lovely large stone table lamps that work well in a Cornish homes. For me, it’s all about the textures bringing in different products to get the right look- smooth, hard, fluffy, soft and so on.
How does Cornwall inspire what you stock at Bleujen?
The rugged coastline, sunsets and seasons inspire me. I love the natural element of Cornwall.
What would be your perfect day in Cornwall?
It’s got to be a summer’s day at Crackington Haven, which is a little coastal village in-between Bude and Boscastle. This is where I grew up and my heart lies there and it still feels like home. In the summer months the evening has to involve the Cabin Café’s open BBQ – its fresh produces is the best!
Are there any exciting plans in the pipeline for Bleujen?
We are currently having a new website being built which will combine the flowers and home interior together. The rest would be telling… but I do still have a couple more dreams that I need to fulfil in my life!
Visit Bleujen’s store situated in the centre of Bude, or check it out on Instagram.
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