So, as I was taking a break from my fireplace project, I had a sudden realization. It wasn't a major-transforms-the-whole-room-realization, but it was one of those "why didn't I think of that before" moments. And the realization was this: there was no reason I needed to keep those cheapy alien-feet speaker stands. They're so ug-o, and just make the media nook area that much MORE ug-o.
So, I hollered up to Brian, "I'M RE-CONFIGURING THE SURROUND SOUND!!!!" and got to work unscrewing the speakers and arranging them on the TV stand. And soon I'll be listing the speaker stands on Craigslist so someone else can
Much better. It's still an ugly corner, but now it's not super ugly.