Scandi Style for the Instagram Generation According to Interior Designer Beata Heuman

Scandi Style for the Instagram Generation According to Interior Designer Beata Heuman

Meet the guru of nouveau Scandi-chic, interior designer Beata Heuman. From her Hammersmith studio, she expounded her love for Italy and let us in on the world’s best bar along with why colourful, joyful homes are trending.


-born, London-based
interior designer Beata Heuman has turned her back on her
design-roots – at least where the out-moded concept of
all-white-everything is concerned. Typical
touchpoints of colourless walls, white-wood floors
and chalky ceilings are scarce among her largely playful,
theatrical stylings and colourful constructions.

Whether it’s a kaleidoscopic Chelsea pied-à-terre or a cheerful
Sussex cottage, we’ve “pinned” and “saved” an album’s worth of her
vivacious designs, which take inspiration, in part, from Swedish
folk heritage. Even our dining decisions are influenced by Beata –
brunch at Farm Girl (on the semi-regular) is as much elevated by
our appreciation of its farmhouse-meets-coastal-California
interiors (which Beata designed) as by its cloud-like buckwheat

We headed west to visit the designer’s Hammersmith studio and
feast over her design space. While there, we unpicked why she
struggles to shake her love of
and it’s crumbling, slightly mad palazzos, debated over
the best bar in the world and ultimately conceded that our
collective homes – which pale in comparison (in every sense) to
Beata’s – are due a boom of colours and patterns.

Where are you from and how has that shaped or inspired your

I was born and raised on a farm in the south of
and I moved to
in my early 20s. I’m currently writing a book about my
designs [published with Rizzoli]. The process has made me analyse
my work in a new way, and I’ve discovered there are strong Swedish
influences throughout everything I do.

Do you feel your style is informed by your Scandinavian

The clear, vibrant colours I use are definitely inspired by
Swedish folk heritage and, while I use movement and curves in my
designs, there is always a simplicity to it, which is inherently
Swedish. The interest in mythology and use of small, embellished
details are influenced by the Swedish grace period, but I also look
further back to Gustavian times. Josef Frank is also a huge
inspiration for me. He was born in
, but he left a big mark on how Swedes – including
myself – design their homes.

How would you define your aesthetic?

Imaginative, considered and fresh.

Why do you feel colourful, joyful interiors are so in demand
right now?

Trends have a cyclical nature’ they react to what has come
before. Every time they reoccur, an aspect of the trend will have
evolved, which makes it exciting and new, but the core ideas are
often steeped in tradition.

You could argue that the bleakness of the current political
climate means that people need more vibrancy, warmth and comfort in
their day-to-day life. Another factor could be the way that social
media feeds have established a need to create attention-grabbing
imagery that will generate engagement. This, in turn, could be
affecting how people decorate their homes – the more striking the

The design-savvy Insta crowd are all over your feed, but do you
get inspired by images you see posted on the channel?

Definitely! With two little children and a business to run, I
don’t get as much chance as I would like venture out and find
design inspiration in person, so Instagram is a great, accessible
place to get ideas.

Farm Girl in Chelsea (which you designed) is one of our
favourite restaurants. What other dining spots are on your hit

I’m kind of obsessed with The Palomar at
the moment – it serves delicious Israeli-inspired food just off
Piccadilly Circus.

The best bar in the world is…

Bemelmans Bar in The Carlyle Hotel, New York.

How does travel inspire your work?

Whenever I travel, which isn’t often these days because of my
little girls, I find it hugely inspirational. Creative thoughts and
ideas come from looking at things with fresh eyes and considering a
less-trodden path. A change of scenery, as well as experiencing
another culture is a very good way of unlocking your

Three spaces you wish you’d designed…

Santo Sospir
in St Jean Cap Ferrat

Thorvaldsens Museum en in

in New

What are your favourite hotels to visit?

Le Sirenuse in Positano, Masseria Torre Coccaro in
and, a little less well-known, Commenda
di San Calogero
is beautiful. I love Italy, evidently.

What makes a good hotel?

I don’t like anything with too many mod cons – in fact a
slightly dishevelled palazzo is probably my ideal place to stay. In
essence, I think you want to escape into another world. Obviously I
appreciate an exquisite room, delicious food, excellent service,
but ideally it should all have a relaxed, unpretentious air. My
absolute dream would be to design a boutique hotel.

What are you working on at the moment?

We just started work on a brownstone in New
which is particularly exciting! We have several special
London projects on the go and we are also working on a wonderful
townhouse in
. We have lots of new products being released for our
Shoppa this year and many more in the works; I’m
particularly excited about the new fabrics we’re working on.

Tell us about some creative references you return to time and
time again.

I look at Josef Frank’s work and that of Vanessa Bell; Duncan
Grant’s Charleston is also a source of inspiration. My husband and
I went so Sicily for our honeymoon, starting in
and travelled around the coast; I seem to always be
scrolling back through the pictures I took – crumbling, slightly
mad palazzos are proving to be an infinite source of ideas.

What’s been your career highlight so far?

I love my job and working for clients who appreciate what we do,
but it’s always an amazing feeling when you receive industry
recognition, such as winning House & Garden’s inaugural
Designer of the Year Award in 2018 and being included in
Architectural Digest Top 100 list for 2020.

Your home and studio are in Hammersmith; what are some of your
favourite local haunts?

River Café
is just down the road from where we live and is
perfect for a special occasion. I also pop into The Anglesea
in Hammersmith for a delicious weekend lunch. A new
favourite place, just a few minutes walk from my house, is Sam’s Riverside
– the food is great and it does a mean whisky sour.

How can people add original elements to their home without
spending a small fortune?

eBay and Etsy! If there’s a will, there’s a way.

Tell us about your newly launched online shop, Shoppa.

We design everything ourselves and produce all our original
pieces with workshops in the UK, Italy and Sweden.

How do you balance residential work with commercial jobs?

For me it’s all about having a spark with the client, so as long
as that’s there, I’m very happy to do any type of project. We want
to create a full vision, with original and considered details,
which I believe enhances your life and makes you happier. This
approach probably appeals to residential clients more. I can see
how the value of what we do may be a bit lost on someone making a
purely commercial decision.

The best places to shop for interiors?

is my absolute favourite place. 8 Holland Street
has a beautiful selection and I’m a big fan of Retrouvius.

What are you reading at the moment?

Against Design by Josef Frank.

One piece of travel advice…

Never travel without a book and try and only bring carry-on

And finally, what’s in your SUITCASE?

Having just packed a big bag for a trip to
, it’s basically stuffed with things for my two
daughters – I’ll be lucky to fit in a pair of jeans for myself. Oh,
the joys of parenthood!

Beata Heuman will be speaking at London Design Week 2020 at Design Centre,
Chelsea Harbour on Sunday 8 March.

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