The secret to a stylish home is to never sit still

Thanks to her job, interiors photographer Ingrid Rasmussen has picked up design tips and tricks for her own small but stylish home

The blue and black table in the sitting room came from Habitat. Above it hangs a silk scarf bought at Spitalfields Market, which Ingrid had framed. The stripy cushion on the Jonathan Adler sofa came from Matches Fashion
The blue and black table in the sitting room came from Habitat. Above it hangs a silk scarf bought at Spitalfields Market, which Ingrid had framed. The stripy cushion on the Jonathan Adler sofa came from Matches Fashion Credit: Photography INGRID RASMUSSEN

You’d expect Ingrid Rasmussen to know a thing or two about home decor. As an interiors photographer (whose work is regularly featured in Stella), she has shot the homes of countless stylish people, so it’s no surprise that her own flat in Notting Hill contains a carefully considered mix of furniture, artworks and immaculately arranged accessories. After buying it 10 years ago, she completely gutted it, then moved the kitchen, added floor boards and decorated. Since then it has had several different looks. Here, she explains how her work informs her taste, why she’s always making changes, and how she has maximised a small space.

Ingrid in her sitting room. The vintage blue-velvet chair came from Mimi Doctor  Credit: Photography INGRID RASMUSSEN

What inspired the look?

I didn’t set out with an idea in mind; I think your style and your taste evolves. It’s been through many incarnations over the years, and my style has changed massively since I bought [the flat]. Because my job is in interiors, I’m constantly wanting to reinvent it, because every day I’m out shooting beautiful, interesting places and then I get home and I feel like decorating. I’m always wanting to paint it different colours and I have to stop myself, because it’s expensive. In its current look, I slightly fell into that trap of thinking, it’s a small space so I have to paint it white to make it appear bigger. My next plan is to paint my front room blue or green.

The kitchen units are from Ikea, while the chairs are by Danish brand Hay Credit: Photography INGRID RASMUSSEN

What design tips have you picked up through your work?

For me, it’s about constant editing. Almost on a weekly basis I think about, what can I put on or take off my shelves? I’m always restyling. So many people put stuff on a shelf and then live with it for years and don’t really think about it. My good friend Mimi Doctor, who’s an interior designer, lives around the corner, and she helped me with styling too; it’s so interesting to have another pair of eyes on your space. I’ve also found that plants are really important: the right one can bring a room to life. I love having plants on my dining table instead of flowers, they really transform the room.

Ingrid made the flower prints that hang in the bedroom; she sells them via Credit: Photography INGRID RASMUSSEN

Where do you find things for your home?

I like a mix of old and new. Living near Portobello Road Market is like a dream for me – every weekend I rummage through junk stalls. I love finding new bits to add to my shelves. I’m also obsessed with Jonathan Adler furniture, and The Rug Company; a really beautiful rug can make a room.

What’s your advice for living stylishly in a small space?

It’s all about storage. I wish that I’d been cleverer with my storage and put in built-in wardrobes at the start, but I didn’t because I wanted to save some money. I did add the built-in storage next to the kitchen; it has a pull-down desk, and it’s where I keep all my camera equipment. It’s really hard being clutterfree in a tiny home, and it’s easy for it to look like a total mess if you haven’t put things away. I hate clutter, and as I spend my life decluttering other people’s homes when I shoot them, that does spill over into my home, too. Normally, I’m always working or out and about at weekends, so lockdown for me was a chance to have a really good sort-out. It’s one of my favourite things to do; I loved that I had the time and the space to go through every drawer, every cupboard, and clear it all out.

Family photographs are mixed with vintage finds on sitting-room shelves Credit: Photography INGRID RASMUSSEN

How important are your home and the things in it to you now?

Because I’m a visual person and interior design is one of my passions, it’s always been really important that I see pretty things around me. It makes or breaks how I feel. I made the flower prints in my bedroom; they’ve been there for three years now and I never tire of looking at them. I’ve also got some flower paintings that I inherited from my grandmother in there. I open my eyes in the morning and I get real joy from looking at something beautiful. It’s things like that that make me really happy.