At Home With: Helmstedt
Young designer and new mum Emilie Helmstedt makes home a little sweeter with her signature candy-like colour palette and whimsical printsRead more
In less than a year, Emilie Helmstedt’s home life has changed dramatically. Eight months ago, the Copenhagen-based designer was living in Christiania; a green enclave free of societal rules, widely considered to be Denmark’s largest artists’ commune. It’s a world away from the ordered inner-city apartment she sits in now, having moved to the other side of the harbour just before birth of her daughter, Blå. “When I got pregnant, I wanted to find somewhere quieter to raise my child,” she tells us from her sofa, which is emboldened with hand-made kaleidoscopic quilts. “So, I moved into my boyfriend’s apartment. It’s still very new.”
Helmstedt, who launched her namesake line of whimsical, candy-hued pieces in 2018, has made fast work of making her new abode feel like home. The key? Injecting its white-walled rooms with a plethora of sugary-coloured textiles and prints. “Whether it’s the way I dress or the way I choose to decorate my home, it makes me so happy be surrounded by colours,” says the designer, who, as we speak, wears a painterly pale pink dress from her own line. “Colour plays a big part in my interior aesthetics.” On arrival, there was some negotiation to do: “My boyfriend likes dark tones and black. Decorating has been very much been a question of how to merge our aesthetics in a small apartment, but it’s a really good contrast because the colours come to life.”
Located 20 minutes away in Christianshavn, Helmstedt’s atelier has been an anchor throughout this period of transition. “To me, ‘home’ doesn’t necessarily mean the place I live,” she says. “It is a place where I feel safe and can be creative, surrounded by people I care for. My atelier feels just as much my home as my apartment in the centre of Copenhagen does.” Being at the helm of a fast-growing brand means work days are long, so it’s imperative her apartment is “a place where I can hide, do nothing and have my safe zone”.
Helmstedt’s ‘safe zone’ is characterised by soft furnishings of her own design, furniture built by the hands of her boyfriend, and small objects the pair have picked up at flea markets over the years. She owns few designer items, but there is one investment piece that takes centre stage: “I really like my couch from Rabens Saloner. I love the fact that you can snuggle up and have a cozy time on your own, but you can also gather family and friends on it.”
When family and friends do come over, the new mother lays on a relaxed dinner. “I love to cook a lot of food,” she says. “I also really enjoy the aesthetic part of arranging the food nicely on big plates, made for sharing.” Holidays are limited, but when Helmstedt does get downtime, she relishes the opportunity to leave the noise of Copenhagen behind: “It is very inspiring to live in the centre of Copenhagen because there are always things to look at - but sometimes it can be a little too much and I need to escape and go on a weekend getaway. I often visit quiet places, close to the ocean and nature.”
On trips such as these, Helmstedt finds new sources of inspiration: “I love to be inspired by the people I visit when I travel and I like to bring things home with me. There is history attached to those things.” But ultimately, she comes back to the sweetest bands of the rainbow, following “my intuition and looking at the many colours”.