I took this tired old living room in a gorgeous Soho brownstone and punched it up...
*I actually took this picture just after finishing the fireplace so it wasn't a true "before" picture. On the fireplace I applied white caulk between the bricks using my finger to smooth it out. I then painted the entire fireplace with Benjamin Moore "Decorator's White" in a flat finish. The result is the same look BDDW has received much attention for in its Soho showroom and people are always trying to replicate. I did a writeup on the technique on ApartmentTherapy.com (scroll down to the bottom for the comment by "Dan G"). It's a very simple and inexpensive way to modernize a brick surface and seal it. Mounted just above the mantle is the "Captain's Mirror" by BDDW. George Nelson saucer bubble lamp provides ample light.
Continuing from the work completed on the fireplace, I installed drywall in front of the crumbling brick wall and painted it a soft grey color. A custom backing plate was attached to the brick wall prior to installing the drywall so that the Plasma TV would have a solid foundation from which to be hung. Speaker and cable wires were rerouted to be hidden from view. "Lake Cabinet" from BDDW acts as entertainment center. Reproduction Barcelona chairs and bench in a cream color with antique sofa complete the room.