Our dream is to remove the fireplace surround and replace it with something, well, reasonably sized. We'd take down the wood paneling (which only has plywood behind it) and cover it with drywall. Eventually, we'd put shelves and cabinets on each side.
The problem: money! We have a little to spend, but totally redoing the fireplace and walls will add up. Are we missing a simpler solution? Any ideas would be appreciated!