We are remodeling our kitchen and planning to remove walls to create a more open atmosphere (ranch home 1983). I need opinions regarding the best way to “surround” the fireplace vent to the right of our entry and am considering covering it with maple to match the kitchen cabinets. We plan to make our current living room into a formal dining area and eliminate the small coat closet adjacent to the fireplace vent. We also plan to remove the wall on the left currently encasing the stairs and will replace it with 8’ of stair railings to open the entry area. Is the fireplace vent area (3’ square) too large to encase in wood (a built-in oven will be installed behind it)? If we surround it in wood, should we also face the small wall next to the front door in wood to match the vent area to create a matching columnar appearance?