The most offensive parts of the this room were:
The stupid corner shelves on either side of the fireplace that were meant to hold decorative plates, but were useless for anything else.
The huge gas fireplace itself and the brassy fireplace front.
The awful brown brick accent walls...but at least its real brick fronts and not faux panels.
The boob light above the fireplace.
The cheap laminate flooring that we knew we wouldn't be able to change anytime soon.
So, with that said, we promptly crapped up the room and then left it like that for awhile.
Then we found out we were leaving, and I had to do something to make this look better. I started with getting the furniture arranged, and hanging curtains. Then I spent some time picking a color to paint the brick. I knew I couldn't do white because it was on the bottom of the wall, so I got a few samples and settled on Benjamin Moore Midsummer Night.
It looked great with the mortar in the fireplace, the dark wood in the windows, and the light fixture and fireplace screen.
rod on the ceiling rather than the paneling. I love that ceiling rod holders are available for situations like this. I replaced the boob light with the same inexpensive chandelier that hung in the entry of our house on Russet street.
Rubbermaid brackets from Home Depot because they were cheap and the bronze finish matched the paint almost exactly. I was planning to do a top coat of poly on the shelves, but the open house happened and I just got lazy, so the new owners will have to do that.