If dreary forecasts get your spirits down now that it's officially autumn, consider taking control by adding cheerful colors to your home. Summer greens and vibrant colors of flowers can be preserved with just a few simple "magical" design strokes. Let's see how.

If dreary forecasts get your spirits down now that it's officially autumn, consider taking control by adding cheerful colors to your home. Summer greens and vibrant colors of flowers can be preserved with just a few simple "magical" design strokes. Let's see how.


Neutral carpets, hardwood floors, tile or marble flooring can be awakened with colorful area rugs. Area rugs or simple throw rugs can transform a room without the expense of remodeling. Once a colorful area rug has been selected, add a few accent pieces of the same colors throughout the room for balance and continuity.


How about bringing nature inside -- even if nature is asleep at the time?


Picking flowers in winter might not be possible unless you live in say, Florida, but you can still add flowers to a room with a high-quality artificial floral arrangement.


"High-quality" is key to making this idea look good. An artificial floral arrangement can be used in the dining room, living room and/or foyer. Some might prefer floral art on the wall to an artificial floral arrangement, and that's fine, too.


Silk green plants work well, as they add a feeling of nature while needing no care other than an occasional dusting.


How about bringing color to your kitchen with colorful dishes? Everyday eating might be a little more fun with colorful dishes, and they can be a variety of colors -- not just one. If your color scheme has blue, yellow and white, buy dishes in all those colors. If it's teal, green and rust, buy dishes in those colors. Whatever your colors are, mix, match and coordinate them all in the dishes. Don't be afraid of color -- it's fun. If purchasing dishes is more than you want to do, you can still brighten up your kitchen with colorful placemats, tablecloths or napkins.


More permanent ideas would be appliances in colors. Larger appliances such as stoves, ovens, refrigerators and dishwashers are available in a variety of colors. Less-expensive options include colorful toasters, coffee makers and blenders. Color is out there. All you have to do is shop.


Don't forget throw pillows. They are easy to buy, easy to replace when you become tired of them and they toss nicely on sofas, love seats, easy chairs and beds.


Speaking of beds, how about buying colorful sheets and pillowcases? Sometimes we forget to buy new bedding, and sometimes just purchasing fresh, new bedding can make sleeping a little more fun and relaxing.


So don't despair when colors fade outside. Make your own colors inside.


Rosemary Sadez Friedmann, an interior designer in Naples, Fla., is author of "Mystery of Color." For design inquiries, write to Rosemary at DsgnQuest@aol.com.