A great way to tie in your kitchen to the living room is to do the fireplace surround in the living room in the same color as the kitchen countertops. You can also choose a different color to help accentuate that they are different rooms. Either way, granite around the fireplace is a beautiful touch to any room. Many of our customers just do the hearth, when the fireplace is elevated.
Sorry my pics are sideways, couldn't figure out how to get them rotated :)! I'll have to work on that!