When there is a quarter or half wall I've always referred to them as a pony wall.
I don't have any pics for you, sorry. However I can give ya a couple of ideas. First decide if you want a physical separation from your entry (I'm guessing) and your living room. That's what the pony wall is designed for, so you don't just fall into a room. You could just keep the columns, too, and get rid of that pony wall. You could dress it up with moldings, like others, have suggested. As far as the white goes, you could tile it. You could paint it in any faux finish of your liking, preferably semi-gloss, easier care. I'v seen everything from fish tanks to art installations incorporated in and on entry pony walls. As always your only limitations are your imagination and budget of course. Sit on your couch or stand looking into living room and try to envision what you want your space to say about you, after all the this is like your houses way of shaking hands and introducing its self.. so who are you, who do you want to be.
I hope even with out pictures I gave you a way to get started.