I wish I had a dime for every house I have been in that has the same builder grade white painted fireplace. BORING. With just a little bit of glaze and a few embellishments tacked on you can create a smoking fireplace with or without a fire. This is an easy do it yourself project. I've written before about it here.
Another way to add some heat to your fireplace is by applying a plaster or concrete micro topping. I would suggest you leave this to a professional faux finisher. We use a product called E-crete. Here is a fireplace that we just finished that was fauxed to look like limestone. It started out as just a shell built from HardieBacker board. You can also put this over top of just about any surface or substrate including tile and wood. Brooks put on the E-crete and then aged it to look like limestone. For more information on E-crete talk to our friend Dirk at Finish FX. So the next time you are ready to add a little dazzle to your home, think about a fireplace makeover.