Fireplace Update

When I last updated you on the family room it was looking like this. Still the putty beige color, and not much happening above the fire place.
Well, it was one of the rooms that we painted a few months ago (see here, Pure White by Benjamin Moore). So, now it's looking like this. The too small painting above is now part of our gallery wall in the living room (see here), so I decided to fill the vacancy with some family photos.
I actually have very few photos of any of us hanging around the house. It's not really my thing. I usually just make photo books. Before I added these three, there were only two other framed photos in the whole house.

Right now they are just leaning on the mantel. Bill likes them leaning, but I think I eventually want to hang them. We'll see. I also added two little gold cacti I picked up on Zulily.

It's a small improvement, but I still hate the fireplace. Personally, I think we should just get rid of it. We have not used it once since moving in last December, and I would much rather have the corner of the room back both here and upstairs in Seamus' room. That's a big project though, so we've talked about just revamping it - maybe a chunky railroad beam mantel and new tile or stone.
Here's a closer look at the photos. I had this black and white 8x10 already of one of my favorite baby pictures of Madeleine. She's 9 months old there. I also had a black and white 8x10 from our wedding. Would you believe this is the first wedding picture we've displayed? Our 6-year anniversary is coming up, so I figured it was about time.
Finally, I ordered a black and white 8x10 picture of Seamus from his 9 month photo to flank the other side. The frames are these from Target.

What do you guys think? Should we hang the photos or leave them as is? Should we just chuck or revamp the fireplace? I'm think a super cheap short term solution may be to paint the slate tile? I think it would be just like painting brick, maybe. I could pick a fun color from the rug. Also, I think I should put some logs or candles in the fireplace too to at least give the illusion that we use it.

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