Designer Beata Heuman reveals how to create a perfectly balanced contrast in a room

It’s all finding harmony - here is how to get it right

Beata Heuman' book, pink at wall with dark blue sofa
(Image credit: Beata Heuman / Every Room Should Sing, Chapter 2)

Creating a room that sings is all but second nature to Beata Heuman, the esteemed Swedish-born, London-based designer who has designed her way to the pinnacle of the interior world. A magician of the industry - Beata draws from the mystery of her heritage, relationships and travels to craft spaces that are wholly and entirely magical. It is, therefore, no surprise that the designer chose to name her newly released book, Every Room Should Sing, a collection that pays a rainbow fuelled tribute to her exuberant designs across her international projects.

It goes without saying that Beata’s tips are worth their weight in gold, so you’re going to want to take notes on what she has to say about creating an expertly balanced contrast throughout your home decor.

During an event celebrating the launch of her book, Beata shared her expertise in using light and colors to exhibit a room of contrasts that will allow your room to sing as loud as her masterly crafted interior spaces. 

Beata Heuman' book, pink wallpaper with contrasting interiors

(Image credit: Beata Heuman)

‘It’s all about contrasts - they are so important in design. It’s about tension and release. You can only see the light if you also have dark,’ Beata began. 

‘Working with that, it’s really important [to remember] when it comes to lighting. I don’t like spotlights at all. Sometimes you need them, but I always try to use them as little as possible. They often give an even white glow, and you have to have light corners, but you also have to have dark corners. Each thing enhances the other.’

Beata continued, suggesting this balance is achieved throughout factors beyond lighting, including hard and soft furnishings and paint, which all impact the balance of a room. 

See: A Colourful West London Townhouse Designed by Beata Heuman

Beata Heuman' book, living room tips

(Image credit: Beata Heuman)

‘When it comes to rooms singing, it’s all about getting that balance right. Big rooms, small rooms, dark and light, textures, colors can all be quite subtle, but the tension that makes the room sing relies on the contrast you have in a room. They need to [work] in harmony, and this is hard to get it right. If you have a dark sofa, maybe think about the overall balance of things. It might be in certain stages in a way, but you kind of need to look at it as a whole [house],’ Beata announced. 

The designer continued: ‘If you want a red bathroom or separate wallpaper, then the rest needs to be balanced. You can’t overdo it, especially if you’re working a lot with color; it is so easy for it to look overbearing.’

Despite emphasizing ways to craft a balance in one room, however, Beata argues this room will set an energetic tone for the rest of your house, which contributes to the property as a whole. 

Beata Heuman' book, details in a crafted home

(Image credit: Beata Heuman)

See: Master bathroom ideas: 19 stunning design ideas for a dreamy master bathroom

‘You need to remember that people will live in these houses all year round; they will be in different moods and at different points in their lives. Therefore, having this right amount of contrast gives you a reason to go into a certain room. Each room has its own purpose, but it still works as a whole.’

Every Room Should Sing

For more design tips and the chance to admire Beata Heuman's finest designs, pick up her new book, Every Room Should Sing, published earlier this month. 

Our new favorite song is one composed by the brilliance of Beata - it’s one we’re going to turn up for the rest of the season and beyond.

Megan Slack

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team.

Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US whilst studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site.

Megan currently lives in London, where she relocated from her hometown in Yorkshire. In her home, she experiments with interior design trends and draws inspiration from the home decor ideas she observes in her everyday work life. Her favorite pieces include her antique typewriter and her expansive collection of houseplants. When she isn’t writing, she is browsing London’s coffee shops and bookstores to add to her ever-growing library, taking over the open shelving in her apartment.