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Colours for north facing lounge and other design tips?

(14 Posts)
NoseyNooNoo Sat 01-Jan-11 15:05:45

We have recently moved into a new house. The lounge is north facing and fairly dark at this time of year. We seem to have the lights on for most of the day. The lounge is about 21 ft long by 14 ft wide with the 14ft bit being mostly window at one end. it does mean that the back of the lounge is dark.

It's currently painted white and has no curtains. I think I'd opt to keep the white on the walls - any thoughts?
Curtains will be the main expense and I have drawn a blank. I thought a terracotta/coral/peach might work since it might bring some life to the room but I have looked at thousands of fabrics and these colours seem to be teamed with muted autumnal colours whilst I want something fresh. Are my thoughts too wierd?

Any tips or suggestions would be really welcome. TIA.

Pannacotta Sat 01-Jan-11 18:20:20

I'd avoid white paint, I think it can seem very chilly in a North facing room.

You could either keep the walls light, say off white, and aim to make the room feel as bright as possible, some curtain fabric which catches the light, eg silk/fake silk, will help. A soft colour such as pale blue or green would look nice.

The other option (which I tend to go for in dark rooms) is to use a rich colour on the walls, such as rich blue/plum/choc brown and make the room cosy. Then add curtain fabric in a similar colour.

What I would do in either case is to put up a curtain pole which goes well beyond the windows so the curtains dont block the light even when they are open. Roman blinds are another option.

Also make sure you have lighting in the corners, try glass table lamps. And plenty of mirrors.

MegBusset Sat 01-Jan-11 18:23:04

Ooh marking my place as we have a similar issue with a dark front room (due to small window)

jalopy Sat 01-Jan-11 18:35:07

I would use an off-white for the back of the room and the rest of the walls.

Use a colour like terracotta or cosy shade of red on the chimney wall as a warm focus.

Use a big mirror to reflect light in the room.

Avoid dark upholstery. Use contrasting/warm colours when you accessorize with cushions,etc.

For a north facing room you need insulated curtains but avoid dark fabrics.

Don't use net curtains. They will reduce your light levels even more.

NoseyNooNoo Sat 01-Jan-11 21:10:03

Thanks for the tips so far. The walk of window is actually doors so there is some light but the back me the soon is dark. We don't have a chimney breast as such, although we do have a fireplace. I don't think the slightly odd shape lends itself to a feature wall.

NoseyNooNoo Sat 01-Jan-11 21:13:28

Oh dear, sorry for the typos - typing on my phone!

GiddyPickle Sat 01-Jan-11 23:12:20

Dulux Natural Calico is recommended (by Dulux) for North facing rooms. It is a creamier version of white but not as yellowy as crea.

They have a video here on how to choose good colours for North facing rooms with some more ideas.

bran Sat 01-Jan-11 23:30:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WhatsWrongWithYou Sat 01-Jan-11 23:40:32

Vanessa Arbuthnot fabrics are lovely - that's reminded me, I also like some of Kate Forman's. Fresh and warm again, but slightly more 'faded' if you like a 'worn' look.

NoseyNooNoo Sun 02-Jan-11 16:19:39

Thanks for the Vanessa Arbuthnot link - it is just up my street. I've ordered a brochure to peruse at leisure. I'm unclear whether the company only sells direct. I had wanted to go to a curtain maker who would make to measure and fit the curtains, poles and all. It's certainly a good start though.

I shall take a look at the Dulux site now...

BertieBottlesOfMulledWine Sun 02-Jan-11 16:32:32

If you have textured wallpaper or ceilings in that room, they absorb a lot of light rather than letting it bounce off. So those should be the first things to go.

Fizzylemonade Sun 02-Jan-11 17:58:49

I have a north facing lounge, we have painted it jasmine white by Dulux, as white is too cold.

We have teamed it with a duck egg blue, so we have the fireplace wall painted in that, plus curtains in a very similar colour (they are on the jasmine white wall) and cushions picking out the duck egg blue in part of the fabric, also candles to match.

I am fortunate that I have massive french doors in a square bay window so have 4 windows in the bay and another window.

Mirrors will help bounce light around and I agree about curtains not covering any part of the window but sitting against the wall. We took this into account when we put curtains up.

We have gone for this lighting, and we have curtain poles in a similar material so it reflects light better than a wooden pole etc

Hope this helps.

WhatsWrongWithYou Sun 02-Jan-11 21:12:15

I should think a decent curtain maker would be able to measure up and order your fabric, wherever it comes from. You could order samples as a starting point.

And it's best to get the fabric first then match the paint - much easier than trying to do it the other way around.

Impp Mon 03-Jan-11 19:14:44

A north facing room will receive blue light from the sky, rather than red/yellow from the sun. If you colour the room red or yellow, or a tint there of, as there is little red light coming into the room, the walls will look grey and washed out. If you want colour in the room, then going with blue/greens will work better.

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