We are sooooo copying our friend's brother's fireplace!!!! In fact, we have the tree we're using for the mantle "drying out" in the front yard!! Praying that this is what we'll be looking at next Christmas!
Ok, this is actually almost exactly what we'd have to do in our living room. The fireplace would need to jut out, which would leave sunken walls on either side, which is where we'd put floating shelves. We would use wood panels instead of stone, a larger, chunkier mantel and no cupboards.