what to do? what to do? Big, bossy brick fireplace wall needs your hel

last month

The sitting room and dining room are separated by a big brick wall. On the sitting room side there is a fireplace and a set back wall with a mantel. On the dining room side it is just flat brick.

I can leave it alone (naaaaaah, not really). I have thought of either painting or whitewashing the entire thing. I could drywall it all and do a Venetian plaster finish on the chimney breast. I could drywall the set back and the dining room side and paint the brick.
So, lovely Houzzers, what do you all think?

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