Indianapolis Monthly

Wonder Walls

Wall Flats (2004)

Jennifer Masten and Mike Tuttle

Back in 2004, walls were either painted, wallpapered, tiled, or Venetian-plastered. Inhabit introduced another idea: dimensional designs like waves, graphic shapes, and basket weaves on adhesive molded-paper squares. Wall Flats debuted at New York’s International Contemporary Furniture magazine named them the best eco-friendly product of 2006. The fabrication would become even more sustainable when Inhabit switched from bamboo to bagasse, a renewable byproduct of sugar cane that would normally go to waste. The product steadily found a fan base with commercial designers, who have used it in untold number of projects, like the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in Panama City, Panama. Inhabit did a custom version for the Google headquarters. The owners don’t always know the final destination of an order made by a contractor or interior designer, so many times they have stumbled across Wall Flats in commercials and TV shows (, ). Wall Flats are often used in homes, too, but installation is tricky for DIYers. Inhabit recommends using a heavy-duty wallpaper paste, and you have to leave a gap between the tiles and mud the seam like drywall. Sales surpass $20 million now, and they are currently available in 14 patterns, which are copyrighted—beware knockoffs.

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