I lived with a unusable, nonworking fireplace for seven long years. The placement and mantel definitely added architectural interest to my apartment, but it was a bit of a slap in the face to have to gaze into the empty hearth on a daily basis. I just wanted to be able to use it so bad!
If you're one of those poor souls that finds themselves in my situation, instead of focusing on that blank hole in the wall and all it can't do — here are 10 ideas to transform your fireplace back into the focal point of the room. More