Beata Heuman talks interiors, travel and design inspiration.
Renowned for her love of luxurious fabrics, quirky furnishings and eclectic colours, London-based designer Beata Heuman spent eight years working under Nicky Haslam at NH Design before leaving to launch her very own interior-design company. The talented young designer has been featured in House and Garden’s list of top 100 designers and is one of the most sought-after names in the design world. Famed for her playful yet refreshing take on interiors, we caught up with Beata at her West London home.
For the uninitiated, can you describe the signature ‘Beata Heuman look’? What inspired your love of ‘urban safari chic’?
It’s well thought through with an abundance of bespoke pieces, but the overall style is playful and not overly serious. Urban safari chic was how I jokingly described the decor of my first flat, but it pretty much sums up my love for the layered and eclectic, while still feeling current and fresh.
How would you describe your own design style at home?
Over the course of a lifetime one gathers a multitude of impressions and experiences and the home should make it possible to take all of this in, so we always strive to do a layered design. When putting together your own home you have the luxury of building over time and I can also fully indulge my fondness for the slightly odd when working on my own home so perhaps this is even more prominent here.
What is the most rewarding aspect of what you do?
My favourite part is definitely at completion, when all our hard work comes together, and we hand over a home to a happy client. It’s also wonderful if our client allows us have the project published.
Who or what inspires you in your work?
Anything and everything, but I always look a lot to the past for inspiration. I have an amazing team working for me who always add interesting ideas into the mix too.
What’s the best design tip that you’ve ever been given?
Nicky Haslam said that every room should have something ugly to set off the beauty! I like that sentiment.
What’s the one piece of business advice you would pass on?
You have to work hard – things don’t happen overnight.
What’s your favourite room in your home and why?
At the moment it’s the little summerhouse at the bottom of our garden. I went completely over the top, with bright red walls, a black and white stencilled design on the top and the most beautiful Pierre Frey chintz on a very deep bespoke loveseat. I sit in there and read and once I’ve had my baby I’ll definitely be enjoying a cocktail or two in there!
How would you describe your personal style?
Our interiors are often very colourful so I tend to tone down my personal style and opt for classic pieces to give a relatively sane impression – but I still like some odd and surprising pieces every now and then. And well-made high-quality shoes are a must.
Tell us about your favourite piece from the London W11 collection and why?
I love the chunky cashmere crew in Navy; it’s chic and classic, quite Audrey Hepburnesque.
What are your top London hotspots for eating, shopping and drinking?
One of my favourite restaurants is still The Wolseley. It has a great vibe throughout the day; it feels elegant but not too serious. The River Café down the road from where I live is always a treat and serves beautiful food, but nothing beats a cocktail at 5 Hertford Street! For shopping I love the selection at The Shop at Blue Bird on Duke of York square.
What’s your favourite travel destination? What do you need for a perfect holiday?
I go to Florence several times a year – my parents have a flat there. To me it’s the perfect weekend escape, with lots to see, friendly people, amazing restaurants and incredible old-fashioned shops where people still really know their craft.
Finally, what do you like to do to relax? Do you have any hobbies or interests?
Having a one year old I don’t have a huge amount of spare time, but I’m really enjoying our new home. I’m beginning to get to grips with gardening which is surprisingly satisfying (I must be getting old) and I read as much as I can, mostly novels!