Portland designers Pamela Hill and Lois MacKenzie (modernbeachhouse.com) lifted this once-dark river-rock fireplace into the modern day with textured white tile.
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.