My house didn't have a fireplace and this past Thanksgiving, I purchased a faux fireplace and mantel. I am so, so happy I did. Not only is the "fire" cozy, but the mantel is a great place to decorate. These examples have given me a few ideas for updating my mantel look.
Take a moment and check out www.sfgirlbybay.blogspot.com. You'll be glad you did.
Have a great day!