House Plants: It's Not Easy Being Green (in my house)

House plants and trees can add a fresh and natural look to pretty much any home, but when it comes to growing things in my house, I did not get the green thumb gene.  My gardens outside do okay (at least until August when I get bored and everything shrivels), but anything real and green inside is doomed.  There are two exceptions:  1) an orchid in my master bathroom which seems to thrive on neglect and steamy showers; and 2) a plant given to me by my aunt which is in a too small pot and only gets watered about once per month.  I'm slightly afraid of putting it in a larger pot for fear it will take over the living room.  Here's a picture of it (anyone know what it's called?):

I am considering putting something small and green on my family room mantle.  I even have the pot ready for it but I just haven't brought myself to buy the plant for fear of its fate.  I plan to buy one soon so I'll let you know the result (and when to mourn its loss).

I have mixed feelings about fake flowers.  I like them on wreaths and maybe some fake cut flowers in rooms where we don't spend much time (like a guest room), but I don't like to look at them all the time - probably because of the dust.  I adore cut flowers and often have some in bright hues on my kitchen island (as you can see in most of the pictures).

Take this poll and see how others feel about interior green.

I also welcome suggestions for small and sturdy house plant varieties!