I know that you've seen it hundred's of time in Blog Land but I LOVE LOVE LOVE the look of Batten Board. I had a really boring 1980's ranch living room/dining room combined. Ugly faux paint on the walls, ugly carpeting, ugly everywhere you looked.
New wall paint and MDF put up by my sons and myself.
It was a Saturday project and went really quickly. It is surprising how much light reflection the white brings into the space. I was able to go with a dramatic color on the top; but the rooms still feel bright and light!