Interior stylist, owner of Retro Villa and hostess on the TV programme, The Block, Mette Helena Rasmussen and her kids, Johs 4 and Villa Malou, 10, live in this 150 sq m condominium apartment in Amagerbro, Copenhagen. The home is chock full of gorgeous finds and beautiful art.
According to Mette Helena, there isn't a particular artwork, thing, or flea market find, that's worth more than the others. Instead, she sees the possibilities in every object or material and let's herself get inspired by the story. Mette Helena's walls are filled with stories through the artworks and lithographs, that hang side by side.
Interior design is Mette Helena's livelihood. She has a master in Fine Arts from Kunstakademiet. Since graduating, she opened the vintage wallpaper store, Retro Villa, in Copenhagen.
“A brand new home, where everything has been thought through, can look cool but I could never live like that. I prefer to start with something old and add my own touch,” Mette Helena says.
For her, the apartment, which she bought as an old estate, was 150 sq m of exciting opportunities. The apartment constantly changes; Mette Helena experiments with colours, ideas and vintage wallpaper. “The apartment is my creative space, where I can change the furniture or the colour of the walls, spontaneously, on an evening after the kids have been put to bed. The living room has been painted both white, dark blue, bordeaux, beige and, now, rosa,” Mette Helena says. She has, just recently, added the wallpaper in her daughter's room.
Before she bought the apartment, Mette Helena lived, with her kids, in a women’s crisis home that helps women who have been in violent relationships. “I lived in a 9 sq m room with my two kids, for over a year – it was a long time to be homeless and live within the rules and frames of the institution. When I found the apartment, I felt like I was at home, immediately,” Mette Helena says. She started renovating, right away; sanding the floors, steaming off old wallpaper and finishing walls.
The real estate agent did try and hide the fact that the apartment needed a total renovation and even though it wasn't that close to her daughter’s school, Mette Helena felt sure about her decision. "To me, feeling at home is about being allowed to leave a trace. Decorating creates an identity – all of the things and artworks, you collect, are a picture of you. To decorate becomes a story about belonging. My home is built up around my artwork and things,” Mette Helena says.
“Everything, from the artworks to the souvenirs from travels, shells from the beach and clay figurines carries a story. I've lost my things many times – when I had to leave my home and move to the crisis centre and through water damage in 2011. I was so sad to lose my entire collection of artworks – and they couldn't be replaced. I was surprised at how quickly my new collection grew, though. I can, easily, fill a whole cabinet just by looking in a new thrift shop, every time I drive through a small city or village.”