After discovering print business ‘Opposite Wall’ on Instagram and trying some of their beautiful prints out for size in my own home, I thought I’d introduce this cool new Canadian store to all of you! Their quality product designs range from botanical to abstract, landscape to motivational and suit any decor style.
Here’s owner Anne-Mathilde Bilodeau, President of Opposite Wall answering some questions about her venture.
Anne- Mathilde Bilodeau
Why did you decide to start your own print business?
After spending 7 years in Copenhagen and falling in love with Scandinavian design and interiors, I moved back to Canada with the hope of finding a similar on-trend, high-quality, affordable home decor & design, but I found it scarce in North America. I feel home decor is more important than ever. People want authenticity and uniqueness in their homes. I like to think of ourselves as a modern poster shop. In the 1970’s and 1980’s, everyone had posters of their favourite singer or top model on their walls. Today, the poster is back, but with a different purpose. Not only does it serve as a timeless piece of design, it also represents who you are; what your dreams are and what you believe in. It’s the new way to express yourself and we want to help people do that, without breaking the bank.
Their Scandinavian style prints work perfectly within a minimalist space
Introduce the people behind the brand.
I am passionate about art and design, and I’ve always had a love affair with cultures and languages. That’s why I chose to travel, live and work abroad for nearly a decade as a marketing and advertising executive in the beauty and fashion industry. My associate moved from Sweden to Quebec for a career opportunity in fashion and we connected because we both share that love for Scandinavian design and minimalist lifestyle.
Montreal felt just like the right place to start our online shop, because it’s a true international hub of design and creativity, but it boasts a unique Europe-meets-North-America flair.
How did you come up with the name?
I feel that a person’s home is somewhat an extension, or representation, of who they are, so it needs to have a personal touch, as well as what Scandinavians call “hygge;” the right vibe, warmth, light, and comfort level. When I started working on the business, I sat and worked at my desk for hours. The wall in front of me was blank, while the wall behind me -opposite of me, was decorated with beautiful framed art. When I looked at the latter, I felt inspired and relaxed. Opposite Wall is that space where you can express your state of mind; weather it’s to relax, inspire or motivate yourself. It can be cool, timeless, modern, minimalist, romantic, edgy or just plain cozy.
How do you see yourself competing with other large print businesses such as Desenio?
We admire Desenio’s success in offering beautiful minimalist affordable wall art, always spiced up with that cool Swedish flair. I think we both share the same Nordic values and the desire to offer unique, sleek accessible design. I’d say we’re all about creating ‘Hygge’ with a North-American twist!
Who creates the designs?
As the Creative Director and Head of Design, I lead the development of all new collections and design items. Most designs are created in-house, and others are done in collaboration with local, talented artists and international photographers.
How does the process work?
I’m always on the lookout for inspiration! When we develop a collection theme, we start by researching and mapping inspirational ‘mood boards’ that mix concepts we like of culture, language, objects, images, materials, mediums, colours and textures. It all has to fit in our vision of minimalistic wall art that’s easy to mix and match. The rest depends on the type of artwork and if it’s done inhouse or externally, but after the sketches begin, ideas really come to life!
Finally, we test and fine-tune all details, like color, print quality, resolution, framing, production materials and method, which all have to be durable and sustainable.
Where do you find inspiration for your prints?
Everywhere, from experiences with art, street culture, technology, design, fashion, to perspectives in books, magazines, décor magazines and blogs, museums, art fairs, galleries. I love going to art museums, so I often visit the MBAM, the MAC in Montreal and the AGO in Toronto. Much of the inspiration comes from things I see when I travel to inspiring places such as Mexico, Japan, New York, Paris, Copenhagen.
Anne finds the inspiration for her print designs from many sources, including books and magazines
What are your aims and goals for the business?
Our mission is to offer unique, trendy wall design that’s accessible to all, from the student and professional to newlyweds or new parents.
Do you have any of your prints hanging in your home and if so, which ones?
Decor is more of a process than a goal for me, so my wall art is constantly being updated. I tend to move my prints around every season, so I like that our brand makes it possible to update your home decor, without spending a fortune.
It’s very difficult for me to highlight my favourite art prints, because I love them all! I have a few Black Botanical prints because I love the contrast between the delicate flower and the bold, black colour in the background. I’ve mixed these with motivational prints such as ‘Just Breathe’ or ‘Limited Edition,’ and minimalist black and white abstract prints ‘Stroke’ and ‘Folds’. Also, I tend to collect motivational quote prints on my desk, in my home entrance and in my kitchen, for pure daily motivation..
Opposite Wall’s ‘Breathe’ print on the wall in my own home
Any words of advice to someone starting their own interiors business?
Stay true to your mission; it will guide you when you have big decisions to make. Don’t be afraid to ask for help; surround yourself with talented people who complement you. Remember to take time off to relax; you will gain new perspectives and creativity! Most of all, have fun.
So there you have it – another highly inspirational and motivated woman, carving a name for herself and her successful business within the world of interiors. Visit www.oppositewall.com to shop the collection.