As long as I have been laying stone in the back yard, I decided to go ahead and add a raised hearth to our upstairs fireplace. When we originally built the fireplace, I decided to put the hearth on the floor, as shown in this picture...
It looked fine, but ended up being too modern looking for our taste. We wanted something that was more traditional / rustic.
Here is a picture with the new hearth added:
The mud is still wet, so it's dark. Once it dries it will be the same color as the rest of the stone. I took my DW and I about 2 hours put in the structure and hearth stones, then about 4 hours to lay and finish the rest, including cleanup.
I am hoping to design and fabricate glass doors before winter, so we can effectively burn wood this winter.