I feel like a lot of these Tete a Tat's start with an explanation of how I was creepily aware of the interviewee long before they became conscious of my existence - If it ain't broke? I remember I was 18, and I was lucky enough to have an internship at the legendary designer Nicky Haslam's studio for two weeks in the summer. At this point I was painfully shy. I could barely look anyone in the eye, but I was still a creep. By this I mean I would sink into the background and observe the workings of the office. I remember being keenly interested in one voice in particular: Beata's. Her Swedish tone and coolness of character made me instantly intimidated, but oh so impressed. Beata had started at Nicky's only a few years before, and as she says 'never looked back. Almost everything we did was bespoke – he taught me how to make a space truly unique.'
She spent nine years with Haslam before setting up her own studio in 2013. A year later her apartment featured on the pages of House & Garden. I remember that feature so well as, although small, the space that Beata had created was magnificent and a trove of nifty ideas. In 2016 one of her projects was subsequently featured on the front cover of House & Garden before two years later she was named as designer of the year.
There is no stopping Beata, and it would be a less colourful & fun place if you tried. Her book 'Every Room Should Sing' came out to rapturous reviews this year, succinctly summarised by one as 'a treatise on decorating according to your own individual preferences, style and history, rather than relying on passing fads to dictate your taste' - here here!
I will always be thankful to Beata as she was amongst my first clients (which was a big deal), and in addition, she has taken the time to do this - a double whammy!
Favourite Piece of Clothing?
My Bode Suit. When I wear it I feel like it really gives off the kind of cool vibes I would like to always exude but rarely do. It is quite particular, so I couldn't wear it every day... Or... maybe I could..?
(CP here - see above - splendid!)
I dream of Sturehof in Stockholm. I normally end up going several times whenever I visit the city. The food is delicious, simple yet elegant Swedish cuisine, but mainly it has a fantastic atmosphere and the interiors by Jonas Bohlin are an example of modern Scandi design at its' best.
Greta Gerwig, I love her energy and vibe. I'm always drawn to women that aren't particularly feminine and who don't seem too vain.
I have a bit of soft spot for the Celts. Like Ewan McGregor (ideally before he had his teeth fixed) and Domhnall Gleeson. My husband finds it hilarious. I suppose that is what brought me here in the first place.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
When I was really young I wanted to be a librarian - stamping books looked like a lot of fun. After that I wanted to be a writer, then an actress.
What is the worst job you’ve done?
It sounds ridiculous, but I think it was when I first moved to London in my early twenties and I worked in a fancy deli in Chelsea. The customers were fussy and the hours were long but the worst part was that I had to stand up all day. I love walking but I can not bear standing (this is why I only have baths, not showers, I can't be bothered to stand up and at a party, you'll always find me sitting in the one comfy chair reserved for the elderly). The only thing that kept me going was stuffing fistfuls of granola into my mouth when no one was looking. I lasted for about 3 weeks. That said, the reason I signed up for an interiors course was to escape the café, so really I should be thankful.
Do you believe in Star Signs?
I like hearing about Star Signs to the extent that I thoroughly enjoy being analysed. I will happily listen to why I'm such a Pisces. But, to be totally honest, I don't think there is anything to it, just random musings that every now and then will happen to ring true.
What is your favourite day of the week?
Always Friday. How could it be any other day?
Is there a book that you can read again and again?
I used to read a lot more but it is hard to find time at the moment. When I do manage I'm much more likely to try something I haven't read before. The only book I actually keep going back to is 'Against Design' which is about Josef Frank's work, written by various scholars to go with a Vienna exhibition on him and his designs, bearing the same name.
Any good advice? Who gave it to you?
''One should never be the oldest thing in ones house'', Patsy Stone from Absolutely Fabulous. I used it in my book it seems to really resonate with people!
Best Moment in your career so far?
The launch of my book 'Every room should sing' in March this year felt like a real achievement. It was so much more work than I ever could have imagined, but the process of putting it together has been quite invigorating when all is said and done. I have learnt so much!
A song that can always make your foot tap?
The Final Countdown by Europe. In my younger days (and I'm talking well into the second half of my twenties) I used to do a vigorous dance routine to go with it which I called 'The Swedish Car Dance'. It involved rolling around on the floor and a lot of head-banging. It was invented to amuse my English friends and meant to be a bit ironic, but it's also a helluva tune. So good.