Paint Colors for North Facing Rooms!


Choosing the right paint color for any space can feel like a huge challenge, and completely overwhelming. While there is so much choice on the market these days; which brand, what type, what shade, and what undertones? There is a LOT to consider before landing on the right one for your space.

Over the years I’ve had to make hundreds – if not thousands – of paint color decisions for various clients. I’d like to think I’ve learned a thing or two! And one area I see people struggling with is north-facing rooms.

North-facing rooms can feel darker and cold because of the cooler natural light they are exposed to. Luckily, the paint color you choose for your north-facing room can have a huge impact on how the space looks and feels.

Do you want to lighten up your space? Perhaps inject some color, without making it feel darker?

In this blog post, I take you through my top tips for decorating north-facing rooms, some of the best paint colors to use, and what you should be looking for when painting north-facing rooms!

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The Importance of Undertones


Every paint color has the main color (that you dominantly see) and an undertone. This undertone is a color underneath the surface that impacts the overall hue of the paint, thus affecting how the paint color is perceived.

These undertones can influence whether a paint color is warm or cold, shimmers more towards blue or green, and so much more. Undertones are super important when choosing any paint color, but even more so when you’re choosing them for north-facing rooms.

Due to the cool natural light north-facing rooms are exposed to, these spaces benefit from warmer shades. You should look for paint colors that have warm undertones rather than cool.

White Isn’t Always the Solution

Many homeowners default to using white paint in their north-facing rooms, but this can actually have the opposite effect of what was intended! White paint is regularly used to try and brighten up a north-facing room, but it often has the opposite effect because of the starkness of the color, and cold undertones.

If you do want a white wall effect in your north-facing room, consider an off-white with warm undertones. Make sure to avoid paint colors that are too creamy or yellow, and always test the paint!


Top Tip – Painting your walls a specific color won’t necessarily make the room any brighter or bigger.


You may enjoy reading 5 Ways to Make Your Space Feel Larger and How to Make a Room Feel Bigger.

Paint Colors to Avoid

White is just one of the paint colors you should avoid for your north facing room. That’s right – I’m sorry to say that there are some others you need to avoid too!

Firstly, you should avoid using blue paint colors, and those with blue undertones. The natural light that does shine into north facing spaces, is bluer-toned. Meaning the wrong colors can contribute to a stark and drab room.

And lastly, avoid using gray paint colors. While gray has been photographed in almost every room of the home and looks fabulous, using gray in your north facing space can make it feel even more cool and crisp, rather than inviting.

Recommended Paint Colors

With white and gray completely off the table for your north facing room, what colors should you choose? Here are some ideas:

Off-Whites and Neutrals

Even though stark white and grays are off the table, it doesn’t mean you need to completely avoid light and bright colors entirely. Off-whites and neutral paint colors can make a north-facing room feel light and airy if you choose wisely. Look for shades that have warm undertones, and avoid those with cool or gray undertones!

We recommend looking at:

Benjamin Moore Cotton Balls OC-122, White Chocolate OC-127, Powder Sand OC-113, Elephant Tusk OC-8 (pictured to the left), Wheeling Neutral HC-92, and Lenox Tan HC-44

Blush Pink

North-facing rooms benefit from warmer shades, with one of those being blush pink. This will help to create a cozy and welcoming feel to the space!

We recommend looking at:

Sherwin Williams Smoky Salmon SW 6331 (pictured on the right), Gracious Rose SW 6317

Deep Hues

You can take the “injecting warmer shades” into your north-facing room even further by embracing darker hues of colors. Think about deep reds, blues, and greens.

We recommend looking at:

Sherwin Williams Spicy Hue SW 6342, Gold Crest SW 6670 (pictured to the left)

Bold and Bright

Or, if you fancy being brave, lean in completely to the north-facing space and add a bold and bright color to really make it pop. Make sure to balance these out with crisp white trim though, or use them as a feature wall where the shadows cast the most.

We recommend looking at:

Benjamin Moore Hawthorne Yellow HC-4, Palladian Blue HC-144, Potters Clay CC-360 (pictured on the right)

Have you got a north facing room that needs redecorating? Which colors are you considering? I’d love to hear all about your experiences – past and present – in the comments below!

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