Living in Color at Home This Fall

November has been a truly beautiful month this year, providing a perfect lead up to the holidays and people gathering from far and wide at the family home. The autumnal colors we see driving down country lanes, parkways and neighborhoods just make us feel good. They lift our spirits and make us more aware of our surroundings as we race through our days.

The Question: How can I paint a room to achieve a sophisticated yet welcoming look?

Helen Lind of English Ivy Interiors says: Choose a real color not a shade for the walls and use it on the ceiling too.

The image of the turning leaves, burnt orange, sienna, sunflower yellow, pomegranate, copper gold, offers one last burst of joyous color before we slip into the dead of winter. There are many decorating books available illustrating how the mood of a room can be changed by use of color. An excellent source book which shows the same rooms with different color arrangements is 1001 Ideas for Color and Paint by Emma Callery. We no longer have to pour over endless shades of white charts but can use real colors whatever the size of the room. The colors of nature work especially well for us and create a sense of well being.

We show three bedrooms here which have shunned pastels and washed-out shades for true color yet still feel soft, welcoming and embracing, as a sanctuary should. They have been wallpapered not painted but the overall effect remains the same.

Importantly, the ceilings of all three rooms have been painted complementary colors and not shades of white. This decision achieves a sophisticated look at the same time as creating a nurturing environment. These bedrooms are elegant yet warm, inviting yet peaceful.

Choose your color scheme based on a favorite piece of artwork, comforter or rug. Even look at your own clothes to see what colors you favor. Cut out pictures from magazines and keep a scrap book. Before you paint, though, always test the color in a few areas of the room first to see how the time of day, and the light availability in general, affects the tone. Also consider the impact of artificial and natural light.

Enjoy your home and your life, and enjoy living in color.

Helen Lind is an interior decorator and home stager working in Long Island and Manhattan. You can contact her at (516) 922-3518 for a consultation and proposal, and visit

 Get more great decorating tips from Helen Lind and English Ivy Interiors here!

More from Our Sister Sites