That touch of black

I'm a firm believer in the design principal that every room needs to have a touch of black; it grounds the space. Recently I helped a friend add a touch of black to his own living room in one of my favorite spots - the fireplace surround.
Before the fireplace lacked presence in the room. It also unfortunately had been rebuilt at some point and featured a very new, ugly brick surround in contrast to the original antique brick hearth (floor). Ignore the unpainted trim to the right, I also helped redesign the trim throughout the room and it hasn't been painted yet!
While my cell phone snaps don't do it justice, the new painted brick surround is a great focal point, won't show soot stains if the fire smokes, and now pairs nicely with the untouched antique brick hearth. Small changes can make such a large difference. 
I did the same in my own home. The fireplaces in my old COOP building are no longer functioning for insurance reasons but the fireplace remains a focal point in my living room. Above you can see how I painted the interior and the surround black.
Before (on a walk through with my Realtor before purchasing the apartment) you can see the surround painted white with no contrast to the mantel (and the hideously old wall to wall carpeting). What do you think of adding a touch of black to a space?

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