We really need to utilize wall space here so we had looked around at different shelving options and fell in love with these bracketed ones from Ikea. They didn't sell shelves the sizes we needed/wanted so we just went to Home Depot and bought a bunch of lumber that we cut, sanded and painted ourselves. The ones in the kitchen went up no problem. We hadn't painted any of the living room yet - one of the many things that we ran out of time on before moving in- and we didn't really want to put these up and have to eventually try to paint around them. So, at 9:30 at night when we were thinking about it we decided, well, why not just prime and paint the part of the wall right behind where the shelves would go. Well, if we are going to do that, why not just paint that one whole wall? And really, if we paint that wall, why not continue around to the side wall by the fireplace? Well, around 12:30 we finished and got everything cleaned up and were VERY ready for bed.
Here my dad just re-cased the opening and replaced the little door on. It all still needs to be primed and painted but it looks much better than the partial casing that was left on there from demo!