We are finally at drywall stage- yee ha!
We plan to have a granite hearth that will extend a few inches past the legs of the mantle and go out about 2'. We plan to put 12" granite tiles around the fireplace itself. The walls, legs and mantle will be knockdown texture and painted of course to match rest of room. The tv will leave about 15" on both sides for some sort of decor, or of course a little bit larger tv down the road.
But..... dh is wondering if we should use faux rock on the entire area below the mantle as the original firebox was done like that. The hearth would have to be some sort of match of course. I was thinking of doing the whole space granite. Or we leave it the textured wall and put the tools on one side and maybe a large vase on the other. We have basically duplicated the size of fireplace that was there before, just removing the huge monstrous holes and lowering the box, which allowed the mantle to come down a little.
Any suggestions on what else we could do different. We are at stage where we can make changes. We were going to have open shelves on sides of tv and below mantle but the space is too small and any items in the shelves would be distracting while watching tv.
PS- this is a zeroclearance fireplace, there is literally no heat difference above the mantle whether a fire is burning or the house heater is on. We have taken all precautions with tv way in advance.