High-quality independent interiors brand BluBambu sells exquisite wood furniture made from reclaimed teak imported from Indonesia and accessories also made from reclaimed materials, such as fabrics made from 100 per cent plastic.

With two showrooms, in Lymington and Winchester, the company - which was founded in the summer of 2014 - offers unique solutions for the home primarily centred around the kitchen, dining, living room and garden. Everything is 100 per cent reclaimed and beautifully handcrafted – ideal for anyone in search of a signature look of simplicity and style, while leaving a positive footprint on the environment.

Living chats to director David Littlewood to find out more about the company...

Q: How did the idea for BluBambu come about?

A: Both Gemma (my wife) and I relocated to Singapore for two years (2012 - 2014) for work. Gemma relocated with her company from Southampton (Oil Spill Response) to their Singapore office. I wrapped up work in a marketing agency in London and subsequently worked for a new marketing agency in Singapore.

Weekends spent venturing off and discovering all that Asia had to offer. It was on one trip to Bali that we stumbled across an old Javanese fishing boat that had been reclaimed and converted into a wine rack. Being from the coast ourselves (I grew up in Lymington and Gemma was from Dartmouth) we instantly fell in love with the canoe and set out getting it shipped back to Singapore. It was such a feature piece in our apartment and friends would always comment on it, that we had that ‘light bulb’ moment as you do when you are away from home and we set about discovering what else we could find. We spent 15 months sourcing and building up our supplier contacts (even learning Bahasa - Indonesian lingo.

Q: What exactly do you offer?

A: All our furniture and most of our accessories are handmade by artisans from Indonesia using reclaimed materials. Mostly reclaimed teak from old buildings in East Java, reclaimed Javanese fishing boats, as well as recycled oil drums.

It’s all about seeking the beauty of imperfection. Our furniture is beautifully handcrafted using traditional carpentry methods, it’s solid and oozes character and soul! In a world of mass produced throw away items, we offer something that will provide a feature piece in your home. Not only do we provide contemporary furniture with clean modern lines, but each piece has its own story to tell with added rustic charm. The reclaimed teak material used is usually upwards of 100 years old. It’s also a great purchase for the eco-conscious minded!

Q: You have showrooms in both Winchester and Lymington – which of these was first? When did they open?

A: BluBambu launched in a converted dairy barn in Lymington in summer 2014. Off the beaten track, we were a hidden gem for local residents and the odd tourist who managed to seek us out. 2016 we moved to the Lymington Town Quay, where the increased footfall was a welcomed sight to move us onto the next stage! Soon we were delivering our items all over the country to those visitors who had flocked to Lymington and had discovered something a little different in our store!

The reason for Lymington primarily is that we moved back here from Singapore. I grew up here and had many friends and family still in the town. Likewise for Gemma, many friends from university had gravitated to Lymington with its connections to the marine industry in Southampton.

Regular deliveries to London, across Hampshire and Surrey prompted us to move a little closer to this market. Our location on the Town Quay in Lymington also meant that trade inevitably dips off during the colder winter months. We needed an all year round footfall and the city of Winchester seemed to fit the bill. Winchester opened recently in April 2018.

Having both shops allows us to experiment with our collections. Whilst both focus on the theme of modern rustic living, Lymington offers a number of furniture collections suited for coastal living, whereas Winchester focuses on more on urban, industrial pieces. Both stores have the same, laid back, informal feel and the excitement of seeing furniture that excites the senses and imagination.

Q: How does it help to be able to have the products on show for people to see?

A: We’re not your typical furniture shop. Indeed many people will stumble across us by accident. For items such as our teak root coffee and dining tables (think Saturday Kitchen), these incredible pieces need to be seen in the flesh. Like a piece of art, customers just fall in love with them.

As more people are investing in their homes, it’s great to be able to showcase our modern rustic theme and give people ideas and inspiration. As we source all our furniture direct from Indonesia, our items are pretty unique to us and people instantly recognise this as being something new and exciting.

Q: Are you customers predominately local, or do they come from further afield?

A: Lymington has a healthy mix of locals and visitors/tourists. We’ve delivered to every corner of the country, as well as a recent delivery of a coffee table to Germany and New York. Bournemouth and Poole are regular destinations, including a number of properties in Sandbanks. Lymington is a great day out (especially on a Saturday with the market).

Winchester is focused primarily on the local market and surrounding towns.

Q:Is each piece bespoke, or are is more than one product of each type produced?

A: We offer a mix of one off items and regular pieces. No two pieces will ever be exactly the same owing to the reclaimed materials used.

Q: What are your most popular pieces?

A: At the moment our Shelfmate and Winemate wall decor is proving incredibly popular. It allows customers to be creative with their wall space, at the same time as adding a little modern, industrial chic to their home.

Q: How important is it that we use reclaimed wood?

A: Not only does it posses unique, rustic characters, but it leaves a positive footprint on the environment. One thing that fascinated us so much about the skilled craftsman in Indonesia is how intuitive and resourceful they were to using reclaimed materials to create high quality furniture pieces. And how important is it to you and BluBambu as a company to spread that message?

We want people to be excited by the furniture they see and for it to ultimately stay in their family for many many years to come. Yes, our pieces many be a little more expensive than your average department store, but in return you are getting a high quality timber, excellent craftsmanship and a piece of furniture that leaves a positive eco footprint. Its the eco furniture with a story to tell.

We also stock items such as Weaver Green from the UK who are producing beautiful soft furnishings made from 100% recycled plastic bottles. Again, this all ties in nicely with our ethos. Beautiful things born from old, reclaimed materials.

Q: Do you still get back to Indonesia often?

A: We try and get back over there once a year to see what's new and catch up with our suppliers. We work directly with around 20 local suppliers across Java and Bali. From small family businesses to a couple of bigger guys who export across the globe.

Q: What does the future hold for BluBambu?

A: For now, two showrooms is plenty to manage! I manage both and as a family run, independent business we’re passionate about delivering excellent customer service. When you buy from a local independent, an actual person does a happy dance! It’s true, I do! I am still heavily invested in most of the day to day sales and its testament to why we have so many repeat customers.


Quay Road, Lymington; T: 01590 670885

Southgate Street, Winchester; T: 01962 865244

E: info@blubambu.co.uk

W: blubambu.co.uk