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Paddington Pied-à-Terre: A Colorful Small-Space London Design by Beata Heuman

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Paddington Pied-à-Terre: A Colorful Small-Space London Design by Beata Heuman

July 3, 2020

If you ask Beata Heuman, the problem with most rooms is that “people lack an imaginative approach.” The same could not be said of the rising star interior designer. Heuman, 37,  is based in London, where she runs her own seven-person firm—in lieu of going to design school, she trained, starting at age 21, in the bustling office of Nicky Haslam, another fan of letting loose. Heuman grew up on a farm in northwest Sweden—her father is a farmer and her mother a doctor. From Haslam she says learned about English comfort and where to get just about anything fabricated; from her Swedish heritage, she was taught to “think very long term—I aim for my designs to last for generations.”

The owner of this tiny Victorian mews apartment in Paddington, a novelist in her thirties who divides her time between Cornwall and London, gave Heuman the following direction for overhauling her compact quarters: “She had just returned from Venice and loved the feeling at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum of turning a corner and having an unexpected world open up.” In other words, she spoke Heuman’s language. Join us for a peek inside.

Photography courtesy of Beata Heuman.

The flat is on the ground floor of a long-ago converted stables. Opposite the entrance, Heuman created a dining area/home office in the existing &#8
Above: The flat is on the ground floor of a long-ago converted stables. Opposite the entrance, Heuman created a dining area/home office in the existing “orangerie-like” extension, which she enhanced by elevating the formerly flat roof.

It has a custom-designed upholstered banquette and an oak table set on a plinth “so there’s room to get in and around it.” The lights are from Habitat.

Lacking space for a door, Heuman hung a curtain of unlined white linen that &#8
Above: Lacking space for a door, Heuman hung a curtain of unlined white linen that “emits a soft glow” while separating the dining room from the living space. Here, to make up for a lack of sunlight, she covered the walls with Phillip Jeffries seagrass wallpaper and went with a palette of greens and blues that reference the natural world.

As is her custom, Heuman designed all of the upholstered furniture and mixed it with antiques.  She scaled the sofa to double as a guest bed (“the back cushions just have to be removed”) and the octagonal ottoman opens so that bedding can be stored inside.

The kitchen is tucked in the other end of the room, set off by a marble-topped breakfast bar faced with rattan (which in the corner cleverly serves as a ventilated radiator cover). The arched wall was &#8
Above: The kitchen is tucked in the other end of the room, set off by a marble-topped breakfast bar faced with rattan (which in the corner cleverly serves as a ventilated radiator cover). The arched wall was “already there but not prominent.”

Note the shallow cabinet over the fireplace: it hides the TV behind doors covered in Fornasetti cloud-patterned wallpaper. The floor throughout is the original painted in Farrow & Ball’s graphite Downpipe, “an affordable upgrade.”

By installing bespoke kitchen cabinets—painted in Dulux&#8
Above: By installing bespoke kitchen cabinets—painted in Dulux’s Woodland Pearl I—Heuman was able to make use of every centimeter: the slots are for trays and cutting boards; the vented cupboard over the range holds a self-circulating extractor fan.

The counters are Carrara marble and the bridge faucet is by Barber Wilsons.

As a flourish, Heuman designed the marble backsplash to rise in a half moon: &#8
Above: As a flourish, Heuman designed the marble backsplash to rise in a half moon: “marble has to be cut for installation, so it’s an opportunity to add curves and movement,” she says. Of the marble shelves, she explains, “the wall would been too severe without them, plus we needed a place to put things.”
&#8
Above: “If you want a stronger color in the bedroom, I recommend blue because it’s also restful,” says Heuman, noting that she has this same shade—Mylands’ Bridge Blue in her own bedroom. The blanket chest is cushioned in a linen from Heuman’s own fabric collection called Palm Drop.
The headboard is upholstered in a stripe from Claremont. &#8
Above: The headboard is upholstered in a stripe from Claremont. “Red,” Heuman says: “is a daring choice: it can be uplifting but also overbearing. In this case it works because when you’re in the bed, you don’t see a lot of red.”

The pillow with the glove is the Hold mE.U Cushion by Kate Hawkins. The owner added the portrait of a woman—a sign to Heuman that the two of them were completely in sync.

Bert & May Alalpardo tiles pattern the bathroom floor and the bathtub wall in an abstract design. The walls are in a Lakeland Paints&#8
Above: Bert & May Alalpardo tiles pattern the bathroom floor and the bathtub wall in an abstract design. The walls are in a Lakeland Paints’ dusty pink called Castaneda. The client requested the bathtub; Heuman designed it to match the sink cabinet “set in a corner for practicality in such a tiny space—the tall ceiling also helps.” The old-fashioned cistern toilet from Drummonds accentuates the height of the room.

In a feature we ran on her own London home—see Every Room Should Sing—Heuman told us: “Although my interiors use print and color, I also think a lot about how to design an environment that’s practical to live in, where items can be stored away and a sense of calm can be created.” She’s currently at work on a book of her own designs out next March from Rizzoli.

Considering adding some color and pattern to your own quarters? See:

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