I have always HATED our fireplace. The mantel was constructed from an awkwardly small piece of left-over granite that was unable to properly display any décor pieces. The box was left unfinished which left much to be desired. And, I could NEVER find the right picture to hang in the cut-out above the mantle. The fireplace should have been a stunning focal point in our living room and instead it was a lifeless and mostly useless (in AZ) space-sucker.
UNTIL! The make-over!
We used tumbled travertine tiles to give the look of brick.
We used 1 x 8 boards to build out the mantel. Then with hammers, chains and nails I distressed it to look a little worn. I used Driftwood stain as the first coat then a custom mixture of stain for the top layer.
Then with a few accessories from Home Goods, it was finished!
Total cost of the makeover was around $150 and now I have a fireplace that I LOVE.