If your fireplace is out of commission or you have no use for it, cover the screen with a graphic wallpaper pattern, and it'll become a focal point of the room. There are plenty of other unexpected uses for wallpaper, like wrapping vases.
This reminds me of my first flat. Classic Victorian house interior with an original fireplace, books in the alcove. However I wasn't stylish enough to have those wonderfully chic grey walls with high white accents.