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THE LONG, COMFORTABLE WINTER

Want to turn your home into a place you'll love to live in, all winter long?

Borrow these bright ideas from professional decorators:

- Avoid stark ceilings by subtly tinting the white paint with a bit of your wall color. Alyssa Anthone says it makes the light seem to trickle down naturally.

- Know your palette. Choose colors that make you look and feel good, as with clothes. If you really love raspberry, salmon or sage, why settle for beige?

- Winter rooms live and die with texture. Start with gleaming wood, rough brick and cool marble. Add yummy fabrics like brushed cotton, chenille, velvet or mohair.

- Remember the power of pillows. Use scraps from your redecorating projects for an economical pile of comfy pillows that can be endlessly rearranged or changed seasonally.

- Surround yourself with beloved objects that make you happy.

- Think less window treatment, more natural light.

- Practical is beautiful. Plunk a bench with a hinged lid near the back door. It's a handy seat for wrestling with boots, and a great place to stash your galoshes.

- Bring the outdoors in by using natural materials -- oak, marble, brass, stone, etc. -- and decorative themes evoking trees or wildlife.

- Consider a summery feel for a winter room. Whitewashed walls, barely-there window treatments and bamboo sofas cushioned in sky blue and sand might soothe your winter-weary soul.