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A Guide To Making Your Home Feel Cosy

Enhance the warmth and comfort of your home as the colder months approach by incorporating these charming touches that exude coziness

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By Vogue UK | March 19, 2024 | Interiors

A wintery afternoon that can only be described as “blustery” – plane leaves whirling through the air, pedestrians clutching umbrellas and casting nervous glances skywards – but in Beata Heuman’s newly opened office at 188 Hammersmith Road, the atmosphere is delightfully cosy. The designer’s Willow Ink fabric – inspired by 18th-century Stoke-on-Trent ceramics and memories of porcelain cups of tea on rainy days – covers the walls, while pots of red geraniums crowd the windowsill and the eye travels from one curiosity to another: a mustard-yellow beetle-shaped pencil sharpener Beata’s mother used as a schoolgirl in the ’50s; pewter candlesticks Heuman originally sourced for a client while working for Nicky Haslam, then bought back at auction many years later; a fried egg by Schiaparelli. It’s an office, yes – behind the Shoppa founder’s desk is a bookshelf crammed with reference volumes on everything from the Ballet Russes to Josef Frank – but it feels like a home, too, a place where you would happily while away a few hours over coffee and buns and gossip.

Instagram: @beateheuman

Which, of course, is exactly what Heuman intended, though it proved much more complicated to transform the Grade II-listed building in which she currently sits into a workspace and showroom than she expected. It was a former employee of Beata’s who first stumbled upon a listing for the townhouse, situated five minutes walk from the Thames. Until the pandemic, it had served as headquarters for an airline that went bust, gradually falling into disrepair. Despite the condition, the chance to transform the space – and at a discounted price, given the state of the building – proved too tempting for Heuman to pass up, especially given its history. Although it was constructed in the 19th century as a country villa, it spent much of the 20th century housing different societies – ultimately serving as headquarters for the Constitutional Club, whose former members include Winston Churchill. “It was a little like having a baby; I didn’t realise how much work it would be until it was too late,” the Sweden-born, London-based designer says of the address, known simply as 188, with a laugh. “Especially since there were lots of layers of ‘renovations’ to peel away when we moved in – modern tiling, etc.”

Instagram: @beateheuman

The sort of décor that might have appealed to the British Bulldog has, thankfully, been stripped away – with Beata’s aesthetic writ large across the space from the moment you step through its hunter-green doors and into the glow of her Dodo Egg Lamps. The drawing room’s ceiling nods to a 17th-century house in Hälsingland, Sweden, with Bertel Thorvaldsen plaques sourced from Copenhagen adorning the walls, while a room under the eves has been transformed into a playroom for Beata’s daughters, Gurli and Alma, complete with Frame chairs with custard-yellow cushions. Her favourite room, though, might be the kitchen, formerly a bathroom – “our range cooker has taken the place of six urinals” – with a dresser fitted into the fireplace to hold “cutlery and odds and ends”.

Instagram: @beateheuman

It’s here – and at her nearby Hammersmith home – that Heuman indulges in her favourite wintertime activities. “It’s the perfect time of year to cook and bake; cinnamon buns are my speciality. They’re trickier to get right than people think! I’ve got a Swedish cookbook that seems like it was written for housewives in the 1950s that I turn to quite a lot for traditional recipes like that, and I rely on my dear friend Amber Guinness’s A House Party in Tuscany whenever I’m hosting a dinner.” Also on her list to take up this year? Needlepoint, an ideal nighttime activity as it gets colder and darker. “I find the changes in season quite exciting,” Beata enthuses. “My husband gets quite depressed when the temperatures begin to drop in November – ‘This is just the beginning!’ – but I can’t wait to get cosy. Maybe it’s because I’m Swedish, or maybe it’s because I’m a glass half full person? I even love the bitterness of February, because the release of spring is so amazing.”

Not one for cookery or embroidery? Beata shares her recommendations to keeping your home cosy.

Repacking your Wardrobe

“I don’t even have that many clothes, but I feel like my wardrobe is always stuffed,” Heuman, a firm advocate for autumn clear-outs, says. “Take out everything that you’re not going to wear until the first warm day in spring, and pack it away – either in boxes or, as I do, on rails up in the attic.” From there, you can use the nights you’re now spending indoors to properly take stock of your wardrobe before party season commences in earnest.

In the finer details

Speaking of cupboards, seize the opportunity to get rid of mismatched wire hangers and replace them with wooden ones. “You’ll be surprised at the difference it makes,” Beata recommends. “You can get good wooden ones from Ikea, actually, which not only look nicer, but are better for your clothes as well.” As for your drawers? Fill them with lavender sachets, which have a wonderfully calming scent and help to keep moths at bay, too.

Instagram: @greentreehomecandle

Calm Ambiance

Invest in candles. “I love Verden as a brand,” Heuman says. “I burn their Arborealist candles all over 188.” Cluster enough candles together, and their light will naturally become the focal point of a room, giving you something to gather around in the same way as a wood-burning fireplace.

Cosy textures

Embrace cosy textures. “I’m quite torn about scatter cushions, mainly because I feel like people can go a bit overboard with them,” Beata notes, “but I do love to pull out all of our blankets and quilts as it gets chillier and display them. My favourite is one that my grandmother knitted for my youngest daughter’s christening.”

Art aesthetic

“Obviously it’s not realistic for most people to change the art on their walls with the seasons,” Heuman says matter of factly, “but pinboards are easy to switch up. Mine is quite simple, just an oak frame with burgundy felt, and whatever I’ve pinned to it is a visual representation of the contents of my brain at any given moment throughout the year.”

Fresh scents

The environmental impact of filling your home with fresh flowers in the winter is considerable. “Getting some pot plants at this time of year isn’t just better for the planet but gives you something to nurture all winter long,” Heuman advises. “I’ve become obsessed with geraniums since we opened 188. You can also try planting some bulbs and caring for them indoors until they’re ready to bloom in spring.”

Creating a office space

Make your desk a place you actually want to sit – especially if you work from home. “If you have trouble keeping it organised, I’d recommend dividing the space up. Right now I keep all of my pens in a Choosing Keeping pot and my utensils on an old stone sample, which helps to break things up.” Another of Beata’s non-negotiables? “A really good coaster; I use the Shoppa ones, made from solid brass.”

The original article can be found on Vogue UK.