Please help me with some ideas for how to finish the wall and seating in the photos below.
I have had some dark siding removed from a fireplace wall and replaced it with drywall, opening up a 55" x 32" space to the left of the fireplace and leaving a well-supported cantilevered bench of 60 x 19 x 4 beneath it.
I am looking for suggestions for wall finishings that will make the fireplace wall recede visually and minimize the large size of the fireplace box. (There are overhead lights in the recesses to the left and right of the fp.)
Presently, I'm thinking of going with a matte black or slate grey tile with a bit of texture for the wall - all the way up to the ceiling in a swath. My hope is to paint the remaining walls in a light taupe. (The room gets extensive natural light from the south and west.)
I am also looking for suggestions for finishing the bench in a way that will minimize its profile. (The fireplace is wood burning.)
Before making any sudden decisions, I wanted to seek out design suggestions from fellow Houzzmates. Please send some suggestions my way!