What colour for a dark north-facing bedroom?

Maree Persen
2 years ago

Hi there

I have been researching what colour to paint a small-ish third bedroom. It faces north and gets very limited daylight. The people who lived here before us chose this as the only room to paint in a cool-toned pale lilac/blue colour, when the rest of the house is painted in cream tones! (WHY????)

I keep seeing conflicting advice - I know that painting it white is a no-no (too cold, too stark), and I'm a fan of dramatic dark colours but I do hesitate when the rest of our (rented) bungalow is painted in neutral tones. Would dark colours feel like re-entering a womb?! I have a young child coming to stay next year and I think very dark tones would scare her :-) But I'm happy to be convinced otherwise.

Can anybody recommend a warm grey?

Some sites say to use warm tones (eg peach / cinnamon) but others - quite rightly, I feel - say that such colours can be very hard to live with.

Just found another site that said to use an off-white with a small amount of green in it... to my mind, that would be so wrong!

All advice gratefully accepted...

Comments (8)

  • tamp75
    2 years ago

    I think a soft green is very calming for a bedroom. Lots of options to choose from - more along the sage / moss colourway rather than a mint which would be cold.

    Maree Persen thanked tamp75
  • minipie
    2 years ago

    We found choosing colours for a N facing bedroom the hardest! The colours that looked best in there were beigey - for example Joa’s white by Farrow & Ball. The trouble is I don’t really like those colours! In the end we chose Setting Plaster which I dislike in S facing rooms (too peachy) but looks nice in N facing as it gets a more greyed tone.

    The other options that looked good were yellow based greens (not bluey greens) such as Vert de Terre, strong warm yellows like Sudbury Yellow (but that’s a bit dominant) or deep warm blues like Hague Blue.

    Maree Persen thanked minipie
  • Maree Persen
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Thanks @tamp75 and @minipie - I will definitely go out and get some sample pots to test your recommendations. So great to have advice from real people with the same issues!

  • PRO
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I don't understand what 'would be hard to live with' means to be honest. I also agree that advice on this subject is totally contradictory, which doesn't help. The colour of light in a North facing room is quite blue, so anything like a pale grey with a blue tinge will look even bluer. Some people like that, but I personally wouldn't, I find cold rooms depressing. If you want a neutral, then you go across the wheel and select one that is a bit warmer and has some red or orange in and that will create a colour that when combined with the blue light is a neutral. Joa's White, Dimity or colours like that, will look quite neutral in a North facing room. Another option is to go for a more saturated colour such as a yellow, as this can break through the greyness. If you go for a pale colour, then anything like a creamy green could look sickly, so a more definite green would work. If you go for a pale neutral then red based ones will help. I tried about twenty in my kitchen and drove myself nuts! 'Joanna' by Little Greene is a brilliant neutral with a tinge of red in it, that may be worth a look.

    Maree Persen thanked colourhappy
  • Sarah U-S
    2 years ago

    We had similar dilemmas but then stumbled on f&b James White. It’s an odd one to describe - has a slight limey tinge to it, but not at all cold. We’re now several years in and I still love it. It’s light, calm and goes with everything. It’s a colour that f&b used to recommend for north facing rooms.

  • Nicola Thomson
    3 months ago

    Hi colour happy, I just picked up a sample of joanna and slaked lime deep to match pleat in a north facing lounge. Did you opt for Joanna? Any thoughts if slaked line deep would be too dark? Cheers, Nic

  • PRO
    3 months ago

    Joanna is a good colour, but there's a Fired Earth colour called Wax Myrtle which is similar to Joanna but a tinge warmer. I've only recently discovered it and have it in my tricky dining room. It works well with blues.

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