When I remodel the kitchen with new cabinets in the very near future, I would also like to remodel the room with the fireplace. Currently, the fireplace wall is red brick, flat across the entire wall (no recesses). Ideally, I would like to frame this wall, drywall around the fireplace, and install a a fireplace surround and mantle. I would contract this out, as I lack the required skills.
My question is whether it is generally a bad idea to frame in and drywall fireplace walls. Would I be looking at issues down the road? Lastly, if framing and drywalling the fireplace is a bad idea, is there an alternative that would add some attractiveness to the wall? A picture is attached.