The Personality Behind The Artist and Designs of Metolius Home

 
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Could you tell us a bit about who you are and your approach as an artist?

I have always felt deeply at home in the tactile world of materials and making by hand.

By painting with a variety of brushes, paints, pencils and papers, I am able to make motifs that vary a little from one to the next. I like the subtle variations and inconsistencies that show the handmade craft. I take elements of my paintings and drawings and turn them into patterns.

I am endlessly inspired by color, where colors meet, how they relate to each other, and how color can create mood in a space.

My Metolius patterns are composed of simple, hand-painted motifs mixed with unexpected twists of color, scale and design details. My goal is to create patterns and color combinations that feel fresh and new yet also familiar enough to easily layer in your home.

How did you get into art?

I have drawn and painted for as long as I can remember.

I was fortunate to devote undivided time to making paintings and drawings during my years earning my MFA in painting at the San Francisco Art Institute. Those years taught me how to always consider specifically what I make and why, and how to reflect and then improve upon myself.

Shortly after my time as a graduate student, I realized that most important to me was to create artwork that could be beautiful and thoughtful but also functional and accessible. After about a dozen years of designing textiles for the home market, I wanted to get back into my painting studio and create everyday paintings for peoples’ homes, and Metolius was born.

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Why did you start making wallpaper?

I love the idea of creating art that can bring personality into peoples’ homes through color and pattern. I value art that is thoughtfully made and utilitarian. I am looking to make objects that are hand created and that are able to change personality to fit specifically into individuals’ spaces. I have intentionally created patterns that are airy, open and versatile so that they can change mood with color. I wanted to offer my customers the opportunity to choose their own specific color combinations.

As a wallpaper brand, it was important to me to create products that are that printed in the United States to order just for you, in small batches, specifically for your project.

Why did you decide to make your brand eco-friendly?

I personally am committed to taking a conscientious approach to creating my brand and products with integrity, aspiring to tread as lightly as possible. I want my brand to stand for beautiful pattern and uninhibited color while simultaneously not using chemicals that are bad for us to breathe and touch, and printing processes that use only exactly what we need and no more.

When I was looking to start my brand, I began with the vantage point that I would seek the most eco-friendly product processes as possible. I believe in doing my best to respect our earth and my hope is that my customers care as I do about bringing beauty into their lives without harming our planet.

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How would you describe your style?

Metolius is light, warm, versatile and adaptable. It infuses its quiet, calm patterns with occasional bursts of energy. Metolius products delight in color and color combinations. Metolius’ designs are clean and fresh, retaining their handmade and organic origins.

What do you love about being a designer/artist? Where do you look to for inspiration?

I love to go for long walks in my beloved San Francisco, which is an amazing walking city. As I walk for miles and miles on urban sidewalks and meander through outdoor landscapes, I find inspiration in those moments where bits and pieces of nature meetup with the colors and shapes of city life.

I love assembling these fragments of visual inspiration, dreaming about how these elements can come to life in a cohesive visual story, and offering these visual stories for others to bring into their homes.

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What is your favorite part of the design process?

I like to push the boundaries of materials and processes to create designs that retain a simple, friendly and tactile feeling.

In the case of Metolius wallpaper, I was seeking the edges of creating wallpaper that retains a bit of painterly hand while still feeling clean and subtle, while being able to be custom-colored, and made in an eco-friendly manner in small batches in the USA.

Can you describe your workspace/studio?

I work in a small little room with a view of windblown San Francisco palm trees. My studio has floor to ceiling shelves that are constantly overflowing with things that inspire me – bits and pieces of color, pattern, and texture – and of course lots of brushes, paints, and pencils.

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What impact do you want to make through your work?

I have designed many products for many people and seen how most often they get diluted down into uniform blandness. I want to wake people out of their design stupors and inspire their creativity through bringing fresh print and pattern into their homes. By living with our eco-friendly and small-batch values, I invite my customers to bring vibrancy into their days.

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To learn more about Metolius Home, visit www.metoliushome.com, or stop by Batch to see the designs in person!

 
Bita Khaleghi