What are the Best Paint Colours for a Room with 2 Exposures?
If you have a room with windows on different walls, you’re dealing with two exposures. But let me add that personally, I would only expose myself ONCE – and then I would run like mad.
Seriously though, you’ll want to take a look at your room and consider the following:
- Which exposure has priority? This will be the one with the biggest windows and/or the one that doesn’t have any type of hedge/trees blocking the direct flow of natural light. If some of your windows are blocked by greenery, this will DIRECTLY AFFECT the quality of light coming in (and can add a weeee willy wink o’ green to your walls)
- What are your preferences? If you have competing exposures, you might be dealing with both warm AND cool colours when it comes to your paint options. You might want to think about which end of the colour wheel you prefer and which exposure that relates to
If you need to brush up on the details re: your exposures, check out these links here before going ahead…
Ready Betty? Now let’s move on to the GOOD stuff.
A Room with North and West Facing Windows (NW)
Cool light with a touch of warmth in the afternoon
This room will have a cool gray light throughout the entire day via Mr. North. In the morning, this will be joined by an additional kind of flat, muted light. In the afternoon, it can be balanced out a bit by the warm western rays coming in, depending on how large the west-facing windows are.
I would give priority to the north facing light, as long as the windows are the same size or larger than the west facing ones.
If your windows are similar in size and have the same amount of light coming in (ie: not blocked by hedges on one side) then I would look at both north AND west options and see which ones best suit your tastes!
A Room with North and East Facing Windows (NE)
Cool gray, slightly brighter in the morning, back to cool gray in the afternoon
A room with northern exposure will have that cool gray light all day. In the morning, this light will be softened and brightened (but not necessarily WARMED UP) by the eastern light. This morning light will lighten up things up and can wash things out a bit at the height of the day. In the afternoon, the east facing light will be comparable enough to the north facing light in its lack of warmth.
Again, I would give priority to the north-facing light (only by a bit), as long as the windows are the same size or larger than the east facing ones.
If the exposures are ‘equal opportunity’ exposures, then I would look at the options for both north AND east and see which ones suit your personal tastes the best! Just keep in mind that the north facing light might slightly gray out your paint options, which is an important detail in the cooler range.
A Room with South and West Facing Windows (SW)
Warm…on warm…on warm
South facing rooms have that bright, warm light coming in throughout the entire day. This light can wash colours out at the height of the day. In the morning, the flat west facing light can calm the warmth of this room down a bit, adding a softness. In the afternoon, the western light will ADD to the glory making this room roasty-Mc’toasty!
BM Steel Wool – my own home
I would give priority to the south-facing windows, as long as they are the same size or larger than the west facing ones.
If your windows are similar in size and have the same amount of light coming in (ie: not blocked by hedges on one side) then I would look at both south AND west options and see which ones best suit your tastes, keeping in mind that any warmer options will feel that much warmer with the southern light.
A Room with South and East Facing Windows (SE)
Warm light all day tempered by a soft eastern influence to calm it down
A room with windows on the southern and eastern walls will, generally speaking, be somewhat nicely balanced. With the warm southern light throughout the day and the influence of the more subdued eastern light, this room can be a nice blend depending on the size of the windows.
SW Cyberspace via moi
I would probably focus more on the east facing options, to further encourage that balance, however, there could be some equally as lovely southern options if you just love those cool tones!
A Room with North and South Facing Windows (NS)
A hot mess of cool gray light and warm yellow light all…day…long
A room that has windows on the southern wall AND the northern wall will have warm, yellow light in the south end and cool gray/blue light in the northern end – mixing in a hot mess in the middle. This is found quite often in rooms with a living room at one end and a dining room at the other.
In this case, you could pay the most attention to your PERSONAL PREFERENCES! If you don’t like cool paint colours, then you may want to focus on colours that suit a northern exposure (warm colours). If you aren’t a fan of WARM colours, you may want to focus on the paint colours that best suit a SOUTH facing room (cool colours).
Or you can find a happy place in the middle with a beautiful greige paint colour that nods a bit to both ends of your room!
And all of that being said, if you are CONFUSED, you know who to call…the Ginga Ninja.
So there is my friends – a great big fat summary of exposures.
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