This Writer’s Flat in West London Is a Whimsical World of Geometry and Color

Lauren Jones

When we first feasted our eyes on this West London flat, we immediately needed to know more. The mews house, built in the late 1800s, was transformed into a whimsical world of geometry and color thanks to London-based Swedish designer Beata Heuman. The designer reimagined the space for a writer, who typically lives in the countryside. The writer wanted a place where she could entertain and a “bold space where she could step into another world,” Beata says. And that’s exactly what she got. Thankfully, Beata gave us the rundown on how she pulled the magical space together.

Mews houses were originally intended to be servants’ quarters or horse barns back in the 18th and 19th centuries. Many have since been turned into modern residences but often need some major brightening. So when Beata was hired, the home had its challenges, namely the lack of natural light and a small footprint. Still, the designer, who is used to pushing the limits of creativity, says this particular pied-à-terre made her “use her imagination and be more resourceful.” The goal was to create something with a “connection to nature with strong color that was still peaceful and relaxing.” Think seagrass wallpaper, greens, and grassy yellows mixed with funky patterns, bits of bronze, and an array of collected art.

A custom olive green banquette is placed in the corner of the foyer, a decision that Beata made in order to “find a way to have a place where the homeowner could sit down with girlfriends.” The double-duty piece allows the entryway of the small flat to also serve as a gathering nook.
The red lamp was a cheap find from Habitat in the U.K. and works well against the client’s abstract artwork.
References for inspiration ranged from a garden cottage at L.A.’s Chateau Marmont to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice.
Beata used Italian architect Carlo Scarpa’s interest in the materials, landscape, and history of Venetian culture to inspire her own rendition in the kitchen.

The sculptural Carrara-marble backsplash in the kitchen is a small nod to the work of Italian architect Carlos Scarpa, which the homeowner loves. “When you open the front door, there’s this strong sight line going through,” Beata says. You can see the green kitchen cabinetry, which pairs well with the neutral living room furniture. “I layered in antiques and a variety of textiles to make it not feel too contrived,” she adds. There’s a custom sofa, cane chairs, an oval pendant, and a TV that is concealed by some Fornasetti wallpaper. The shape of the pendant and the cloud-patterned paper is another smart way Beata achieves an indoor-outdoor connection.

The geometric porcelain tiles feature a worn-in charm, despite being brand-new, and can be combined in a number of patterns for an innovative design.
“I like the high loo and think it adds to the height of the room,” Beata says. “People tend to not like seeing the toilet, but I think they are actually quite beautiful.”

The geometry continues in the bathroom, which features atypical tones and a pick-your-own-adventure geometrical tile. “The bathroom is an interesting place to do something unexpected,” she says. The pink walls are a flattering, uplifting color and a solid way to add personality into any small room. Beata added storage by way of a raised cobalt blue vanity that offers a great color contrast too.

The bedroom is complete with a canvas-striped headboard, blue walls—a color very similar to the one Beata has in her own bedroom—and a grassy green rug. “It goes back to nature with the blue of the sky and the green rug,” she says. “The choices feel quite calm.” But as with the rest of the home, the designer threw in another surprising detail: a sheer fabric over the window featuring a myriad of mystical creatures. In this London flat, there are unique finds around every corner.

While the wall color is subdued, the designer went wild when it came to the details. “The cushion is one of our fabrics called Palm Drop that we just released, and the rug, which is bespoke, actually has paw prints on it.”
Beata finds that mixing high-end and low-end pieces and thrifted finds like the palm-tree lamp is one of the keys to successful design.

💡 Do It Yourself

Throw out the formula. Beata finds bathroom designs to be formulaic, saying people just take basic “tile and taps” and leave it at that. “In such a small flat, everything contributes to the overall design,” she says. “We wanted everything to feel unusual and special.”

Get crafty with what you can’t hide. When it came to how to conceal the client’s radiator and washing machine in the living room, she took a design-forward approach. “We put caning panels in front of it to make it feel lighter,” she says. “The green color broke up the panels as well.”

More is more. Going fully maximalist in a tiny space can feel overwhelming, but Beata achieved moments of it through styled vignettes. “Adding open shelving to the kitchen is nice because it can change depending on your mood,” she says.

🛍 Shop It Out

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Nyx black-and-red three-head metal floor lamp, $243, habitat.co.uk

Akari 2IA Pendant by Isamu Noguchi for Vitra, $282, andlight.com

Maison Decor tiles by Best Tile, from $2, besttile.ie

Palm Drop linen cushion by Beata Heuman, $140, beataheuman.com

Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest