General Paint Store: Colour School Lesson 3

by COLOUR STYLIST GWEN PRINCE

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Lesson 3 – Light Exposure and Colour

Choose a colour scheme that suits a room’s natural light. Whether a room receives dim or northern light or bright lingering southern sunshine, it’s how you take advantage of the light that counts. Before choosing a colour scheme; consider the room’s light exposure, which can greatly affect colours and the mood.

Here’s how to shed new light on your decor by putting the transforming powers of naturallight to good use.

A room with a Northern exposure receives neutral indirect light. Artists prefer working in northern light because it creates the fewest shadows and remains fairly constant. To capitalize on available light, choose warm, pale colours such as coral, yellow and cream.

White walls take on a creamy look when bathed in Southern sunlight. Offering lingering bright light, southern exposures are great for kitchens, offices and any other room in which you spend a lot of time in during the day.

A room with a Western exposure receives mid afternoon sunlight, making it an excellent location for an intimate and lovely room. A west facing picture window, porch or patio lets you take advantage of spectacular sunsets. Afternoon sunlight casts a pink glow that will affect colours in a room – blue takes on a mauve cast, yellows appear orange and greens will appear brown.

Contrasting colour schemes such as green and cream, work well because the western light exposure tends to mutes colours. Also, because it absorbs light red is a good choice for western exposure rooms that require drama and intimacy, such as a dining room.

Eastern exposures provide the bright morning sunlight we crave especially in the wintertime. Upbeat and exuberant, eastern exposures are ideal for playrooms, kitchens and breakfast nooks.

Sunny yellow walls will elevate moods and boost energy levels. Or for a sense of spaciousness, choose pale cool colours, such as blue, green or white and keep furnishing to a minimum.

 

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