When we first moved into our house neither of us were thrilled with the look of the fireplace. We felt that it had the look of belonging in a house with 12' ceilings......which ours was absolutely not. We decided to remove the hearth and lover the fireplace to ground level. This did two things; it brought the fireplace closer to the floor and most importantly, allowed for a larger TV above the mantle. Next, we replaced the ceramic tile with a natural slate and finally, we painted the wood and accent color and applied antiquing glaze. The before and after pictures are below....hope you enjoy.