This is an idea that we are thinking of doing in our formal living room. You can extend your fireplace by adding woodwork to the ceiling and painting it the same color. This makes a great backdrop for art and would match board and batten or trim already in your space. The bottom ledge offers a nice area for decor. Many people use a candelabra in a fireplace when it's not being used, but the plate and books have a more eclectic and modern feel.