Mette Helena Rasmussen is a visual artist educated at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Denmark, an Interior stylist and founder of Retro Villa. She writes for several interior magazines and blogs about interior design, styling and DIY and appears on Danish Television as an Interior expert. She creates inspiring house features for several Interior magazines with Photograpger Tia Borgsmidt. Mette Helena has two children and lives in Copenhagen. Intense, business woman to her fingertips and a steamroll. Mette Helena Rasmussen has been called a lot of things. However – she is also a very talented stylist, artist, brave and always has a smile on her face. And she is one of the women in the industry that I admire most. For who else could come up with the idea to spend all her savings on buying an entire basement full of 60s and 70s wallpapers before wallpapers were even hot in DK? And who else has landed her first article on the front of one of DK’s most read interior magazines? Well, I’m just asking. This lady is a trained artist from the Royal Danish Academy of Art and besides doing styling assignments for companies such as Georg Jensen Damask, Flügger and Casalinga, she is also doing styling projects and articles for numerous magazines. I have asked Mette Helena about her wildest career move, and what she is up to right now.
Do you call yourself an artist, shop owner or stylist? All of the above. And I can easily imagine adding more over time. I’m more of a stylist today than I am an artist, but I hope that I will again have time to work on my art.
You are being called a tough business woman – are you? I think of myself as an accomplished businesswoman, and my business must make a profit, so I’d rather turn down a job and keep my price, than to let someone try to make me cheap. However, I’m not tough. On the contrary, I try all the time to be kind and loving to myself, so I only do work that gives me energy and that I’m passionate about. As a boss I’m very large and try to give my colleagues a lot of independence and responsibility, because Retro Villa is a joint venture project.
What is your wildest career move? My career is filled with a lot of good moves and constant change. While I was at the Academy, I dreamed of finding a creative job. I emailed the editors of Bolig Magasinet and BoligLiv, and asked if I could get a job as an assistant. They explained to me that they bought cases from freelancers. From that moment on I was an independent stylist, and my very first article ended up on the front page of Bolig Magasinet. The following year I was an interior expert in Velkommen Hjem on TV3. And shortly after I opened my own shop Retro Villa, and I was very proud when Bolig Magasinet nominated Retro Villa for the Shop of the Year Award – and it was perfectly ok when Paustian won the award.
What is the best thing about doing living reportages? Stepping into other people’s very different homes, ideas and their world for a while. Seeing their solutions and hear the stories about why the tabletop had to be lava rock, or how they made the grips on their wardrobe. It’s liberating to visit personal homes, where they have put a lot of thought into their house, its capabilities, limitations, and especially its style. I would like to see anything else than the same Kähler vases, Hay-pillows, prints, which are printed out by a graphic artist, who is crazy about pink, and Kubus-candleholders, that I could have visited in Illums Bolighus. In fact, I would rather turn around old ceramics and stoneware bowls and see if it should be made of some Erik in ’79.
What are you doing right now (we promise not to tell anyone)? I’m in the middle of shooting a new television program that I’m doing together with ALT for damernes editor Nicola Kragh Riis. It is very exciting and still a little hush-hush, but I can reveal that it is going to be aired in the autumn and is about flea market finds – one of my great passions.
What is your best feature? I am interested in other people and love to get them to tell their story. And I’m honest and curious, have a memory like an elephant, and a keen eye for new trends. Read the interview here
Photos by Tia Borgsmidt