Innovation in the DIY Space

A startup in Ohio takes innovation to a new level creating a sustainable, upscale looking product that allows renters to personalize their apartments using a DIY solution.

Apartment living does not generally allow for a lot of remodeling opportunities. Some dwellings permit a change in wall color (as long as you paint it back to the original color when you leave) while others go as far as letting you change your carpet to hardwood...with no reimbursement, of course. There hasn’t been a lot of options available for personalizing or adding depth to your walls - that is until we found Artis Wall at Design and Construction Week in Orlando last week.

The number of people living in apartments is growing. The National Multifamily Housing Council reports that apartments account for 50% of all housing in New York City. Other markets such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas and Washington, D.C. also have high percentages. And for the folks that like to change up the look of their living space, apartments can be a challenge.

Will Kimmerle is a Millennial who simply wanted to solve this problem. While renting an apartment in Cleveland, Ohio, he decided to give one of the walls a facelift. He researched available products and read reviews, only to discover his product options were limited to ceramic tile, wall paper, plastic panels and large planks of wood. Many of the product reviews were negative stating that drywall paper was often ripped off by adhesives.

Replacing drywall or losing his security deposit were not options for Kimmerle, and coming from a family of entrepreneurs he decided to create a product of his own. With about a year of research, he and co-creator Patrick Cartellone designed a simple and non-destructive installation system that utilizes Velcro. In April of 2016 they launched a Kickstarter with a goal of $30,000. Three days later they had met their goal—plus $25,000. They purchased manufacturing equipment and went to work.

Artis Wall utilizes recycled wood products and a patented installation system. [photo: Artis Wall]

Artis Wall utilizes recycled wood products and a patented installation system. [photo: Artis Wall]

“All I really wanted to do is put this in my we can barely keep up with orders,” Kimmerle says.

Read the full story about Artis Wall's sustainable design and innovation.