Here she is in an early shot with some of the old framing still in place:
One look I've always admired is the brick wall treatment at BDDW. Digging around online I discovered that the owner achieved the look by layering joint compound over the brick surface. Since we had nothing to lose (we'd still have to clean the brick anyway) we decided to scratch up the paint with some sandpaper and start layering.
We discovered that joint compound will take some time to dry (especially on a humid day) and it is best to not try to help it along. After using a fan on the surface we had cracks on a test patch. Lesson learned and fixed with more compound.
Here you can see the progress (thanks to my Dad) so far:
I'm really liking the look already and hoping it will hold up over time. I'm not really worried since it's interior brick and not exposed to moisture from the elements. I think we'll paint it a similar white for a bright, clean look.