Why is it that the mantel always gets all the attention? Sure, it flaunts the grand shelf, the carved legs—it's the frame around the flames. But mantels come and go. It's the hearth that's always been there, an ornate buffer between the fire and the shag rug.
Consider jazzing things up with some colorful new tiles. You can change the whole look of a fireplace—and the room—in one or two weekends. For full step-by-step instructions, see How to Tile a Hearth