This is what C accomplished in one weekend while I kept F/M out of the house.
We're doing this between the kitchen and the den.We're not ones to make traditional decor decisions, so we're basically marrying two crazy-looking rooms. Soon I'll be able to cook and watch/interact with the kids while they play (all without looking through exposed studs).
The studs are true 2x4s of southern pine. We're thinking of replacing them with new ones from the hardware store and using the old wood in a visible way, such as making a sealed butcher block style counter top for the bar area, or as the front underside of the bar area instead of gypsum. Perhaps a bit like this kitchen from an Apartment Therapy Home Tour...though we're keeping the vintage wallpaper in the kitchen, so our version won't be nearly as cleanly modern looking.