She can put a pretty decorative screen in front of it and use the inside for storage of video games/dvds, shoes, etc.
I like this solution, she could pile a few real logs, drape it with white Christmas lights, and voila! instant "Fire"!
I also found a blog specializing in fireplace decorating.
Regardless of what she decides to do, I think she should paint it a charcoal gray or black to make it pop from the white walls.