John Lyle: Fiery Inspiration

November 19, 2013

Do you get blue when the season becomes gray? I do. For so many years fall got me depressed because next came winter…I am truly affected by light, and fall-ing into winter was like a Sunday night promising school the next day…the prophet of impending misery.

I have spent a lot of winters in Maine and New York and as winter set in a few years back, a dear friend mentioned that the Winter Solstice was coming up. “Oh Goodie, the bleakest of bleak,” I groused. His beautiful response turned my thoughts on the subject around. He said, “This day is the pinnacle of looking inward and inside the home for joy. It’s a time for gathering by the hearth with a nice crackling fire and candlelight. It is cooking and meeting together with family and friends and most importantly, cocktails as usual.” 

Well that sounded more palatable. So my feelings changed. The light of candles and flames in the fireplace soothed my longer evenings.

The combination of fire, and the colors of fire, red, orange, yellow, family and friends are sure to keep your winter aglow with nourishing light.

My Manhattan apartment is ablaze with color. Hot Salmon walls and a hand-knotted, silk rug designed and made in Kathmandu. I am happy in here all year long.


A vivid warm yellow beams in my brother’s family living room. We had the honor of being included in Metropolitan Home‘s final issue.

Bring back Met Home!

I used Farrow and Ball’s Rectory Red in high-gloss oil to cheer up this Maine dining room. Farrow and Ball featured this project in their The Art of Color book.

For Joan Collin’s New York apartment’s library, Farrow and Ball’s Blazer Red in dead flat Estate Emulsion.  For an apartment with no view to speak of it feels quite cheerful thanks to clever use of color.

Warming it up in my kitchen….apple pie underway. And a little wine, of course.

Doesn’t late fall just have Bourbon written all over it?

-John Lyle

For over 25 years John Lyle has designed outstanding interiors, furniture and accessories that are not content to blend in with the crowd. Find out more at

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