I was thinking of a way to offset the wood once again. I really envision a concrete type wall here. Something like this:
This is from the Room and Board site. I found out that it is actually large tiles from a company in Spain. I love the industrial type look. I emailed them, but they have no dealers in the US and it would have cost quite a bit to order from Spain. I posed the question on the Houzz site as to how I could get what appears to be a concrete wall, but really isn't. I also didn't want a faux wall because I think it would look too fake. Someone suggested contacting people who do concrete countertops or stucco work so that is what we did.
We found someone who does a plaster type application that looks exactly like concrete.