I know what you're thinking - that I promised you a horror show and didn't deliver, that the tile is not morally reprehensible, that it's not even really all that objectionable, right? I know! I think that's the very reason that I hate it. If it was truly hideous, I would probably pity it, feel protective of it and even learn to love it. But instead, it's just there. Hoping I won't notice it. Meh.
Did you notice that there's only one glass door and that there has never ever been a fire in the fireplace? Both of those features were a great comfort to me when I found my 9-month-old grinning and waving to me from inside.
I know that one day I will come across the perfect beautifully-decayed cast iron hearth in a salvage yard and haul it home and live happily ever after. But until then, I have to do something about this tile. As usual, I have a budget of $0 for this project.