The appearance of the fireplace, often the focal point of a home, is important in many homes. I removed the windows and added energy star units that didn’t open – added stained glass windows to hide the neighbor’s house and used the original cabinet doors and made new boxes to go on either side of the insulation and drywall was placed to repair all of the damaged and lost plaster.
I used thinset to attach hardibacker with tapcon screws over the uneven brick surface and ran two air lines for the direct vent fireplace and put a new cap on the chimney, ran a new electrical line to the right side of the fire box and had new gas lines with a code approved floor shut off added.
By boldly adding art work, you are accepting your space for what it is and are therefore calling less attention to it. Lastly, I suggested that she add some pillows on one side of the fireplace for extra seating and a larger vase or plant on the other side to keep the scale and proportion of the space.
And unless you opt for a high-end, energy efficient fireplace fireplace design that offers tightly sealing doors for long burn times and upgraded designs to provide high heat output, burning wood may actually remove more heat from your room than it adds.
Whether you build or remodel your own fireplace or you hire a contractor to do the work for you, careful research before you start designing the focal point of your room and care and precision in the work will produce a wonderful addition or update to any room.