Get the look: Custom-made Heath Oval tile in chalk white with matte finish, $77/square foot; heathceramics.com.
DIY level: Not recommended; DIY tile laying can look sloppy. Hire a pro.
Cost: High. For the fireplace shown, the tile was $4,800 plus $2,000 for labor/installation; but, in small doses, it's a great place to splurge.
Get the look: Seth says to shoot for wood-slat dimensions of ½ inch thick or so by 1½ to 3 inches wide. If you don't have reclaimed wood nearby, Viridian Wood Products will ship it (viridianwood.com).
DIY level: Not suitable unless you are handy with a saw. Hire a pro; serious tools are needed for cutting and installation.
Cost: Moderate (low materials cost, but labor can be $30/square foot).
Get the look: White Opulence OC-69 by Benjamin Moore is shown here.
DIY level: Easy weekend project. After prepping the brick, use masonry primer and at least two coats of water-based interior paint. Do not paint the fireplace interior.
Cost: Less than $100; Benjamin Moore's Natura zero-VOC paint line starts at $53/gallon, plus primer and brush.
Get the look: Graham & Brown's Midsummer: Black (56503) (grahambrown.com).
DIY level: Easy afternoon project.
Cost: About $48/roll, plus about $40 for paste, wallpaper liner (recommended), and craft knife.