Paint Color – Using Color in North, South, East & West Facing Rooms


Why does the same color look great in one room but not necessarily in another?

The way a room is orientated and the amount of direct and indirect light it receives can have a big influence on the color choices you make regarding painting the walls. Each exposure has its own set of challenges but by utilizing some tried and true designer advice you can that make the most of the light you have.

North Facing – Without much natural sunlight these rooms tend to be dark and can be a challenge to decorate. But the flipside of this is that whatever color you paint on the wall will appear true and won’t be washed out or overpowered by direct sunlight. The sky is the limit in a room with this exposure – the color you choose will depend on the mood you are trying to create. A darker toned green Like Sherwin Williams Inland #SW6452 will wrap you in its warmth and feel like a cocoon in a bedroom, while a lighter toned yellow like Benjamin Moore Secluded Beach #899 will chase away the gray and make the room more lively and interesting.

South Facing – How do you make the most of painting a room with the sunniest exposure of all? There is no hard and fast rule for painting southern facing rooms so take advantage of the light and make the most of it. You can choose a creamy yellow, soft white or peachy hue that plays up the warmth and light like Benjamin Moore’s Seashell #OC-120, Pratt & Lambert’s Western Sand #5-30 or Farrow & Ball Dorset Cream #68. Think pale pink with colors like Benjamin Moore Gentle Butterfly #2173-70 or Benjamin Moore Pink Harmony #2013-60. Blues and greens work well too as these cooler hues can handle a sunny southern exposure – try Benjamin Moore White Rain #708 or Farrow & Ball Chinese Blue #90

East Facing - The first light of the day is subtle and warm, it wakes you from your slumber and beckons you to great the day. Colors used in east facing rooms should take advantage of this gentle light and not fight with it. Think subtle, soft and warm when choosing colors for east facing rooms like Benjamin Moore Vanilla Cookie #372, Benjamin Moore Weston Flax #HC-5, Farrow & Ball Cream #44

West Facing – The light of the day in these rooms is extremely strong so you want a color that will cool down the room and help absorb some of that light. Colors that work best tend to be on the cooler side of the color wheel like: blues, greens, purples, grays and toned whites. Depending on the intensity of the color you chose it can transform a room and make it feel serene, airy and bright.  Any of these colors will do the trick: Benjamin Moore Valley Forge Tan #AC-35   Benjamin Moore Touch of Gray #2116-60 Benjamin Moore Dill Pickle #2147-60   Benjamin Moore Misty Lilac #2071-70  Benjamin Moore Spring Mint #2040-70

Check in next week where I’ll interview an expert in the Faux Finishing Industry who’ll talk about the latest trends and what is timeless in the world of faux finishing.


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