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Paint colours for a north-facing room -- embrace the dimness and go dark?

(19 Posts)
ElephantsAlltheWayDown Thu 29-Oct-20 21:10:27

We spend a lot of time in our living room, which is north facing and only has one large window. It will never be a bright, sunny room. It was white when we moved in and I painted it a warm light grey, and after a few years I kind of hate the colour.

I read recently that rather than fight the poor lighting with pale shades, it can create a nice, cozy feel to use a darker shade of paint. What are people's thoughts about this? I'm in the mood for a nice shade of green at the moment, and the room needs painting anyway... will I regret it?

OP’s posts: |
Didiusfalco Thu 29-Oct-20 21:16:18

I wouldn't personally, but I'm not particularly 'out there' with style choices. We have a north facing lounge and painted it a light colour. It was grey when we bought the place and I felt like I was in shadow the whole time. However our neighbours have gone for navy blue - if its only paint you can always change it if you hate it.

Sweetchillijam Thu 29-Oct-20 21:20:20


Imtoooldforallthis Thu 29-Oct-20 21:27:16

I'd love this

S00LA Thu 29-Oct-20 21:34:36

I think a green could work. But it depends what shade.

What colours are the items you have to keep -I’m assuming rug / carpet, sofa, TV unit or similar ?

Why don’t you post a photo?

CountFosco Thu 29-Oct-20 21:41:18

Go for it, it's only paint. DH is much more conservative than me and we are currently in debate about painting the sittingroom navy, it's also north facing and dark and currently yellow. Suspect I'll have to paint it white so he sees that it still seems dark before I'll be allowed to go dark. Our bathroom has a navy floral wallpaper with a navy roof (it was magnolia before) and I love it so much.

Mycatismadeofstringcheese Thu 29-Oct-20 21:45:15

Go for it. If you don’t like it, you can always paint it back again.
I painted a dark middle room what I can only describe as a dark Victorian arsenic green with brilliant white woodwork and really loved it.

cudbywestrangers Thu 29-Oct-20 21:55:09

Go for it! Just be careful about the shade as you need a warm tone to avoid the dingy feeling you can get in north facing rooms with cooler tones. When we did our north facing dining room I googled paint colours for North facing rooms and found lots if useful websites that saved quite a few tester pots!

Nettleskeins Thu 29-Oct-20 21:56:45

North rooms get some reflected light. I'd go for a warm white and some warm colours in the room, like wood or reds and yellows. Avoid grey, it just gets greyer and greyer in North...I have Fired Earth Oyster ,in utility with IKEA wooden worktop and quarry tiles, it always has a glow to it at midday when sun reflects off south fence!!! Brilliant white tends to look grey in North light.

I know plenty of North sitting rooms painted pale colours with blue, blacj and cream tones in the furnishing..all look airy and friendly not bleak.

Dark colours do shrink a room whatever people may claim

CeibaTree Thu 29-Oct-20 21:59:07

Sounds like a good idea how about this colour?

Nettleskeins Thu 29-Oct-20 22:01:06

What is on the south side of your house? It can sometimes be worth rejigging the way you live in the house rather than try to solve paint colours. I would be trying to use the south side/open to light as much as possible.

Belindabelle Thu 29-Oct-20 22:06:45

Yes I love that look. The darker the better fo me. I started giving into the dark side years ago.

My sitting room in NE facing and when we moved in we painted it a deep rich dark red. It’s F&B Lamp Room grey atm and is the lightest room in the house, but I want to go much darker when I redecorate.

My bedroom is Inchyra Blue, en suite is Hague Blue and dressing room is going to be a mixture of these with some Vardo.
Bathroom is painted Downpipe but it’s been done for years and needs redecorated soon.

The study is an internal room with a small window and is painted entirely in French Grey. Skirtings, doors, shelves, walls the lot. I like to paint the woodwork the same colour as the walls for a dramatic look.

My house is Victorian and has original dark wood floors too. I usually have lights or candles on most of the time. I love it best on days like today when it’s grey and raining outside. I feel all cosy and cocooned inside.

ElephantsAlltheWayDown Thu 29-Oct-20 22:23:07

Lots of lovely greens, thanks for the suggestions. I love this look but not sure if it would work with our furniture (I'm not brave enough to post a pic!):

Not sure how to embed links, sorry!

OP’s posts: |
ElephantsAlltheWayDown Thu 29-Oct-20 22:25:48

The only south facing room downstairs is the kitchen, so no real way to change the living space. I love the room, I'm just tired of the pale walls and would love something bolder (and cozier). Painting is a huge faff though -- I usually regret it about five minutes in 😂

OP’s posts: |
ShimmeringIce Thu 29-Oct-20 22:38:08

I think you’d need lots of warm accessories with dark paint. Luckily I made a cheap-ish mistake in our north-facing bathroom and only bought the wrong towels.. bright but cool colours made the room so depressing, yellows and oranges are so much better.
Something like these could work?

Belindabelle Thu 29-Oct-20 22:39:19

That’s a lovely colour. F&B French Grey has a similar vibe in a certain light.

Get a couple of tester pots and paint the colours on to large pieces of paper. Lining paper is good for this. Move the paper around the room to see how the colours look in different positions and in different light. The colours can look very dark in corners but totally different on large expanses of wall. The colours also change depending on the light. Sunny day will look different to dull daylight. Artificial light will give a different look again.

Nettleskeins Thu 29-Oct-20 22:42:34

That is a dining room though. Traditionally dini g rooms can get away with being richer and darker cos of the evening use, silverwear candles glasswear lights it up.

My sister has a dark apricot pink on her walls in a large north west room. Bluey purple sofa, pink and blue curtains, Turkish curpet. Looks v warm and welcoming. White would be insipid. Don't know name of colour. A green bedroom and navy blue bedroom upstairs look cosy but definitely quite "enveloping". Not living room colours

cashmerecardigans Thu 29-Oct-20 22:42:46

We did F&B green blue in a north facing sitting room. I absolutely loved it. Far better than the variants of white we had before.

Nettleskeins Thu 29-Oct-20 22:46:58

I'd beware of artificial light in a blue or green room, can suck light up. Cupboards look wonderful or curtains sofa but the whole room in the colour is just too much. I have Breton Blue cupboards on one whole wall in a dark room, but rest of room light colour. Yes whole room smart, but just too o empowering, like living in a warm woolly damask dressingown!!

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