I have no decorating sense whatsoever, as anyone who has visited my home can attest.  If I had a big, bigger, unlimited, budget I could happily duplicate something I have seen and loved in a magazine or on a blog but alas that is not the situation. So I have taken pictures of the first room in my home and am going to ask for lots of constructive input.  I just got the go ahead to shop for carpet because my hubby found out he will get a bonus in March, yippee.  Carpet input is my priority request.  I am posting pictures of my very small living room and as you will see it needs help.  I love my fireplace and clearly it will stay and be the focal point.  I need some ideas for the mantle since it is still bare after the post-Christmas/Winter clean off.  The brown couches will stay but that is pretty much it.  Have at

it creative friends and family!

I do love my fireplace. Should I paint the gold surround flat black?

Inside front door which goes right into the living room.

Living Room window. This whole wall seems like wasted space...would love to eventually have built-in bookshelves here. Any other ideas for this space?