before: 1972 'deck house'-- new ash floors already installed to replace the shag carpet. exposed 1970's brick chimney and fireplace insert, clashing woods of ceiling, bookcase, and kitchen cabinets (through the opening to the right of the chimney). not so beautiful!
after: painted brick, bamboo screen instead of bookcase, furniture and lighting with a modern sensibility.
a note on painted brick-- you must be absolutely certain that the brick is dry and will remain dry before you paint it. brick has a natural 'skin' through which it breathes. once painted, it can no longer breath properly. any moisture inside the brick (or any that gets into the brick in the future) will cause it to erode and crumble. i personally LOVE painted brick-- especially in a case like this where the brick was not attractive to begin with-- but primarily inside where moisture is less of an issue.