After thinking about it for some time, we're planning to update our corner fireplace to include a built-in area for bookshelves and our tv. The layout of our living room is awkward, with several doorways and focal points, making it tricky to arrange and include everything. We both said before that we'd never put the tv up above the fireplace, but the idea started sounding better the more we thought about...and we're both kind of giddy about the potential it has (Q might just be in it for a bigger tv).
Our plan/sketch is still a little rough, but here's our general idea: removing the current tile and mantle, putting in square white tile (#4) on the hearth and some white painted brick (#2) extending up to the mantle. Above the fireplace will be the built-in area, with a large opening for a tv (the green tape in the photos above are marked at our current tv size, but the opening will be much larger). I'm not sure yet if we'll have mini shelves running up each side of the tv opening (#1), but I would like to have a wide shelf run across the very top (#3).
So that's it. I have a feeling it will change as we go, but I can't wait to get started. If it all works out, we'll free up just enough wall space (where the tv used to be) for our Christmas tree this year. : )