The fireplace is not centered on that wall. That wall looked unbalanced. So, I bought a big plasma TV (50") and thought if I put it on the left it would balance the fireplace. It didn't. Here is how it looked then:
1. Put marble or other nature stone around the fireplace and install a traditional mantel
around it. Cost for this option: $1000 (marble wall) + $1000 (a nice mantel).
This one doesn't solve the unbalanced look. So we dismissed it easily.
2. Build a large wall unit that will incorporate both the fireplace and the TV in it.
This for sure will solve the unbalanced look but the big build up will clot the airy and open feel of our family room. Cost for this option: $3000 for custom made wall unit.
3. Someone emailed me a design she did using Photoshop. It opened our eyes. I liked the idea very much. The dark paint (select the same as darkest red from the bricks) will make the fireplace disappear. The long horizontal mantel balances the look. But the design is very contemporary while our house has more homey and woody feel.
This desgin supposed to be very cheap too. Without all the nature stone work, it should cost us only the shelf and baskets. However, it turned out such a large and long shelf is hard to find (12' long, 4" thick).
LD很喜欢我们现有的墙壁颜色（Benjiming Moor Antique white)，请旧金山中国人的壁柜厂做的mantel.颜色与我们起居室的门窗相配。
Cost: $450 for the mantel and installation.
Still more work to do and I'm all ears if you have any good suggestion. For example:
1. LD wants to paint the brick to the same color of the wall;
2. buy a new nice looking firescreen.
3. move the flat TV back to wall installation.
1/10/08 Painted fireplace: