Farrow & Ball is renowned for its strong catalog of paints across the color wheel, but not all of them work for every room. As with every brand, you need to think carefully when selecting paints, and many homeowners forget to consider the direction their room faces, and therefore how much natural light enters the space. A south-facing room gets more light, meaning you can have fun with moodier and darker colors without running the risk of a gloomy space. But a north-facing room can feel colder because they are sheltered from the sun and positioned in the shade.
Even if you do have larger windows, it can leave your room feeling tinged with blue. So what are the best colors for a north-facing room that suffers from a lack of light? Do you go dark to embrace the coziness, or counter that blue tone with a warmer shade? We've spoken to the team at Farrow & Ball to help you narrow down those paint color ideas.
1. Setting Plaster
Tackle that blue tint head-on by counterbalancing the lighting with a warming hue. Plaster is taking off on walls as designers and homeowners crave the warmth of this textured material on the walls. But you can also get the look through paint. Setting Plaster is Farrow & Ball's pale pink shade that is one of its most popular.
'Setting Plaster is a beautiful dusty pink named after the blushing walls we admire in freshly plastered homes,' says Charlotte Cosby, creative director at Farrow & Ball. 'It has a touch of warm yellow pigment which adds a certain softness, perfect for enveloping north-facing spaces, to create a dreamy environment.'
In this example, a master bedroom and dressing room bring a slight blush to the walls, an excellent backdrop for antique furniture that feels modern while complementing the period architecture of the property. It's also the perfect paint for getting ready, bringing a rosy tint to the space.
2. India Yellow
For extra warmth, an intense ochre like India Yellow brings an indulgent vibe to a north-facing room and is one of Farrow & Ball's best sellers for cold-feeling spaces. 'A deep ochre like India Yellow will deliver rich warmth for a cozy living room,' says Charlotte, 'and a sense of sunshine no matter the light!
Try pairing this strong shade with a soft white on woodwork, such as White Tie.' The shade has been used to perfection in this dining room designed by Christiane Lemieux. 'Our clients and everyone is looking for more color, texture variation, and layers in their interiors,' says the interior designer.
3. Red Earth
Northern light brings out the cooler tones within a color, so the best colors for north-facing living rooms include anything with an inviting hint of red like Farrow & Ball's best-selling paint, Red Earth.
This light terracotta hue takes its name from the very soil beneath our feet. Red Earth is a rich blend of red and yellow pigments that create a warm earthy feel in homes both old and new. Often best used in smaller spaces, this warm color responds extraordinarily to the changes of light throughout the day, becoming deeper and cozier as the sun drops.
'Red Earth is the perfect shade for embracing a warmer color palette in a north-facing living room,' says Charlotte. 'This warm terracotta blends a dose of both red and yellow pigments to create a comforting and restorative space, old or new.'
4. Inchyra Blue
Another approach is not to fight nature but to embrace the cooler light that comes into your north-facing room with darker wall colors. If you are tempted to go to the dark side in your north-facing room, Inchyra Blue is one of Farrow & Ball's best-selling paint colors. 'Inchyra Blue is an aged blue, excellent for embracing the light limitations in a north-facing room for a cozy, cocooning feel,' says Charlotte.
The color is renowned for its light-changing abilities and is inspired by Scottish skies. 'This shade will lend the living room an intimate and magical quality, as it shifts between grey, blue, and green, particularly in evening candlelight,' says Charlotte.
Finally, another deep shade to embrace the darkness, Railings is a soft black with subtle blue undertones that has become a popular choice in those north-facing spaces. 'Railings exudes sophistication wherever it’s used,' says Charlotte. 'The hints of blue will transform rooms into dramatic and enveloping spaces.'
This entryway uses paint to create an enveloping feeling as guests enter the home. 'It is a principle of good design that an entryway should be small and dark so that as you pass through, you feel "compressed" only to be released into larger, lighter spaces beyond,' says Bethany Adams of Bethany Adams Interiors, who designed the space. 'You'll see this in the architecture of medieval churches. The dark, small Narthex funnels worshippers past its doors into the other-worldly Nave.
'Your home may not be quite so lofty just past the entryway, but Railings by Farrow and Ball brings drama to any entryway and can make your home look outrageously chic and expensive with very little effort.'
Be The First To Know
The Livingetc newsletter is your shortcut to the now and the next in home design. Subscribe today to receive a stunning free 200-page book of the best homes from around the world.
Oonagh is a content editor at Livingetc.com and an expert at spotting the interior trends that are making waves in the design world. Writing a mix of everything and everything from home tours to news, long-form features to design idea pieces on the website, as well as frequently featured in the monthly print magazine, she's the go-to for design advice in the home. Previously, she worked on a London property title, producing long-read interiors features, style pages and conducting interviews with a range of famous faces from the UK interiors scene, from Kit Kemp to Robert Kime. In doing so, she has developed a keen interest in London's historical architecture and the city's distinct tastemakers paving the way in the world of interiors.
This "Hidden" Fixture is Found in All the Most Expensive Closets — I've Found a Version for Less Than $30
It makes getting ready in your closet so much easier, and it can be added into an existing space without breaking the bank
By Hugh Metcalf Published
The New Trick Designers are Using To Zone Rooms and Create Privacy Is Both Beautiful and Functional
Designers have taken ‘zoning’ to new heights with this new way to separate a space that looks great, creates privacy, and is useful for storage too
By Raluca Racasan Published