My home, my castle: Living room renovation

This weekend another remodeling project started: the living room. The plan is to turn a former wet-bar into part of the room, remove and replace the brick hearth and wall around the fireplace with beige travertine tile, rip up the carpet and pad, wire the room for surround sound, texture and paint the walls, repair the subfloor, and then install bamboo flooring.

My wife has already ripped out the wet bar and removed the chair molding. I was able to remove the crown, base, window, and door trim/molding, and then the fun really started: trying to remove the brick hearth. I guessed the hearth would be brick over a plywood box, but I was wrong. The hearth is nothing but brick & mortar. The goal is to have everything done by this time next month, but it's not starting out well....