Colors for rooms that face the Northeast?
August 5, 2013 in Design Dilemma
So my husband and I will be closing on a condo soon - all the windows are facing a solid Northeast.

While the current (soon to be previous) owner did a good job with the paint, she did it in almost a faux-chair rail color block - orange on a yellow-cream color in most of the room, with a few plum on the same yellow-cream for some accent walls. The kitchen is a tomato-red, but the walls are solid there, but there aren't many of them, so it also acts as an accent wall, and looks good with the plain maple cabinets.

It was all well done, but ultimately, it won't go with the things I want to hang on the walls, so I'm looking to repaint before we move in. (Furniture is less problematic - we are downsizing, and sold our larger furniture and were planning to get new things anyway.)

My dilemma is this: the rooms face the Northeast. The windows are floor to ceiling so there is plenty of light when we have it. We have been there twice - once at 10-11, once at 11-12 - we have one more pre-visit at 1 pm tomorrow for the inspection, so I'll get to see it a little later in the afternoon. But based on the good morning light we've seen so far, it is bright, if not direct sunlight - it's not as dim as you might expect for a purely north facing room. But I don't think it's a morning-sun-washed east facing room, either. Pictures I took around 10:30 or so didn't produce many shadows at all.

And this is in Minnesota's Twin Cities, which means when winter comes, I'm not going to have as much morning light at all (or at least it'll be later in the morning ;) ). So I'm definitely going to lighten up the walls, and use my various pieces of art and other objects to give the room pops of color and character.

But looking around, I'm getting confused. For North facing rooms, it's recommended I stick to creamier creams - more golden or yellow - to give you as much light as possible. But I feel like the yellow-cream color she used just looks dingy and aged, not like a good neutral.

For East facing rooms, it seems I'm supposed to stick to some cooler greens and other words, not what is recommended for a North room. I did see a suggestion for walls that are a celadon-based gray, which would meet between the two, but then I have no idea what colors go with it - whenever I see that type of color scheme, it's all gray with textures, but few accent colors, which I don't want to do.

So which way do I jump? Do I commit to the East-facing pale blues and green, or the North-facing creamy yellows? Help a poor girl out who just left a house with big rooms that were drenched in southern exposures, and I used many fabulous colors!
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I'm in the Pacific NW and have a cottage ranch style house. The living room windows face east-north-east and receives lovely morning light but that's it. Like you in winter we have less light. I chose to go with a creamy white with a hint of pale yellow to keep the room light but also warm. I use red in area rugs to punch up color.
0 Likes   October 18, 2013 at 9:44PM
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We just finished a reno on a north east facing lakefront home in Canada. Agonized over paint in living and dining room. Had walls repainted 3 times to get it warm enough...finally chose Benjamin Moore Dulce de Leche a nice light cream colour, and mystic lake, a blue green for accent...loving it!
1 Like   October 18, 2013 at 11:18PM
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anne dee
Did you decide on a paint colour for the NE rooms?
1 Like   February 28, 2014 at 8:40AM
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