Inhabit will open its debut showroom in Irvington this spring, making the decor brand’s full product line available in its hometown for the first time. Lest you think the company just produces bedding, here’s a look at its impressive evolution. 211 S. Ritter Ave.
More than a decade ago, Mike and Jennifer Tuttle found a high-grade Epson printer in the trash at the Stutz building, where they operated an image-branding company. They printed a design a client had rejected onto fabric for a pillow, and their new housewares company, Inhabit, was born. Both the pillow fabrics and inserts are certified as 100 percent–recycled post-consumer material, representing the company’s focus on eco-friendly practices.
The Tuttles experimented with other textile designs, such as placemats and coasters. Their stretched-canvas prints and hanging panels are still in production—most of which occurs at the company’s workspace in town.
First came Builtby, a lamp base formed with stacked blocks that consumers can rearrange. Inhabit followed up with fixtures made from recycled soda bottles, salvaged wine bottles headed for the landfill, and corrugated PVC and cardboard. New to the offerings: naked Edison bulbs with bright-colored cords.
Though the Tuttles make an effort to work with American manufacturers, they couldn’t find a company here able to help them develop textured adhesive wall panels. Instead they partnered with a university in China, and the Wall Flats, made of bamboo pulp, became a huge hit. They were named the eco-friendly product of the year by Interior Design magazine in 2007 and later added to Materials ConneXion, an international library of innovative, sustainable products and processes. Wall Flats have been installed at Google’s headquarters and on the Big Brother set, and they “show up nonstop in films, commercials, and events all over the world,” Jennifer says. Inhabit is working on expanding the product line, including exterior panels.
You might have seen Inhabit’s organic-cotton sheets and duvets on TV: The 400-thread-count products bedeck Marshall and Lily’s bed on How I Met Your Mother. Inhabit bedding and other products are now sold in more than 10 countries (and, as always, online).
Though purses represented new territory, the Tuttles saw it as a natural evolution of their in-house resources and core strengths: fabric-printing and sewing.
After Inhabit relocated to Irvington—where the company’s green methods include using the office’s shredded paper as packing material—the owners applied their motifs to a collection of 24 rugs. The pieces are certified by Goodweave, an organization dedicated to ending the use of child lab0r in carpet manufacturing.
Inhabit’s tumblers are made from recycled glass and etched with its trademark designs—organic patterns inspired by nature.
Set to debut in the new Inhabit showroom at 211 S. Ritter Ave., the furniture line will include new American-made pieces and vintage sofas upholstered in Inhabit textiles. A wallpaper collection is also in the works.
Photos courtesy Inhabit; How I Met Your Mother photo by Monty Brinton/CBS © 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc.
This article appeared in the February 2014 issue.