Today, B&N is aiming to rehabilitate the latter with their Iconic Panels, thin wood-and-laminate wall coverings that can hide even the most egregious insults to your living-room walls, from bad paint jobs to bad aim. From Helvetica numbers to Frank Lloyd Wright's bricks, the three-dimensional panels go where paint can't and wallpaper won't.
Newest in the line are reclaimed wood panels, from some pretty interesting sources: Western redwood from old olive barrels; Douglas Fir from gym bleachers; and Asian teak from "beautiful, but blighted structures throughout Southeast Asia."
Dave has contributed to Dwell since its inception. He's a CalArts dropout, a former art critic for The New Yorker, and a producer of comedies on TV. He lives in, and writes from, Los Angeles.