NeoCon 2023 Preview: Wonderwall Studios

NeoCon 2023 Preview: Wonderwall Studios

What is Wonderwall? While it’s tempting to summarize in a pithy phrase like, “the Future of Wood Paneling,” Wonderwall is so much more than that.

Wonderwall Bog Oak Velvet collection

Speaking of pithy, Wonderwall Studios simply says their mission is to “create joyous paneling from salvaged woods,” but the company and philosophy go way beyond: it’s a progressive business model, a paradigm to bolster local economies and support artisanal craft, and a way to reclaim resources and attenuate the often pollutive byproducts of production.

Wonderwall mixed salvage collection detail

The concept is simple enough: discover caches of unused wood—whether in the form of “abandoned houses, derelict sheds, discarded railroad-sleepers, overstock, wine barrels, old floors,” or even a massive oak whiling away the afterlife in a primeval peat bog—and convert them into the artful tiles that constitute the most beautiful wood paneling you’ll come across.

Wood paneling half-wall feature in deluxe bar in penthouse, many different woods with theme of dark wood

But here’s the kicker: if Wonderwall locates a stockpile of railway sleepers in Rajasthan, India (true story), they’ll establish an atelier in same, thus avoiding the climate costs of moving very heavy materials across the globe while tapping into regional infrastructure and local craft.

Railings collection in walnut

“We set up shop on the spot and seek a workshop willing to do business. The local craftspeople we work with are professional woodworkers and carpenters. In many cases we work with family-owned businesses that have been around for generations. And because they are often older than Wonderwall Studios we listen to their advice and look closely at how they work. We adapt to their process, meaning that the way we work in Indonesia differs substantially from the process in Italy. Or India. Or Poland. You get the idea.”

Bog oak intricate design of concentric squares

The model works in more ways than one. Wonderwall’s impressive number of wood species and variety of designs owes much to this way of doing things. The images here show bog oak, walnut, pine, and mixed salvage, with origins as diverse as Indonesia, Italy, Ukraine, and India—each displaying a character and style that’s integrally tied to place.

Wonderwall Teak collection

This also makes for the “big family,” that Wonderwall takes such pride in, working with “high-spirited folks in the south of Europe to the cool characters in the Nordic countries, from the hectic and fast-paced Far East through Eastern and Central Europe, to our larger-than-life cousins in North America.”

Wonderwall mixed salvage wall with rough finish pine in trendy restaurant

Wonderwall will be “running like the wind” next week at NeoCon, Stand 7-1085. We can’t wait to find out what they have to show us.

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