Our home is full of lots of really gorgeous original details—and some not so gorgeous, not so original details. Somewhere around 1980, our fireplace's original cast iron surround and summer cover were removed and replaced with plug-in, light-up logs and delightful glass doors.
I'm sure whoever carried out this mission had great intentions, and it was all done in the name of "modernizing the room" (as it was at that point just over 100 years old), but I just couldn't deal. The red bricks popping out over the top of the black/brass/glass = gross.
In a perfect world, I'd be able to quickly find a cast iron set (that I love) that would fit perfectly into the fireplace and call it a day. Since that kind of magic doesn't happen as quickly as one would like, I decided to banish the 1980s and paint the brick as a placeholder until I can restore the beautiful centerpiece to it's original glory.
It was a big job, but I'm really happy with the results —the room looks much cleaner, and more formal than it did with the outdated glass cover.