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Vancouver-based Otto Studio masters the art of renter-friendly fabulousness.
This city gets enough grey. At least that’s what Otto Studio founders Jen Cook and Hannah Lee believe: their collection of wallpapers ranges from funky florals to rainbow pixels to psychedelic squiggles. “Our home spaces have such a huge impact on our mental health and on our mood—having colours that resonate with us is really important,” says Cook.
“In our generation, we just see grey all the time,” adds Lee.
The pair first launched their Vancouver-based removable (read: renter-friendly) wallpaper studio in 2022. The bright, bold and even bizarre patterns have resonated deeply with Vancouverites—particularly millennials and Gen Z. Cook and Lee, who first met when they were both working for a local fintech company, in part credit “dopamine dressing” to their success: the trend dictates that you can improve your mood by wearing clothes you love. “Younger generations are really just craving the fun and the energy and the colour—in their clothing and in their home,” says Cook, who designs the products herself (with the exception of capsule collections: the brand has collaborated with creatives including local artist Tierney Milne and NYC-based designer Zoe Schlacter).
Otto Studio’s wallpaper is printed in Langley. According to Cook and Lee, the super-thick, low-tack product is the ideal non-permanent wallcovering: it peels off cleanly and won’t damage the paint underneath. Cook’s background in graphic design left her heavily influenced by the Bauhaus philosophy, and she says that she’s inspired by the women of the movement in particular (like German textile artist Anni Albers). Retro ’70s patterns and pop art also play a role in Otto Studio’s portfolio.
If the idea of dedicating an entire wall in playful pattern triggers your commitment issues, the papermakers also offer more subtle options (wall decals and border frames that provide an understated pop of colour). For renters or owners, daring or discreet, Otto Studio is determined to bring a sunny vibe to Vancouver—year-round.
This story was originally published in the July/August 2023 print issue of Vancouver magazine—find the digital issue here.