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CHOOSING THE RIGHT PAINT COLORS FOR NORTH, EAST, WEST OR SOUTH EXPLOSURE

Updated: Aug 31, 2023

How many times you were falling in love with a color you had seen on the walls of beautiful new construction model homes to only be disappointed when you are trying the color in your home?


Why the same colors look differently in every space?


Without light, color doesn't exist. When choosing paint color for your walls it's important to consider several factors which play a big role on how colors will look in your rooms:


Pay attention to both natural and artificial light sources.


The amount of natural light entering the room depends on the number, size, and direction of the windows.

Rooms with few or small windows are enhanced by light reflecting colors.




white paint in the kitchen

BLIS Home Design Simply White OC-117 BM


Rooms with a large area of glass may be more suitable with darker or light-absorbing colors that reduce glare.


Mega Greige SW 7031 in the bedroom

BLIS Home Design Mega Greige SW 7031


To bring the balance to a room and assure good amount of natural light and

still avoid glare, plan your color scheme for each space in relation to the reflective characteristics of the backgrounds. Here is the percentage of light reflected by common colors. We call it Light Reflective Value LRV. The higher LRV, the lighter the color is.


LRV of:


White 89%

Ivory 87%

Light Gray 65%

Sky Blue 65%

Intense Yellow 62%

Light Green 56%

Forest Green 22%

Coco Brown 16%

Black 2%




The quality of the natural light depends on the direction from which light comes during the day.


Light from the North is cool and will naturally have grayish light with blue cast. The natural light in a room with northern exposure can be muted and toned-down, so consider the intensity of the color you choose. Colors with warm undertones perform better on the walls of NORTH FACING ROOM. The top choices to paint a north facing room are creams, yellow, beiges, khakis, light browns, warm whites, and greiges. Warmer greens, like olive, and warmer blues works well to add color to the room.





BLIS Home Design

Agreeable Gray SW 7029






BLIS Home Design


 Colonnade Gray SW 7641






Toll Brothers Design Studio


 Cloud White OC-113 BM




Cloud White OC-113 BM LRV 87,35

BLIS Home Design








Light from the East is warmer than Northern light but cooler than warm afternoon light from the South and West.


EAST FACING ROOM Very warm and inviting in the morning, very bright at noon hours, rooms will benefit from cooler colors. Blue, green and greiges serve rooms well with an east exposure. However, choose colors with good saturation (intensity of the color), as it has a tendency to be washed out at the noon hours, when room is bombarded with light. As the day progresses, you will notice lots of shadows on the walls in afternoon hours. All those factors have to be considered when picking colors for East Facing Room.


 Smoky Blue  SW 7604



BLIS Home Design




Largo Teal 742 BM










   Alpaca SW 7022




source: The Home Colouriste








LIGHT FROM THE WEST is very natural during early hours of the day, but don't be surprised when afternoon brings pink cast to your walls.



  Macadamia SW 7604



HGTV Home by SW





white Grand room






source: Paintzen




    Shoji White SW 7042





source: Julia Cuevas



Worldly Gray SW 7043




Worldly Gray SW 7043 LRV 57%

BLIS Home Design










And finally for those lucky once whose windows face south. SOUTH FACING ROOMS get consistent natural light throughout the day. Southern exposure is strong.

Sun light casts a warmer tone in a room with southern exposure. It's only natural to select colors with a lower brightness and the right balance of warm and cool undertones.



 Decorator's White CC-20 BM


BLIS Home Design



Popular Gray SW 6071



BLIS Home Design





Classic Gray CC-23 BM




Classic Gray CC-23 BM LRV 74.78%

BLIS Home Design


Mega Greige 7031 SW






BLIS Home Design







Test colors by carefully observing them at different times of the day. Follow the "rule of 3". Check the color on the wall in 3 different locations of the room. Check it 3 times a day. Check samples on the walls for three days before final decision made.

Try peel & stick paint samples to test your colors, you can order them here




Please let me know if you find this blog post helpful. If you have interesting colors experience to share, leave a comment. Let's help others to benefit from our experience, and not to repeat our mistakes.



woman smiling.


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