My North Facing Room Paint Color Is Depressing Me

freaking-out-over-your-paint-colors

 

I recently received a letter which is a common issue regarding a north facing room paint color.

Dear Laurel,

Our entire back of the house faces north and on top of it, there’s a big hill behind us. It’s a townhouse, so the two rooms are the kitchen and den. The kitchen has a kind of bay window and it captures some of the western light, but the den is pretty dark except for about an hour for two weeks out of the year. 🙂

I recently painted the room and thinking that I wanted to brighten up the space and make it seem larger, I painted it white. Our sofa is brown leather and there is  a beige rug. I hate it. It is cold, boring and depressing, not light and airy.

Thanks for any light you can shed on this.

Susan Stumpt

***

Ahhh… the north facing room paint color challenge.  The first thing to keep in mind, is that it is… what it is… and it’s best to work with what ya got. North facing light is cool. If the paint color has any gray, green, blue or lavender undertones, those are going to be magnified.

Stark white has gray undertones. Henceforth, it is likely to look gray and dingy— not airy and bright.

The second point is that white is a color.

It’s a problem when we think of white as a means to make a room brighter, bigger or because we’re afraid of making a mistake. Or, we just can’t commit.

White will never make a cool, dim room seem bright, airy and larger.

In fact, dark colors make a room look larger and you CAN paint a dim room a dark color.

If it’s night-time, there is no natural light in any case.

Therefore, a big aspect in choosing a paint color is the lighting.

Here’s another thing.

Almost any color that’s a good color, to begin with, will look good in a north facing room unless:

  • you are expecting it to look a certain way
  • you don’t understand that the color IS going to change, but that is not always a bad thing.
  • you need to be willing to furnish the room in a manner that complements the color appropriately.

For example: You painted your walls white and now they look like pale gray and your sofa is a warm brown. The floors are medium. For this to have the beginnings of working, the floors would have to be very dark and the white would need to be a warmer shade.

We get into trouble when we consider elements of a room in isolation instead of as a complete composition.

However, a good rule for north facing rooms is to choose colors with warm undertones.

And one last point is that any room with either north facing light [unless there are a ton of windows] or are darker for some other reason, is going to render a paint color to look deeper.

Darker rooms can take a lot of pigment, so your north facing rooms are great places to go for the more dramatic.

Okay, now here’s the deal. I could give you 100’s of colors that will look great in north facing rooms, but for today, I’m going to give a range of some great choices. Some will have photos and some won’t. I’m also going to depart from the wildly popular gray shades. Yes, many of them look lovely in north facing rooms, but with some caveats. These are all classic colors. And by the way, just because gray and blue are very popular right now, if you want your room to be yellow, gold, peach, red— whatever. Go for it!

Here are 13 Benjamin Moore Paint colors that look great in north facing rooms.

Some have wondered if you can paint a north facing room white and absolutely, I think that you can. My favorite, clean, soft, non-yellow white from Benjamin Moore is:

 Benjamin Moore Cotton Balls oc-122

thomas-o

thomas-obrien

  Thomas O’brien

ashley-whittakerAshley Whittaker

Benjamin Moore Ivory White 925 is the perfect shade of cream, however I have also used 905 Lily of the Valley

mas-de-pilon-provence-france-bunny-williamsBunny Williams

Benjamin Moore 899 secluded beach is a recommendation of Allison Palladino. It’s the only color here, that I’ve never used.

spiced pumpkin

Benjamin Moore Spiced Pumpkin 034 is a wonderful north facing room paint color

living-room-bronxville

Benjamin Moore HC-4 Hawthorne Yellow – my living room where I also work. It’s an absolutely fabulous color. My room does face south, however, any time of the day, sunny, cloudy and especially at night, it is fabulous.

Carolyne Roehm_AS Book_09-13 116

Carolyne Roehm

This looks like Benjamin Moore HC-12 Concord Ivory which is a deeper more saturated yellow.

benjamin-more-henderson-buff

Benjamin Moore Henderson Buff HC-15

laurel-bern-interiors-better-homes-gardens-december-20041

The above room is also Henderson Buff. Geeezzz… my printer was acting up, but I got it to print. This is a home that I did 14 years ago! I can’t believe it! This photo was part of a spread in the December 2004 issue of Better Homes and Gardens. The room didn’t face directly north, but it also didn’t get a tremendous amount of light as there was a large hill behind the home. The color positively glowed. This is a home that was built in the 1700’s in historic Waccabuc, NY. Oh, you’ve never heard of it? That’s okay. That’s the way they like it. ;]

Moder-White-Living-Room-with-Red-Wall-White-Sofa-and-Black-Coffee-Table

I’m finishing off with red. Red is a fabulous color for a north facing room. It always looks good.  The room above looks to be Benjamin Moore 2003-10 million dollar red

Now, here are a few things that you may not know about red.
  • it does not make you all crazy [well crazier than you are, already] :] In fact, a red room can be surprisingly soothing
  • you can use both warm and cooler shades of red in a north facing room

Years ago, I had a new neighbor who wanted me to help her decorate her 13-yr-old daughter’s room. It had the same exposure as my son’s room. Their room was a wonderful gold from Pratt and Lambert. Quite frankly, I have no idea how I came up with this color.

Benjamin Moore 1337 Mediterranean Spice. It is a red veering on magenta and let me tell you— it is magical. As a matter of fact, I had a flooring contractor use it in his daughter’s room and they were both extremely pleased. It’s a wonderful color!

john-charlesJohn Charles

Benjamin Moore 2003-20 Strawberry Red. We did this once in a master bedroom and it was really wonderful.

Private Res., Purchase, NY/Stedila Design

Stedila Design

 Benjamin Moore 1300 Tucson Red

I’m finishing off with another room that was done about 10 years ago.

poundridgelr-848x1000

Benjamin Moore 1309 Moroccan Red

I wish I could write more…It’s been a very difficult week. My dearest, bestest friend [she doesn’t read my blog] is fighting for her life. I’m so scared.

Of course, paint— hell, everything is completely trivial. However, it’s been good to keep my mind occupied.

I love all of you who tread gently here— dearly.

xo,

laurel

 

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  • Kim Doyle - May 29, 2017 - 11:28 AM

    Hi Laurel, just re-reading this post years later… I noticed you did not include any blues or grey choices… are these poor options for a North facing bedroom? Thanks for any thoughts on this.ReplyCancel

    • Kim Doyle - May 29, 2017 - 2:18 PM

      Laurel thanks for this. I love your posts on colors and have used a lot of ideas from them over the years. Appreciate your quick response.

      KimReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - May 29, 2017 - 1:25 PM

      Hi Kim,

      Well, every south-facing room is like a north facing room in the morning. Nobody ever mentions that. And then there’s cloudy/rainy days, like it is here today in the northeast.

      My southwest facing bedroom at 1:19 PM has a cool tinge to it. But the trim which is basic Benjamin Moore white (I didn’t paint it), actually looks a little creamy right now.

      In the living room, next to the hawthorne yellow, it looks its usual stark white. The yellow looks a little deeper as does the kitchen’s pale avocado.

      And then there’s night.

      I would paint the walls a color that you like, but first do your tests. The colors will look more even in a north facing room, but usually a little darker and cooler. Usually.

      The thing I’ve come to realize is that there are no hard and fast rules because the variables are too many.ReplyCancel

  • George Costakis - August 15, 2016 - 10:34 AM

    I know this is an old post but I’ve been struggling to find a paint color for an East facing living room (with only one window). It’s darker like a North facing room.

    What do you think it is about Cotton Balls that makes it work in a North facing room?It seems similar to White Dove but White Dove on the walls did not work. Too dingy in this room (great every where else).

    I may have to try it.

    I already tried Hawthorne Yellow and Van Courtland Blue and White Dove with no luck. When I say tried, I mean I painted the entire room. It’s now a light blue, Behr Glacial Stream…which also isn’t working. 🙁ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 15, 2016 - 4:13 PM

      Hi George,

      I wish I could offer you advice, but I’m not there. I don’t know what your other furnishings are and if there are other problems that need to be addressed.

      My best advice is to consult with a designer for some suggestions so that you don’t continue to paint color after color, only to discover after a dozen colors, that the problem isn’t the paint color.ReplyCancel

      • George - August 15, 2016 - 4:24 PM

        Thank you Laurel!

        I did actually send out a few emails to color consultants and I’m waiting to here back.

        I should have done it sooner! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • juliejoseph - June 25, 2016 - 3:51 AM

    Hi Laurel
    Just wondering if ivory white/acadia white would be a good colour for my classroom walls? It’s a large room but north facing. Have to have lights on all day as it’s so dark and dull in there. The tables chairs are yellow and half of the walls will be covered with bulletin boards which will have lots of other colours on them. I want the wall colour to compliment the other brighter colours that will be in the room and to also give an overall crisp/fresh feeling.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - June 25, 2016 - 9:22 AM

      Hi Julie,

      Good luck with that. It sounds like you might need a color consultation, so perhaps consider hiring someone who does that. ReplyCancel

  • Bambi Mayer - June 17, 2016 - 12:54 AM

    Laurel,
    I will keep you and your friend in my thoughts and prayers. Thank your for your wonderful blog–I read and study each one and have learned so much. I am one of those who rarely comments on blogs but wanted to send wishes of peace and calm your way.
    BambiReplyCancel

    • Bambi Mayer - June 17, 2016 - 1:07 AM

      Good grief–I just realized from reading the comments that this was an older blog post. I’m sorry for my confusion and sorry for the loss of your dear friend!
      BambiReplyCancel

      • Laurel Bern - June 17, 2016 - 9:09 AM

        Oh, Bambi. I very much needed your kind words. I believe that it was Elaine speaking through you. She needed to get a message to me. So, there’s no need for any apology whatsoever. I’m very grateful you spoke up! {{{hugs}}}ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - June 17, 2016 - 1:05 AM

      That is so kind of you Bambi. Elaine died February 6, 2015… She put up a tremendous fight but her cancer was already quite advanced when it was discovered. Her prognosis was exceedingly grim from day-one but she didn’t want to know that; not that I blame her.

      Today was a difficult one so a little peace and calm is especially welcome. Thank you, thank you!ReplyCancel

      • Brooke - February 1, 2017 - 9:54 PM

        Hi Laurel- i am sneaking this comment in thinking not many ppl will notice it. I am sorry about your friend Elaine. My bestie passed from recurrent breast cancer April 8, 2016. She was so positive so we never really talked about what if and then it was on tip of us and she was gone only a few weeks after i realized that it wasnt just the chemo that was making her so tired etc. i tell ppl that i am a lone wolf now! They just look at me confused but I can’t see that i will ever have another friend like Charlotte. I completely understand the good days and then the days where she’s just on my mind and i am crabby. I’ve not had a chance to speak w anyone else who has lost a best friend so I appreciate that we don’t just have paint in common. Charlotte’s fav paint color was sw sea salt btw. Peace and love, Brooke in WIReplyCancel

        • Laurel Bern - February 1, 2017 - 10:44 PM

          Oh Brooke,

          I am so sorry for your loss! And yes, I do understand. It’s incredibly painful. I cannot believe that Monday will be two years since Elaine passed. Before she got sick, she used to say that we’d be two little old ladies with our canes one day.

          I realize that one rarely has a chance to say good-bye. Or maybe it’s every good-bye with a loved one should be the last one. I try to live my life like that. But of course, forget sometimes. Here’s a {{{{big cyber hug}}}}ReplyCancel

  • jeana - June 4, 2016 - 3:41 PM

    I am needing help with a north facing master bedroom. I have espresso wood floors and furniture. I have decided to remove monroe bisque and try something outside of yellow. Revere Pewter was a little boring for my bedroom. Can you make any suggestions outside of yellow with all the dark wood i have …this is my #3 painting project.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - June 5, 2016 - 12:37 AM

      I’m sorry Jeana,

      I don’t give advice unless it’s a local client who’s paying me. It’s almost impossible to do well online, in any case since I can’t see what else is going on. ReplyCancel

  • Lori - May 31, 2016 - 3:56 PM

    Hi Laurel,
    I’m taking your advice and painting my dark, nw facing living room bm ivory white/acadia white . What color trim would look good with acadia white?

    Thank you for a great blog!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - May 31, 2016 - 6:25 PM

      Hi Lori,

      When it comes to paint colors, it is always a suggestion; not you should paint your walls this color. And I say this because your lighting might make the color do something weird. So, always test. Although, I have seen Ivory/Acadia in many, many lights and I think it always looks terrific.

      99.999% of the time, if I specify a white for the walls, I have the trim painted the same color but in semi-gloss. I think it’s a very rich look and I’m not alone in that viewpoint. I did this in my living room 20 years ago and never tired of it. But I had a lot of mouldings. It was really pretty.

      If you feel strongly that you want a contrast, you could look at white dove, cotton balls, simply white or cloud white.ReplyCancel

  • Kara - May 15, 2016 - 2:16 PM

    We just painted our daughter’s bedroom Cotton Balls based on this blog post (don’t worry we tested it too). It came out beautifully. She didn’t want a cream or yellow and definitely didn’t want it to look gray.This color is warm and not at all dingy without going yellow. Perfect.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - May 15, 2016 - 2:23 PM

      Hi Kara,

      Yes, that’s right! This is a magical color! Glad it worked out for you and your daughter!ReplyCancel

  • TWK - February 7, 2016 - 12:20 AM

    Laurel, Thank you so much for you amazing site. Per one of your recommendations, I recently painted one of our north facing bedrooms (with a hill behind it) Benjamin Moore Abalone. It is so beautiful, warm and dynamic. It’s sophisticated but not stuffy. Just perfect. Thanks! Next to furnishings. I just purchased my new furniture ruler! Thanks again.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 7, 2016 - 1:20 AM

      Thanks for sharing that with me TWK! Abalone is one of my favorite colors and always looks wonderful.

      Great about the ruler. Making a little floorplan really helps!ReplyCancel

  • Gina - November 12, 2015 - 2:40 PM

    Medium or deep blues seem to be hard to put in North facing rooms. They go black at night unless you have alot of wattage. Have you had success with any that stay true to their color tone. I know the warmer the better but still even with alot of lighting some areas will go very dark in corners at night unless a light blue is used and many like a navy.ReplyCancel

    • Mae - August 23, 2016 - 1:25 PM

      I have van deusen blue in my dining room, a beautiful navy color that does not go green or purple. Although this room faces south, I have a lot of trees outside that keep it really quite dark throughout the day; really the light is no different than some of my north facing rooms). I’d had a bluish gray there before, basically a French gray (which I see Emily Henderson recommends for smallish, dark rooms), but this lighter blue looked dead and cold in there.

      I paired with Decorators White trim. It’s very white with a bluish gray undertone (this white stays white in all my rooms, not dingy).

      The room is cozy, the contrast is great and complimentary.ReplyCancel

      • Laurel Bern - August 24, 2016 - 10:35 AM

        Hi Mae,

        That sounds terrific. I love Van Deusen blue and have it in the Laurel Home Essential Paint Color Collection.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - November 13, 2015 - 4:46 PM

      Hi Gina, Yeah… If one is doing incandescent or even warm LEDs, the yellow which is the complimentary of blue, will suck it out and render it to be something else. Sometimes even purple!

      Yes, color does tend to go darker in the corners. It all depends on the placement of windows, how many, etc.

      One trick with dark colors is mirrors. Or even a piece of mirrored furniture. One piece. (unless it’s a pair of something) But a mirror with a light in front of it is going to do some amazing things in a dark room!

      My best recommendation is to test all colors both day and night, cloudy and sunny, and all times of the day.

      BTW, I am not a fan of so-called “natural daylight” bulbs. Horrendous. Like an airport parking lot! lol Too white. Too cold. I’ve never seen daylight be that color! ReplyCancel

  • Heather - October 31, 2015 - 4:44 PM

    I really wish I would have come across this site prior to having my house professionally painted. You are so helpful! We’ve lived in our home for 8 years and still had the painter’s flat paint throughout. Since we were in need of a fresh look, I decided I wanted to stay neutral but go with a new “greige” look. We have white (not quite white but not ivory) trim so I thought the gray colors would be great. I love the color in our whole house except the north facing family room and kitchen which is of course where we spend the majority of our time. I originally had it painted SW Amazing Gray, which I like everywhere else but in the north facing room it just turned green on me. I ended up having it repainted with Mega Greige in there, which I love in our office and bedroom, but it is a little darker than I was anticipating. We have medium cherry cabinets in the kitchen and fireplace with white trim everywhere else. Any suggestions for a lighter, but warmer gray color next time around? It’s next to the room with Amazing Gray but divided by an archway.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - November 1, 2015 - 12:36 AM

      Hi Heather, My only suggestion when someone needs advice is to test, test, test! I’m sorry, but at present, I’m not doing paint consults.ReplyCancel

  • KG - September 14, 2015 - 3:16 PM

    So glad I found your lovely site. North facing New england kitchen dilemma! We are adding windows on the northwest side and get a bit of northeast light but basically still a dark north facing kitchen with trees all round. I’d love a white kitchen because I already know how gloomy the dark cabinets and sage walls (we did not pick these!) are. So although dark colours might look wonderful I want a light, airy, light-reflecting creamy white. I have read your various posts about white but still would appreciate your suggestion on THE white.

    p.s. not a bit fan of the grey trend. 1880s shingle style house. Thank you!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - September 14, 2015 - 11:59 PM

      KG, The best advice I can give is to pick two or three of the whites that appeal to you the most. Go to the store and buy some sample sizes and make a 12 x 12 sample on heavy poster board. Then, tape it flat against the wall. Hold up your other givens in the direction that they will be living. Then, move the entire thing to a different wall. But also look at this post. I can guarantee that one of these will be perfect. https://laurelberninteriors.com/2015/03/22/the-only-six-white-paint-trim-colors-youll-need/ReplyCancel

  • Mary Anne Clark - August 25, 2015 - 10:56 AM

    I have the infamous North facing living room challenge and it is driving me crazy. Thank you for addressing this issue.ReplyCancel

  • Heather C. - July 30, 2015 - 10:07 PM

    Hi Laurel!

    I have been reading your blog and I love your advice and suggestions! My dilemma is a living room that is west facing but it is used both in the mornings and evenings! I’ve read suggestions and I’m uncertain of how to paint the room so it doesn’t look cold in the morning. I like the idea of a white of some sort, but won’t that look cold in the mornings? What colors would you suggest?ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - July 31, 2015 - 8:23 AM

      Hi Heather,

      Thank you so much! if you are in need of a paint consult, please contact me.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa Jones - July 29, 2015 - 12:55 AM

    HI Laurel,
    So sorry for the delayed response. I have been working like crazy trying to complete a few projects around here.
    Okay, back to the kitchen. I found a beautiful picture of hand waxed heart pine shiplap. It is stunning and adds such warmth to the space. Although they have much more wall area than I do in my kitchen, it will certainly give warmth to the white marble or subway tile that I plan to use. I believe omitting painting the walls completely is my plan for now. However, I will have a small island painted Deep Ocean (Ben Moore) to give it a punch of color and looks great with the Palladian Blue in the next room.
    I am sure I will be contacting you at some point for a paint consult before I complete other areas of this long drawn-out project. I’m really over it!
    I love all your articles as they are the best! Your writing style is funny, dramatic, and you do know your “stuff” as they say here in the South.

    Thank you so much Laurel!
    Lisa E. JonesReplyCancel

  • Lisa Jones - July 25, 2015 - 8:14 PM

    Laurel, I have no clue how to properly keep paint colors flowing from one room to the next. Please help! The North facing kitchen will have cabinets in Cotton Balls or White Dove with white subway tile on two walls and shiplap on two walls. The living room is Palladian Blue and hall bath is Gray Owl. Parts of each room can be seen at the same time. The hallway and kitchen need to be the same color and flow with these two existing colors. Should they be a dark warm or light warm color or ???? I am losing my mind trying to decide.

    Thank You!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - July 26, 2015 - 7:37 PM

      Hi Lisa,

      If interested in a paint consultation, please contact me for more info.ReplyCancel

  • Gail McGrath - July 2, 2015 - 11:17 PM

    Laurel, I recently found you and already have learned a lot. Will BM White Dove on walls and trim work in a north-facing room. Many thanks.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - July 3, 2015 - 1:04 AM

      Thanks so much Gail. I recently used white dove in a kitchen that’s north and east facing. The big one here in Bronxville. However… It has four huge windows and French Doors and actually those face south, so three exposures!

      WD does have a bit of gray in it. The best I can recommend is testing the color. I think one should do that in any case. Lighting has a mind of its own sometimes!ReplyCancel

      • Gail - July 3, 2015 - 4:37 PM

        Laurel, You were so right. My painter put a large sample of Dove White on the wall and when it dried, yuck !!! An awful dirty grey white. So now I’m on to BM Crisp Linen. Any thoughts? Many thanks.ReplyCancel

  • LeAnne Wilkes - June 30, 2015 - 11:43 AM

    Yes, I am totally freaking out about my paint colors!! We are moving from Georgia to South Dakota!! Unfortunately, I have no way to paint test swatches on the walls of our new home. Even though my husband has started his new job in SD he doesn’t understand the importance of testing paint on the walls. It’s really sort of funny, when I asked him to paint some test swatches on the walls, he told me to quit freaking out about the paint colors. LOL. He advised me it would be ok. Well maybe to him! (Did I mention he is colorblind?)
    I have two rooms I am really concerned about. In my basement, we will have two bedrooms that are north facing. The only natural light will come from egress windows. I really love the gray colors and was planning on using it through much of the house. I am reconsidering that decision for these two rooms after reading your guide. The trim throughout the house is a dark espresso brown as well as the interior doors.
    I would appreciate any suggestions you may have. Our paint will be coming from Sherwin Williams. I love their color Sea Salt, LRV 63. Again, anything you can suggest would be great. If I have crossed the line on what’s a blog request and a consultation, I understand . Thank you very much.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - June 30, 2015 - 1:39 PM

      Hi Leann,

      Thanks for all of that. Yes, this is definitely a consultation. If you’re interested please write to me directly to discuss. Many thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Debbie - June 19, 2015 - 5:09 PM

    Laurel,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to write this blog while you were immersed with the stress of caring for your best friend. I truly hope that your friend was able to pull through her medical emergency and is still with you now.

    Your advice on paints for a north facing room has helped me to help my Mom and Dad who are going through their own medical issues right now. I am on my way up to their city to paint their rental property so they do not have to stress about it so my Dad can concentrate on healing and my Mom can focus on being there for my Dad. Your advice has lifted the stress off my shoulders on picking the correct colour for the apartment.

    It is amazing how, when a person writes out things when going through the valleys of despair, those things that are written from the heart keep helping people for many years to come. Thank you for being faithful and for being strong enough to keep writing. It is greatly appreciated.

    DebbieReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - June 19, 2015 - 6:26 PM

      Hi Debbie,

      How incredibly kind you are! My beautiful Elaine passed away on February 6th— the day before my birthday. Her cancer was quite advanced when discovered and not curable. And then… she did not respond favorably to treatment.

      I’m so glad that I could be helpful. I will pray that your Dad will heal quickly.

      Thank you again for your kind message!ReplyCancel

      • Sarah - May 2, 2016 - 3:12 PM

        Thanks for the paint tips, and I’m sorry to hear about your friend. Paint somehow seems like so much less of a big deal in the context of that.ReplyCancel

  • Ann Bennett - April 28, 2015 - 3:20 PM

    Help I have the worst North facing room ever!
    I wish I could see it.
    It is painted whole wheat. Lots of trees and I have a large roof overhang.
    Please suggest your best guess for wall color.
    Thanks ReplyCancel

    • therese boor - July 8, 2015 - 2:01 PM

      Dear Laurel,

      I love the Benjamin Moore 2003-10 million dollar red and the
      spiced pumpkin 034 colour.

      My quest (sleeping) room is facing north (in the Netherlands)
      with tall trees in the street. so never sunny.

      My question is can I use one of the colours (may be 1 wall) and does it match with a light oak floor, because I see you use
      the colours with a darker wooden floor?

      I am glad I found your advice on “my north facing home”
      and like very much to hear from you.

      Kind regards. ThereseReplyCancel

      • Laurel Bern - July 8, 2015 - 9:16 PM

        Hi Therese,

        Those colors should be fine with a light oak floor as long as it’s a warm color. Best to you!ReplyCancel

  • Melanie - April 10, 2015 - 11:09 AM

    Just joining the forum…I know how difficult it can be to make a north facing room appealing during the day and have repainted my den/office many times. Currently it is a lovely color, Farrow and Ball Red Earth which is not really orange and reminds me of your pick, Spiced Pumpkin, Laurel. I have a north facing hallway that has worked for many years for us in Benjamin Mooore Waterbury Cream. It is quiet but not dreary and a great backdrop for other colors.
    Great photos and enjoyed the blog today, first day. Thanks, Laurel!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - April 11, 2015 - 3:45 PM

      Hi Melanie and welcome! Those are great colors. The warmer colors aren’t as in vogue right now, but they’ll be back. I always think it’s best to decorate in colors that you love. A lot of rooms do not look good in gray! Or at least not a pale gray.ReplyCancel

  • Sharon DeSalle - March 21, 2015 - 3:04 PM

    Laurel , Your since of style is amazing!!! love all the colors for North facing rooms. My dilemma is using the orange or red colors do I paint my Living room one color as you can see the loft from living room. And my dinning room. Our house is a Log cabin with little light. Love the bold colors and going for rustic elegance. Should I paint the up stairs the same as living room and should I paint the dinning room same color? Thank You for helping. Sharon DesalleReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 21, 2015 - 10:49 PM

      That sounds very cool Sharon,

      To give you the best advice, I would need a lot more information. If you are interested in a consultation, please write me through the contact form to discuss specifics and rates. ~ LaurelReplyCancel

  • Lisa Hall - January 14, 2015 - 6:10 PM

    I love your color suggestions for north facing rooms. I have a dilemma AND a stubborn husband. I live in Arizona and we have sun 360 days a year. I’m not complaining! The back of my home is east facing with my family room facing north and kitchen on the south wall. These rooms are one long rectangle. The east wall has a slider and two windows and the north wall has , north wall has two windows that sit either side of couch. This room is 12×32-family room to kitchen.
    Currently the kitchen is painted a soft medium buttery yellow with medium-dark cherry cabinets- warm hue. The issue is my family room, my husband has it painted a sage green that looks silvery in the light coming in from all angels, this is also a room that partial opens to the front of the house that allows light from the west and the long north facing wall. I hate it! I recently purchased an olive green couch that looks darker then actual color it is and I love it. Love the yellow and the green, with the cherry.
    What I am thinking of doing is this, painting the north room a medium warm grey and the east wall a lighter warm grey and pulling the cherry color and butter yellow into the family room and the olive into the kitchen with accent pieces.
    I also love the look of the blue/greens with the olive.
    I also like the toasty warm creams. My floors and counters are a light warm neutral.
    Any suggestions?ReplyCancel

  • Kristen - November 15, 2014 - 11:10 AM

    Thank you for this informative post. It really has helped me narrow down my choices. Do you have any suggestions for browns or taupes?ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - November 15, 2014 - 6:50 PM

      Hi Kristen,

      Eventually, I will be covering all of the colors and making more recommendations, however the thing to keep in mind is that with a darker, cooler north facing room the color is always going to be darker than you think, particularly in the corners and walls where the natural light isn’t illuminating the wall as much. ReplyCancel

  • Carol DeGraeve - October 5, 2014 - 9:32 AM

    Thank you for the great paint color post Laurel. I’m praying for peace and comfort for both your dear friend and you. . Kindly, carolReplyCancel

  • Tone on Tone - Loi Thai - October 5, 2014 - 9:29 AM

    Thank you for another informative and fabulous post from Laurel’s design school! I love it when you break it down for us – bookmarking this one. I’m so sorry to hear about your friend, Laurel. Sending her much love. Take care, LReplyCancel