Top Tips for Tricky Light in Living Rooms

Written on 24th November 2019

From the latest trends to our personal tastes – not to mention the practicality of certain shades where sticky fingers and muddy paws are involved – there’s a lot to consider when choosing a living room colour. The question of light though, is quite often overlooked – or, more specifically, the direction it’s coming from.

Whether your living room faces north, south, east or west, our colour experts are here to help with a few of their favourite shades to suit every aspect, plus top tips for embracing (or outwitting) the light in your living room.

North Facing Rooms

North facing rooms* tend to make colours look cooler and harsher, so rather than get embroiled in the difficulty of trying to fake more light and space in these rooms, our Colour Consultants recommend going all in with a deep, rich colour. Dramatic, cocooning interiors were simply made for north facing spaces, with hues like Duck Green, Deep Reddish Brown, Brinjal, and Vardo fitting the bill perfectly.

South Facing Rooms

Those of us lucky enough to have a south facing aspect* will have rooms filled with warm light for most of the day. Because this makes everything appear more golden, pale tones look especially beautiful in these light-filled spaces, and you can get away with cooler colours if you wish.

Ash Grey Living Room

Ash Grey, for example, will appear much greener in north facing rooms, while the warmer light of a south facing space will render it more of a true, soft neutral. Cool Pavilion Blue or Cromarty look fresh and breezy, while greyed shades such as Blackened or Peignoir take on an added softness, and the creamiest neutrals – like Orange Coloured White – take on a delicate glow.

East Facing Rooms

With an abundance of bright light in the morning that becomes more muted by the evening, your choice of colour for an east facing living room will largely come down to the time of day when you’ll be using it most. If it’s the evening, don’t be afraid to opt for a more intense wall colour, like Scotch Blue or Imperial Purple, whose indigo undertones work in harmony with the bluer light that appears later in the day.

These rich tones are also at their most glamorous in firelight and candlelight, making them a great backdrop for cosy nights in. For a shade that looks at home any time of day, try a warmer blue like Pale Powder or Teresa’s Green, which is fresh in the morning and soothing in the evening.

West Facing Rooms

West facing rooms get most of their light later in the day, and our colour experts have two methods for making the most of it. The first is to opt for a warm wall colour that embraces and enhances those last few golden rays – on-trend rosy pinks and warmer neutrals like Middleton Pink and Setting Plaster.

If you prefer a more neutral look, go for the opposite approach. Slipper Satin, a perfect chalky white, or Shadow White, with its hint of grey, will both look cooler in the morning but work to soften the warmer light later in the day, making them great all-round options.

*Live in the Southern Hemisphere? The advice for north and south facing rooms is simply reversed, while the advice for east and west facing rooms stays the same.

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