From the Editor

Painting is a simple way to spruce up a house. And when times are tough, color offers an economical way to brighten your outlook too. It’s no coincidence that national magazines have started off 2011 with their covers touting “Easy Paint Makeovers” (This Old House) and “Color Made Easy” (Better Homes and Gardens).

Don’t be afraid to experiment beyond good old linen white. Paint experts recommend incorporating a splash of color here and there to add some zest to your décor. Even changing one wall, a piece of furniture, curtains, or a throw pillow can invigorate a room.

In this issue of the magazine, lively colors play a starring role in two of our featured homes: Linda Mason and Roger Brown’s vibrant Victorian cottage in Vineyard Haven (page 24), and the East Chop home and garden of Motown mogul Sylvia Rhone (page 50). To help you get started thinking creatively about color, writer Karla Araujo has interviewed some design and painting pros (page 34).

Color can be just as easy to incorporate in the garden. If roses are your style, you’ll find inspiration in Nina Bramhall’s gorgeous photos and Sally Bennett’s personal experience (page 60). If you live in a house with a small garden to fill, layering a number of plants can result in a lush and vivid presentation (page 22).

If you have a green thumb for growing veggies and fruits, bring them inside to enjoy throughout the year by canning them. Our step-by-step instructions and tasty recipes will get you started (page 74).

There’s a rainbow of ways you can brighten your home – and life.