Monday, March 21, 2011

The Pulp: How Light effects Color

North Facing Rooms:

The color of the light in a north facing room is cool. If you paint the room blue it will appear more blue. If you are trying to achieve a subtle color then you need to be careful with cool tones because they will appear with a blue cast. You can use more dramatic colors like red, yellow or pink hues in these type of North facing rooms because the color doesn’t change much from morning to sunset. Use warm tones if you want to offset the coolness of the light. Generally, the best rooms to face North are bedrooms, this gives the room a calmness.

To get the look of the 18th-century-style dining room, use BENJAMIN MOORE GULF STREAM 670. This is an example of a cool color being used in a North facing room, it intensifies the coolness of the color.

A warm neutral will appear more warm grey.
Pink is a great color to use in a North facing room. It warms up the naturally cool light.


The gold drapes help to warm up this N facing room.

Using olive green is great way to make a N facing room appear more fun.

South Facing Rooms:

The color of the light in a South facing room is warm. The light is plentiful. You can use warm or cool colors. The best rooms to face South are the main living areas. Southern light is the best light for your outdoor space, so if you are buying a house choose the outdoor area to be South. Especially here in Texas, you definitely don’t want a West facing outdoor area nor living area. Be careful to pick too bold of colors in these rooms because there is so much light already they will appear brighter. Go with a lighter hue then you would like it to be.

The warm neutral color is perfect!


The cool blue still works great

You can use a dark color on the walls and the rooms still appears bright.


Be careful using bright whites because they can become glaring.
Red is not too dark when used in accents.

This is a bad example of the color yellow in a South facing room. The color is too bold.

These are a better hue of yellow for the wall. A little color goes a long way!

East Facing Rooms:

The color of the light in a East facing room is warm and bright in the morning and changes to a dark cooler light in the evening. The best colors seem to be blues, greens, and violets because they look bright and fresh in the morning but appear a darker shade of itself in the afternoon. Yellows and orange are good too. They are bright and cheery in the morning but become more subdued in the afternoon. The best rooms to face East are the kitchen, bathrooms, breakfast and laundry rooms. These are the rooms you want to wake up in! Be careful not to go with too bold with the hue because the morning sun is intense.

Here's some examples of cheery rooms:








This shows how intense the sun can affect the room's color.

This will appear a brighter green in the morning and be more muted in the afternoon.

Neutrals still work great in Eastern light.

West Facing Rooms:

The color of the light in a West facing room is warm and will become intense in the afternoon until the sun sets. Think of all the colors in a sunset and how those colors can filter through your windows into your room. All colors work well in Western light, however, reds, yellows and oranges become very intense in the afternoon. It may be best to paint these rooms in cooler colors. The best rooms to face West are the rooms that have no windows, for instance; closets and the garage. The sun heats up these rooms and it's best to shade the west side of your house as much as possible to keep your house or building cool.

You can see how the sun affects the white walls.
This is the sun's affect on a bold orange wall in the afternoon. If this is your intent then go for it!

• Remember to paint a large sample at least 2'x2' section on the walls in the room and check the color at different times a day.
• The same color may not work in every room due to the direction it faces (I learned this the hard way! I painted my entry 4 times!)
• Just as the sun changes during seasons so does the affect it has on your paint color.
• Not everyone can have perfect orientation (South - Backyard/Outdoor area) so you need to have this in mind when you are picking paint colors, whether you want to warm or cool down a room.
• Think about how you live too. Are you a morning person and like a bright sunny bedroom? Are you a late riser and need a calming bedroom?

~Brandy

Many things to consider when choosing a paint color!

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