The Window Source Painting Guide: Using Sunlight and Direction New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Maine
How do the houses in magazines get everything just right? Aside from practice, interior designers know to pay attention to the direction a room is facing because the sun’s location will change the appearance of colors. Knowing the type of sunlight that will enter your windows should be playing a role in your choice of colors for paint and furniture. Not sure which direction your room is facing? Look up your house on Google Earth.
North facing rooms receive an indirect cool bluish light that lasts the entire day. You can accentuate the light by using rich blues and greens or you can compensate the light by warming the room with yellow, creamy or warm pinks and corals. Stay away from whites in this room as they will look dingy or dull.
South facing rooms receive the most sun in the house with a warm orange or yellow light that lasts all day. This type of light will intensify colors (even rich earthy hues.) If you want to compensate for those warm rays add some cooler mid-tone paints in soft hues like lavender.
East facing rooms receive a bright yellow light before noon that make elegant. Try warm pinks, corals, yellows, or pale colors to enhance the light or cool blues and greens to counteract it. If you are using this room later in the day stick with a warmer pallete to offset the lack of natural light.
West facing rooms receive an orange red light that glows after noon. This dramatic light pairs well with green or creams and will make reds look rich and vibrant. You can tone down this light by using cooler paint colors.