Instead of doing anything "productive", I decided to get destructive and remove a couple of the details on the house which I really hate. First to go were the vertical wall slats/dividers, shown below.
Yeah, they were in good condition, but they were a bad design idea 45 years ago and haven't gotten any better in my book. Out came the 3 pound sledge and five minutes later I was left with this:
That's a mirror on the near wall, by the way. It's going away soon, too. Although I dislike it, I don't want every wall in the house empty and full of nail & screw holes. After I took this picture, I tore down the same detail which was by the front door (in the background of this pic). When I start the kitchen renovation, I'll tear down the rest of these partial-walls and patch the drywall to hide the fact that the walls were ever here.
I was on a roll, tearing out crappy old details I hated, so I turned my evil gaze towards something my dad would love - wood paneling! It was actually installed well and was decent quality crap - er, wood paneling. My big worry was that it was nailed and glued to the wall, as that's how I would have done it. Lucky for me, the guy who did it wasn't quite as anal-retentive as me and only nailed it over some ugly green paint.
For now, I've re-used the goofy old switch plate cover the previous owners installed. The wall is now full of old nail holes, grime, and ugly green and blue paint. It's still better than when it was covered with paneling. To make it a little nicer, I'll patch the holes and sand the wall making it ready for new knock-down texture, primer, and paint. Those steps will be a while from happening, but at least I am happier with it.