Patch or Redo Whole Wall?

I'm evaluating a repair task at an older neighbor's house. His dining room has a wall with a single window in the middle of it., and the window was blocked-off about 20 years ago when he had a garage added on the other side of the wall. The window was blocked-off by simply covering the opening with a piece of wooden panelling and then painting the whole wall and window frame the same color. The old couple seemed to think it was fine and have lived with it for two decades. Now, it is time to fix this thing right. It looks pretty ugly, and makes it hard to hang artwork.
My strongest inclination is to remove the window frame and completely replace the wallboard on this (13 x 8 foot) wall. That would leave no interior evidence that there was ever a window in that location, however I am wondering how easy it is to get the new wall to blend seamlessly with the two existing intersecting walls and ceiling. If I sand the edges of those existing walls and do the normal inside-corner treatment (tape and mud), can it look good? My experience is limited to new wallboard joining with new wallboard. Any gotchas?
My option is to treat the window opening like a very large damage hole. Put some wooden bracing in to support the patch, cut a 3 x 5 piece of wall board and place it into the opening and mesh and mud the edges before prepping and painting the whole wall. The wooden bracing would have to be very sturdy so that the patched section of wall would be as strong as the rest of the wall. I'm thinking that this might be a bad idea.
Any opinions?
Ed
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Two windows on one side on my house have had exactly the treatment you prescribe applied to them by the previous owner about ten years back. Currently, the outlines of the window are clearly visible for both windows because of small movements which cause cracks around the joints of the "insert". I plan on eventually, removing this wall to build outwards so am living with the cracks. If I had to live with the walls as is long term, I would prefer a redo of the whole wall.
Roland
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Konstatt writes:

Good chance that will work, and it saves a lot more work, so its worth a try.
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On Fri, 13 Feb 2004 18:09:28 -0500, "Konstatt"

Ed,
I think it depends on how good a taper you are.
If you're good, treat it as a damaged area. The amount of taping will be less than if you replace the wall. Running horizontally, you'll have fourteen feet of taping, running vertically you'll have 32 feet.
There is another option -- if the circumstances are right. You could adapt the framing to make an art niche where the window used to be.
Ken
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On Fri, 13 Feb 2004 18:09:28 -0500, "Konstatt"

I would avoid patching the window area and instead patch to the nearest studs past the window opening. That way, the window frame can move and it won't show on the patch. PJ
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That's a very good point. By extending the hole to the studs on either side of the current opening, I would gain the additional stability that I was looking for. That may prevent the issue that caused the covered window to become visible again for that other person who posted about it.
Thanks
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I've been visiting model homes and watching the home shows on TV and I now realize there is nothing wrong with making one wall completely different from the other 3 walls in a room. So consider painting or papering or texturing that one wall, if you like....
PJ
On Sat, 14 Feb 2004 21:41:32 -0500, "Konstatt"

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Well... I'm slightly more of a traditionalist than a trendsetter. The whole room will be painted the same color after the repairs.
My plan for that dining room is paint above a chair rail and wallpaper below the chair rail. Getting that window frame out of the way is the only problem in the room.
Ed

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