A 3-D Wallpaper Amps up Your 2-D Flat

If you ever followed the love-hate relationship brewing between Liz Lemon and Jack Donaghy on NBC's "30 Rock" or if your heed to greed caused you to sit through a predictable episode of "Let's Make a Deal," then you've become well acquainted with InhabitLiving's Wall Flats, designed by Mike and Jennifer Tuttle--you just haven't realized it yet.

The panels stole glances away from polished cars at the Toyota show in Japan last fall and they're currently lining the walls of the W Hotel in West Hollywood. What's noteworthy about the Wall Flats is that their fame was made possible by tree-hugging, aesthetic-hungry renters like you and me.

Introduced in 2006, the 3-D Wall Flats came out of a desire to implement large patterns on a wall, says creator Mike Tuttle. Modular tiles resulted from the need to ship small and save on shipping, and since the company prides itself on using sustainable, eco-friendly materials, it made sense to go with bamboo. Made from 100 percent bamboo pulp, the tiles are completely biodegradable. And thus, you get to add depth to your walls sans leaving a carbon footprint.

Tuttle stands by his product. "For the renter, the ability to drastically change the space in a quick period of time is key," he says. Adding texture to the wall and seeing how it interacts with light makes a significant change, he adds.

The Wall Flats are white but individuals have the option of painting them. Tuttle encourages the use of VOC-free and clay-derived paint. Check out BioShield for some ideas.

Although I adore the current patterns like Seesaw and Braille, are new ones on the horizon? Yes, promises Tuttle: as early as this spring. " We are expanding the Wall Flats line from its current set-up with the bamboo product to new materials. One of them is a plastic that is derived from minerals and not petroleum," he says. In addition, the company plans to introduce 4-by-8 foot sheets to speed up installation. "The quicker people can put them up, the less money it costs," Tuttle adds.

And speaking of cost, despite the seemingly steep $86 price per box for 22.5 square feet of coverage, Tuttle assures me that when comparing Wall Flats to wallpaper, the cost is quite inexpensive from a price-per-foot perspective. Bargain hunters should browse through the site's offers. Wall Flats with minor imperfections are currently on sale at $4.50 per tile.
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