The only problem with this room, as it stood, was that it was a big formal living space attached to a less-formal living space (our future family room). Who needs two living areas joined together? How would we define them and make each it's own purposeful space? We decided to wall in the family room and make the formal living room (a space I find ridiculous in this day and age) into a music room/library.
Well, sort of. We haven't bought a piano yet. And we haven't put up the wall-to-wall bookshelves yet. Right now it's a holding tank for all the furniture that doesn't have a home. But at least the space is defined. And the fireplace looks amazing now! And someday soon we will have that library and (hopefully a baby grand) piano.
Herringbone marble was used for the new tile surround. Carerra was a little too grey and cold for me, so I picked this warmer tan and beige and cream colored herringbone tile called "crema marfil." It came in pre-made sheets and was a little less expensive than the Carerra.
The new hearth was made of slabs of the same gorgeous Silestone ("Tigris Sand") that we used on the kitchen counters, so it tied in beautifully with the other fireplace just off the kitchen.
We kept the mantle as it was and will have gas installed in the fireplace at some point. I think it turned out lovely!
I'm not sure when we'll finish decorating this space as the music room/library, but I'll post some more pictures when we do.