Every year, my wife and I try to tackle one or two large projects to improve our house and make it a more functional space for our growing family. This year, we decided to remove a giant brick chimney/fireplace that took up 30 square ft. of floor space both in the basement and on the main floor. With the regained space, we installed a TV/media center on the wall that had the fireplace, and arranged the room to have more seating so we could do more family activities in the room.
Here's a picture of what the room looked like with an old brick fireplace (it was wood-burning, but had been converted to gas logs prior to our purchase of the home):
And after a few weeks of work tearing down the masonry (contracted out), patching the roof (contracted out), running electrical, networking, and A/V wiring, finishing the drywall, installing laminate flooring, then mounting everything in place, here's the end result:
The basement also feels much larger now, since the giant cinderblock foundation of the fireplace is gone. You can view a full album of the project progress (along with detailed notes and tips/tricks learned along the way) on Imgur: Chimney Removal/Conversion to Media Wall: