DIY Ideas for this Wall?

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Q: We have a back room that gets very little light, feels uninviting, and therefore goes almost unused. We love to use the fireplace during the fall and winter, but don't otherwise spend much time there largely because we don't enjoy the decor. Most of our budget is earmarked for replacing the carpet, which leaves us able to paint and make some homemade slipcovers and window treatments, but little else. My question regards the wall...

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... that houses the fireplace, which is largely covered in stone veneer. We are unsure what lives under the veneer, and so are very hesitant to tear it out without the budget to fix whatever we might uncover if it turns out to be beyond our DIY capabilities. Apologies for the poor quality pictures, but I'm hoping you get the idea! Any suggestions for a temporary fix? Somehow paint the veneer? Hang a wall of curtains?

Thanks for your suggestions!

Sent by: Kerry

Editor: Please add your suggestions and solutions to the comments below for Kerry - thanks!

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Janel Laban is the Executive Editor of Apartment Therapy and has been working here, at the dreamiest of dream jobs, since March 2006.