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Should I really pay attention to compass points when redecorating?

(16 Posts)
Colorsofthewindup Sun 08-Jan-17 19:51:51

We are having a loft conversion done, 2 bedrooms for DC, it's nearly ready.

We have said that bigger room will be DC1's room, as they are older, and DC2 will have the other. (it's not much bigger, btw, same width, but a bit under a metre longer).

DC have chosen paint colours and curtains for new rooms - pale turquoise for DC1 and yellow for DC2, but we haven't actually bought them yet.

A relative spent some time this afternoon telling me that they were the wrong choice of colours because DC1 new room will point North, and DC2's South.
I nodded and smiled and decided to ignore her, but have since looked it up and seen that this is actually recognised advice and not just my relative being overbearing.

Does it actually make any difference, really?

Relative thinks I should (a)suggest the DC swap - since they haven't actually taken up residence in the rooms yet. (They might actually not mind, but it seems an excessive step.)

Or (b) suggest they choose different colours - again seems excessive, and excessively dictatorial, I feel these are their bedrooms, not mine.

I am still most likely to choose (c) Let them paint their rooms a colour of their choosing.

But I wondered what the consensus was.

YelloDraw Sun 08-Jan-17 19:53:46


They are kids. The rooms will look nice.

Figure17a Sun 08-Jan-17 19:57:44

I had a North facing room painted blue as a child and it was horrid, always felt cold both physically and emotionally, the same room was much nicer a warm peach colour (it was the 80s!)

My sisters south facing room was lovely blue.

NameChanger22 Sun 08-Jan-17 19:58:29

I've never heard of it before. I very much doubt it matters.

I'm trying to paint most of my house pale turquoise, I love the colour, good choice. Yellow can be nice if it isn't too bright.

I recommend looking at Pinterest before you start, your children might see decor they really like on there.

Figure17a Sun 08-Jan-17 19:59:13

Ps, my mum told me blue was wrong but still allowed me to have it, if that helps grin

icyfront Sun 08-Jan-17 21:29:15

I think your relative sounds a bit of a numpty, to be honest. The compass direction a room's windows point to is only part of what makes a room work. The major part is how the occupant feels about it. So, obviously, I vote for (c).

There are many shades of paint colour these days, and pale turquoise sounds lovely. My "den" faces north, and the walls are painted pale duck egg blue. That gives a very calm feel to the room, but it never feels "cold".

A bedroom that faces south could get over-warm during the summer, but that's very little to do with what colour the walls are. Our spare bedroom (aka our grandson's bedroom - the one with the dinosaur stickers on the wall), faces south. All we have to do if he's here for a sleepover during the summer, is to remember to draw the curtains early in the day, so it doesn't get too much direct sunlight. That would be the case even if the room was painted the "coldest" colour possible.

My bedroom is above my den, so also faces north. I'm planning to re-work that room, and my current favourite is this:

I'm not actually suggesting that for your DC1. I'm guessing the age range of your DC, so I'd very much suspect they'd go "bleurgh" at that idea. But it does illustrate how a basic colour can seem different, depending on what other colours are involved.

NameChanger2's suggestion of looking at Pinterest is a good one, to get ideas about how it could look with their chosen colours.

(And, anyway, how much of the walls are going to be seen once they've put up all their favourite posters? wink)

Endmoor1405 Sun 08-Jan-17 21:44:57

Just do what I do and paint the walls whatever colour you damn well like and tell anyone who suggests it's a bad idea that they are free to buy a different colour and do it themselves if they wish!

So far I've got a living room that is "sort of like the colour of elastoplast isn't it? But paler?", a hallway that is "a bit too yellowy-smoked-in for me", a bedroom that "looks like bloody Narnia with all those white cabinets and blue walls" and a landing that is "a shame they didn't put enough white in the tin". They may have a point on the landing mind hmm

I love them all and I'm sure your kids will also love the rooms they have had a say in- I certainly loved my yellow/green with a silver wavy border room when I was a kid. Not sure my parents were that keen- never mind when it came to painting over it grin

228agreenend Sun 08-Jan-17 21:48:43

Never heard of that before. There are warm and cool shades in every colour. Choose what colours you like. If it doesn't work, you can always reprint it at a a later date.

EineKleine Mon 09-Jan-17 09:40:54

Endmoor dear me, some people just can't say anything nice can they? shock. I chose grey for my bedroom once (25 years ahead of my time!) and my mum never let me forget how dingy she thought it looked.

There's a school of thought that cool colours actually work quite well in north facing rooms anyway, they compliment the natural light or something.

Whatever, picking colours your children like is just normal. I'd just say remember that colours will look lighter or darker depending on the aspect and the size of the window. I'd err towards a lighter shade in the north facing room unless you're doing the whole thing of going very dark.

AgathaF Mon 09-Jan-17 11:22:35

Turquoise is a warm blue though, so I don't think it will matter. Can you get match pots and try the proposed colours on a bit of the wall first to get an idea?

I think your relative was being a bit over the top really. Yes, it's an accepted consideration, but it's your house not hers.

icyfront Mon 09-Jan-17 11:44:46

Re paint pots: A tip a decorator gave me was to not to try out paint directly on the wall, as that can leave a very slightly raised patch which could show when the whole wall is painted.

Instead, buy a roll of lining paper, and paint as large an area of that as possible. Cut that out and you have a large-ish piece of paper that you can move around the room so you can see how it looks in both direct and indirect light.

Whatthefoxgoingon Mon 09-Jan-17 11:50:18

Yes the paint colour will affect each room differently depending on room orientation/sunlight. This is well established advice.

However, if you don't care, paint it whatever you wish. It's not her house!

Briette Mon 09-Jan-17 12:40:04

I painted my entire house in cold colours because I like them and they look fantastic no matter which way around the rooms face. Had I been allowed to choose the walls for my own room as a child, I would have gone with a cold mint green irrespective of the direction of the room and how the light played with it, and I'd have told everyone it was the best thing ever because it was my favourite colour. Maybe ask the DC who would be getting the larger room whether they would mine swapping as the colours might look 'better' in the other one then opening up the discussion if they're keen. And if they say no just leave it at that?

Briette Mon 09-Jan-17 12:40:44

mind*, not mine!

DailyFail1 Mon 09-Jan-17 12:43:10

I painted the whole house white. I don't care about all this north facing south facing nonsense

Colorsofthewindup Mon 09-Jan-17 16:53:25

Reassured that most people think like me! Relative has form for being a bit heavy-handed with the unsolicited advice (and actually I am not that keen on the decor of relative's house, though obviously I would never say anything, but relative has no such scruples!)

I will tell DC1 that colour she has chosen might possibly look nicer in the other room, and she can swap to the other room if she wants to, but that the decision is absolutely hers.
Icyfront, I actually think she would love that bed-linen, she loves birds, and in fact she does have some other bird print bedding already. I will show her the link.

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