The original fireplace in gray stone, on the left. I decided to glaze the stone in beige/brownish
tones, install crown moulding and build a fireplace mantel.
I also changed the grout color by brushing and ragging in diluted latex color.
I then mixed some grout and filled the gaps between the crow moulding and the stone.
The crown moulding installed (I only nailed the crown to the ceiling and used liquid
nails to glue it to the stone). The stone I glazed with leftover latex paint. I mixed a
couple of different shades of beige/browns and I used sponges, brushes and rags to
re-create a stone like finish. In certain places I allowed the original stone to show
through. In this photo the grout was still the original gray.
I needed a longer shelf for the mantel. I cut two pieces of wood, I drilled a hole
through each piece, I applied carpenter's glue on each side of the shelf, and I
screwed the additions onto each side.
I made four boxes out of leftover plywood and I glued them to the stone with liquid
nails. The upper boxes I also gun nailed into the shelf. The shelf I dressed with a
decorative trim and the boxes with rosettes.
The corbels are the only expensive investment in this specific project.
To make the mantel more intricate, I cut off the lower middle section of the
decorative piece below.
Finished fireplace mantel.
For the middle piece I used 3/4" plywood. I first drew the shape with a pencil (I also followed the design of the
decorative piece) and I cut the shape with a jig saw. I then glued/gun nailed the decorative piece onto the plywood
shape and I dressed the outer edge with decorative moulding. Once installed, I caulked everything, primed and
faux-finished/glazed the entire mantel.
Finished fireplace. The crown moulding I faux finished with the same colors I used on the stone.
The original built in cabinets/benches on each side of the fireplace.
The picture is self explanatory.
Because the surface was shiny I had to first sand it, otherwise the new paint is subject to peelin. I also changed and
re-positioned the handles. The original light fixture in front of the fireplace I eliminated and I installed wall sconces on
top of each bench (on both opposite walls of the room).  
I have yet to sew cushions and pillows for the benches, and drapes on each side of the windows (also do the flooring).