Tim Gunn might say, "it's a lot of look." And it is, of course, to line your apartment in plywood or build a floating cabin in your living room. But it's certainly a bold design statement, and right about now—in the giant slush puddle, lion end of March—this coffee shop in Poland (above), and retail spaces in Tokyo and New York (below) are striking a perfect balance of cabin-like coziness and ultra-modern cool.
DIYers like ourselves often think of this unshowy material and its composite cousin particle board as the base of many a great project (upholstered headboards, homemade valances), but plywood can also look completely fresh when left well enough alone. The typically minuscule Tokyo apartment below walks the line between playhouse and birdhouse, with a peak-roofed canopy bed and cute circular cut-outs, creating a house within a house.
Of course, plywood has been a hit in smaller doses for decades thanks to designers like Charles and Ray Eames and manufacturers like Herman Miller. If you're not ready to commit to all-plywood-everything, here are a few cool pieces for a little bit of the woodsy look: