Sheetrock has been torn off. I left the mantel in place and used wood stain over the paint. This makes the detail stand out.
My DH did some masonry work on the fireplace opening today. He laid bricks along the sides and filled in with mortar inside. I have a wonderful tin ceiling tile (arrow) that is going over the hole. Now I am trying to decide on what color to paint the bricks. White like the molding or something pretty like a peach or rose? A cast iron surround will be going into the opening once everything gets painted.