We’ve all heard interior designers dismissed as professionals obsessed with design and decoration – and little else - but Beata Heuman is proof that they are often have a rather deep wisdom about the home and what it takes to live there happily.
Here, we look into the work of this interior design powerhouse.
Beata Heuman's design ethos
Beata Heuman (opens in new tab)'s first book – Every Room Should Sing (opens in new tab) – has been an international hit since its publication in March 2021. Its title sums up her philosophy about how to use design and decoration to make the home a space that enhances and amplifies the life of its occupants.
Beata completed the book with publisher Rizzoli during lockdown, a demanding process that was made more challenging as all the work had to be done online.
Her experience during lockdown helped her deepen her understanding of the importance of the home on our emotional wellbeing. 'It’s really cemented how I already felt about home and how important it is to have a home that gives you not just comfort but also [a way to] feel inspired and energized.
'Your home needs to be a fold for your past, present, and future,' she explains. 'You want it to be inclusive, pragmatic, spontaneous, serious, humorous, and elegant all at the same time. It sounds complex, but really, it’s just about being honest about who we are.'
'Once you find your poise, you should notice a certain tension, almost like a reverberation. It doesn’t overwhelm but is noticeable enough to strike a chord: it sharpens our minds and opens our eyes a little. When you get this balance right, you will walk over your threshold – and your heart will be lifted.'
The Beata Heuman emporium
Beata’s fans, of which there are now many, will soon be able to experience this thrilling tension in person when she opens her new location in Hammersmith in west London later this year, something she envisages will be ‘the world of our brand’. Her team has been working on converting this building into a mix of studio, show home and emporium since summer 2021.
Beata Heuman's design history
As well as developing sought-after product lines – for sale on the Shoppa section of her website – the design team works on six or seven interior design projects at any one time, transforming houses as far afield as New York and Rotterdam over the last year.
Beata clearly has a vision for her business. And while this may seem like a carefully honed masterplan, in fact her career in interiors is more a mixture of happy accident and a passion for design.
Looking for something to do, and finding herself in the UK – Beata grew up in Sweden – she decided to enrol on an interior design course. Mentioning this course to someone who knew the renowned interior designer Nicky Haslam resulted in an introduction.
'This was so lucky,' admits Beata. 'I had no idea who he was at the time.'
She went on to spend nine years working with him before leaving to start her own company. 'It was a really good fit for me and really formed me as a designer,' she adds.
Despite being incredibly busy, Beata still has time to build on her knowledge of design.
'The more knowledge you have the better,' she insists. 'When you know how things can be, you can take risks.'
She credits mentors such as Colette van den Thillart for teaching her about design history and sharing all these important references.
'There’s so much to discover – Elsie de Wolfe, Nancy Lancaster, Billy Baldwin. I find biographies of designers really inspiring, such as the story of Josef Frank who founded Swedish textile company Svenskt Tenn, or reading about the Weiner Werkstätte.'
2022 looks set to be another landmark year for this design dynamo.
Kate Burnett is a journalist and editor who has been writing about residential design and architecture for nearly 20 years. A former acting executive editor of Homes & Gardens and Livingetc, she has written for national newspapers and magazines including the Financial Times, Evening Standard and Sunday Times. A trained designer, she has also worked with leading architecture and design practices including dRMM and Keechdesign.
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