Home Décor Blooms with Colorful Florals at Blueberry Living & Co
Ju de Paula’s interior designs can be called many things– bright, inspiring, effervescent– but if there’s one characteristic that they all share, it’s that upon entering a space she’s designed it’s hard to figure out what to pay attention to first.
De Paula is the founder of Blueberry Living & Co., an interior design company that brings plants, flowers, and playful designs to the home in every way possible: on the walls, chairs, lamps, and coffee tables. Her work is fun and eye-catching, capable of transforming the homes she designs into floral playgrounds of wonder.
In one of de Paula’s recent concepts, a still-life painting of a bouquet hangs behind a wall covered in flowers in an impressionistic style, while two small vases filled with brightly-colored bouquets rest on the desk, the real flowers echoing the paintings and vice versa. Piecing together these contrasting and seemingly unrelated artistic styles is one of the defining elements of de Paula’s work at Blueberry Living & Co, and aspect of their aesthetic that connotes a certain child-like wonder.
After de Paula created an Instagram account to showcase her designs last year, she began to receive requests from people around the world asking if she could design their homes. Though she couldn’t physically travel to each of these countries, she still wanted to be able to share her style with those who were interested, eventually expanding what began as interior design for private clients to the web, and teaching people how to create these types of designs themselves with templates, a blog, and an upcoming online course.
“I believe you have to surround yourself with what you love, because your home is a place where you recharge your batteries,” she recently told Garden Collage. De Paula is inspired by the colorful patterns she grew up surrounded by in her native Brazil. Now based in England’s countryside, she draws inspiration from her surroundings as well as the patterns, colors, and designs she recalls from back home. “I’m always looking for color scheme inspiration everywhere I go,” she says, whether that’s at the zoo, while taking in the view outside her window, looking at other cottages, or seeing an outfit in a fashion magazine (like the perfect combination of colors in a pair of purple and dark pink trousers, a lilac jacket, and a green top– for example). “I love to go walk in the park and just let inspiration come to me,” she says. De Paula is inspired by Frida Kahlo and turns to Claude Monet for color inspiration, seeing particular value in his use of lilac tones, soft blues, and other pastel palettes.
Though de Paula’s styles and arrangements vary from project to project, one thing is consistent throughout all of her designs: flowers. “I just love flowers. We used to live right in the middle of London, and you feel like you need a bit of nature when you’re living that busy life,” she recalls of her urban years. “And flowers are beautiful, so why not?”
De Paula is also inspired by a traditional fabric from Brazil called chita, which she describes as a coarse fabric designed with big, bright flowers. “I’ve always been drawn to it,” she says.
Designing someone’s home with these unique, fun, and non-traditional patterns is an interesting process, she adds. “The first thing I do is I get to know what they love,” de Paula explains. “I want to know their style, what makes them happy, what connects with them.” She asks clients to make a Pinterest board in order to identify trends and styles they are drawn to. “Normally, they get very confused and start putting lots of different styles on the board. I try to see a pattern, or what they choose more often, and from there I start getting little pieces of things they love.” She aims for a design that is balanced but that goes outside the box at the same time. “I like to add extra touches, things they wouldn’t necessarily think about adding to their home,” she notes. One might find these extra touches in a headboard painted with flowers, or the added strokes of paint on cupboards, or the colorful plates and cups that complement the furniture. For de Paula, every detail has to be thought through. Breaking the rules and having fun is an essential part of de Paula’s work, however, and though the individual pieces might not appear to match, they ultimately come together in one big, harmonious arrangement.