Why not build the basement wall/ceiling like cottage?
The wood look was big in the '40's and '50's with knotty pine basements that were shellacked. Over time these turned a fairly dark orange. And since basements in those days were lit with one or two 40 watt lighting fixture it lgradually looked like a dungeon. Then in the '60 and '70's wood paneling made an appearance. And it was actually wood. Oak paneling was oak, walnut paneling was walnut, it was a crazy time. Now you get a picture of oak and a picture of walnut. All of these were good for DIY because they didn't have to plaster/compound. This is an acquired skill and it would take longer to acquire it then they wanted to invest. Most wouldn't live long enough anyway.
People now sheetrock the basements so it doesn't look like..., well a basement. It's bright, well lit, maybe even one of those pesky code required egress windows(not really).
So why go to the added expense of wood if you're going to paint it anyway?