This old brick fireplace projected out over the hearth to form the mantle. This prohibited folks from sitting on the hearth and leaning back on a straight surface. We removed and re-structured the brick so it is straight and a new custom mantle was added. We also lime washed it to lighten up the huge, dark fireplace, which overpowered the room. I also designed a simple wooden mantle that really brightens up the fireplace. What a difference!