What is Hutch?
Put simply, Hutch is a houseplant lovers dream. Located on Exeter’s Paris Street, this unique little shop is the brainchild of Frankie & Rob, who recently moved down to Devon to pursue their dream of setting up their own small business.
I first came across Hutch on Instagram, as they were chronicling their journey from conception through to launch one herbaceous snap at a time. If you follow me on Instagram then you may be aware that i’m going through a bit of a houseplant phase. So, the promise of terrariums, cactuses, plants & gifts was just too tempting to pass up. I knew that I had to pop into Hutch as soon as they opened their doors to the public..
When you step inside Hutch you can’t help but be impressed by the layout. Frankie & Rob have style, that’s for sure. Considering the tight timescales they had to work toward in order to open in time – plus the small shop they had to work with – they’ve really transformed their space. There’s a trendy sofa and wicker chair set against one wall; an equally trendy tea & coffee machine positioned by the counter; and a wide variety of hanging houseplants fixed to the ceiling.
The young couple did all of the work themselves and over a cup of tea Frankie explained the process to me. Apparently, much of the furniture is borrowed from their previous home. When they moved down to Devon they had to temporarily downsize, so a lot of their own furniture found its way into Hutch. The shop wall was also covered in great big black jellyfish paintings when they first arrived – meaning they had to cover it in numerous coats of white paint in order to turn the shop into the minimalistic space it is today.
The shop’s stock was the next big challenge. Frankie didn’t want their terrariums to be carbon copies of the trendy pieces you’ll find on the highstreet. That’s why she’s scored antique shops and artisan markets to find unique and unusual glass containers. There are pieces in Hutch that are completely one-of-a-kind; meaning you won’t get your hands on anything like them elsewhere. There’s also work by local artists on sale, including Jessica Pearson and Lily Threads.
But most impressive of all has to be the sheer range of houseplants that Hutch has on offer. There’s everything from little potted succulents through to trendy air plants and fluffy monkey tail cactuses. I’d had my eye on a ‘Bunny Ear Cactus’ that they’d posted on Instagram and I had to come home with it. It’s not dissimilar to a Prickly Pear and it looks amazing next to the rest of my collection. For £8, how could I resist?
I was in no hurry to leave Hutch and since I still had a some tea left, I thought I ought to grill Frankie for some of her top houseplant tips..
What sort of price range are Hutch plants?
Anywhere from £2 for the Tot Mix through to £35 for one of the trees or more impressive cactuses.
What is Hutch’s Bestselling product?
The Tot Mix – otherwise known as pygmy plants. At £2 a pop you can’t go wrong with these mini little treasures. According to Frankie they’re really low maintenance plants and they’re an easy way to add instant colour to a room.
For first time plant owners, what’s a good low maintenance houseplant?
Pilea peperomioides aka The Chinese Money Plant or The Pancake Plant. You’ll see exactly why it gets these nicknames as soon as you take a look at one. They’re incredibly easy to take care of – requiring very little attention – and they’ll act as a talking point in your room, since they’re so unusual.
How often do we need to water our houseplants?
As a rule, once a week should be fine. Keep checking the soil and if it’s bone dry you’ll want to give the plant a water. If the soil is still quite moist, hold off. Overwatering can be just as bad for the plant’s health.
Where is the best spot to keep a cactus or a houseplant?
Discovering where the place to keep a plant in your home is can often be a case of trial and error. Keep moving your pots around to see which location the plant responds best to. Generally speaking, they like to be sat on coffee tables. A warm spot is preferable to a cold one – but make sure it’s not too warm. Likewise, avoid keeping terrariums on a windowsill because the glass can magnify the sunlight and scorch a plant’s leaves.
If you’re thinking of adding to your own houseplant collection, make sure you drop by Hutch sometime and say hello. Frankie and Rob are incredibly lovely and they are really knowledgable about their houseplants. During the time I was there, several customers purchased plants and several more popped in to say what a fabulous job the pair had done in creating the pop-up shop. Let’s keep our green-fingers crossed that Hutch ignites a houseplant revolution in the local area and more people pop in to discover what the shop is all about!