Several men and several hundred dollars later we had this. Awesome! A huge gaping hole in my living room. The contractor asked me what I was going to do in this space and it came out before I had really even though about it - a reading nook! That was going to require several hundred more dollars and time, so we put a big piece of pressed board up there for months.
We sold our previous house, so it was time to get to our long awaited wall transformation. I am from Florida, so a fireplace was not a huge requirement for me. We opted to plank the entire opening where the wood stove used to be. Maybe we will put an electric wall mounted fireplace there one day.
I absolutely love the way it turned out. I used a color complementary to our wall color to "wash" the bare 1x4's. I just mixed equal parts paint and water. The mantel was stained in Jacobean and the bricks painted white then sponged in the same color as the planking.
Now for the reading nook. Imagine the space behind the planking. We opened it up and did this (below). Well, I did not, but someone did! We have shelves on either side and the seat is a huge storage area underneath where I am keeping all our family photos and albums.
I did stain the planking in the nook with Ralph Lauren Tobacco glaze by applying the glaze and wiping it off.
This is the light inside the nook, which finishes off the space well.
Have you done something unconventional in your home? What would your walls say?