Color Palettes for North-Facing Rooms
Color is essentially light. As such, one of the most significant factors impacting the way we perceive color is the source of light in a space. Regarding interior design, this may include lighting fixtures, but more than anything else, it will refer to the available natural light.
Since the sun is on a constant journey from east to west, natural light enters spaces differently depending on the direction the windows face. That means that one must consider the direction of a room before choosing a paint color. Finding color palettes for north-facing rooms, in particular, can be particularly difficult.
Challenges of North-Facing Rooms
Rooms that face east and west benefit from receiving the full force of the sun during at least part of the day. South-facing rooms receive the warmest, most intense light.
North-facing rooms, however, tend to receive the weakest light, making it tricky for designers. Even with ample sunlight, the light in north-facing rooms is typically grey with tinges of blue. This can magnify cooler colors in a space and make it seem bleak if you aren’t careful. That’s why finding the right color palette for a north-facing room is so important.
To make a north-facing room appear brighter, many homeowners attempt to paint it white or grey. However, because these spaces magnify the grey and cool undertones, these colors tend to make the room appear darker and colder. A better idea is to use neutral colors with warmer undertones, such as beige, tan, or even yellow. Good examples of these include our colors “Follow the Leader” or “Jonquil Trail.”
Cool Meets Warm
Although designers tend to avoid using cool colors in north-facing rooms, there are some exceptions. As with neutral colors, the trick is to look for cooler colors with warmer undertones. For instance, because greens are a combination of blue and yellow, they often appear a little warmer in north-facing rooms, as do blues with green undertones. If you want a green room, our “Sabo Garden” may be a good option, while “Outerspace” may work better for those who want blue.
Embrace the Dark
Rather than try to make the space appear brighter, some opt to embrace the darkness by choosing richer colors to add depth and coziness to the room. The key is to choose dark colors with less black in the undertones, such as our “Stairway to Heaven” or “Bridesmaid.” You can also balance this look by adding lighter colors in the moldings or ceiling.
North-facing rooms can be a challenge, but that doesn’t mean they can’t look incredible. Our wide selection of interior eggshell paints will help you create a welcoming look, whatever direction your room faces.