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11 of the best white paint colors for north-facing rooms

The right white paint color can add brightness and warmth to a north-facing room, which will help to counteract the cool, low light in the room.

The orientation of the room that you are designing or redesigning, can affect the way that the visible natural light in the room looks and the way this light makes all of the other colors in the room look.

There are also other factors that can influence the way colors look once they are actually in the room.

Different elements that are present in the room already, such as natural light and synthetic lighting conditions, can influence the way that your entire room’s color scheme looks once you are done painting.

You will need to consider this when you are planning your color scheme, so that the design ends up looking coordinated.

In order to simplify this process, many people prefer to use white paint as the main color in these color schemes.

However, even within the white paint color category, there are many different shades of “white” paint colors, with some working better in north-facing rooms than others.

All you need to know about north-facing rooms

When you are designing or redesigning any room in your house, there are a number of factors that should play into the design decisions that you make. One of the most important among these factors is the orientation of the room.

The orientation of any particular room can be decided by using a compass to determine which direction the main windows of the room are facing. Essentially, you are trying to determine what direction the natural light in the room is coming from.

North-facing rooms get indirect natural light, because the light is reflected off of different elements outside the window and never comes directly from the sun shining into the window.

As a result, the natural light in north-facing rooms is usually a cool light that is more diffused than harsh natural sunlight.

This means that these rooms will have less harsh shadows and contrasts. However, this also results in the colors in this room being less saturated, overall.

This is why many homeowners and designers can sometimes get stuck when they are designing for north-facing rooms, as these rooms can easily start to feel dark and cold, because of this cool and indirect natural lighting.

Choosing the right paint for your room designs

The other important factor to consider when you are planning your design for a room is the color scheme of the room.

When you are designing for a north-facing room, the right color scheme can be quite tricky to find, because of the way that natural light interacts with colors and their undertones in these rooms.

There are a few things to consider when you are deciding on the perfect paint colors for your design.

This includes the tones and colors of fixtures and fittings that are already in your room, or that you are sure you are going to be adding to the design eventually, like big furniture pieces and the color of your floors.

These elements are important, because the paint color you choose will need to go with these pieces in order to create a harmonious and cohesive design.

The natural and artificial lighting in the room will also have an effect on the way that your paint colors appear and reflect in the room, which will affect the way the overall design looks and also how these colors interact with each other.

All of these different considerations can make it quite the complicated process to choose the right paint color for your space.

When you add the cool light of a north-facing room that will accentuate cool undertones in all of the colors in the room, make all colors appear less saturated, and subdue warmer colors into this mix – it can seem almost impossible to find any paint colors that work with all of these factors.

This is one of the reasons why people prefer choosing a white paint color for their home.

There is no shortage of slightly different white paint colors across a variety of different paint brands, which offers designers and homeowners more than enough opportunity to find a neutral color option.

This will brighten up their space and will not clash with other design elements in the room. There are even several white paint colors that have been proven to work very well in rooms with northern exposure.

Choosing the best white paint colors for north-facing rooms

There are several different ways that the lighting in north-facing rooms can impact the way that your white paint looks in the room.

The cool, almost gray tones of natural light in north-facing rooms can cause the room to feel dull and dark, and the low amount of natural light in these rooms can compound this feeling.

This can lead to a very unpleasant ambience and feeling in your room design.

In order to counteract this dreary and potentially dark atmosphere, it is best to select a white paint color which has some warmer, yellow undertones to it.

The yellow tones will complement the purple, cooler undertones of the natural light in a north-facing room. This will tone down any harsher cool undertones in the room and make the overall color scheme feel more balanced.

While it is advantageous to pick colors with a higher Light Reflectance Value (LRV) in north-facing rooms to help the room feel brighter, pure white paint colors, or even blue-toned white colors can accentuate and amplify the other cool undertones in the room. This will make the room feel stark and unwelcoming.

Fortunately, there are many brands that offer warm-toned white paint colors that work really well to combat this cool and dark feeling.

11 of the best white paint colors for north-facing rooms

Best Benjamin Moore white paint colors for north-facing rooms

Benjamin Moore has what seems like an endless library of paint colors, but their color experts and various designers agree that this brand has some of the best warm-toned paint colors to counteract the cool light in rooms with northern exposure.

Each of these colors vary in the levels of yellow coloring in their undertones, which should help you to find the perfect shade for your room, depending on the intensity of the cool undertones you would like to downplay in your room.

Some of the most popular warm white paint colors from Benjamin Moore to use in north-facing rooms are:

Shade Brand Color code Color swatch
Simply White Benjamin Moore OC-117
Cotton Balls Benjamin Moore OC-122
White Chocolate Benjamin Moore OC-127
Powder Sand Benjamin Moore OC-113
Swiss Coffee Benjamin Moore OC-45
White Dove Benjamin Moore OC-17

Best white paint colors for north-facing rooms from other brands

Benjamin Moore is not the only paint brand that has a selection of warm white paint colors.

Since white paint is such a popular choice for the interior- and exterior of homes, there is often a wide selection of white paints from different brands at any hardware store.

No matter which brands you buy your white paint from, it is important to remember to choose a white color that has considerable warmth to it, with yellow undertones to cancel out the cool undertones in the light in your north-facing rooms.

When you are looking through these different white paint colors, it is also good to remember that these warmer tones will not only counteract the cool light, but the blue undertones in the light, will also make the white appear less warm.

Thus, both colors will appear more neutral, and the goal is to achieve a good balance in the room, so that your overall color scheme does not end up feeling too warm or too cold.

Some of these warm white paint colors from other brands include:

Shade Brand Color code Color swatch
Pure White Sherwin-Williams SW-7005
Alabaster Sherwin-Williams SW-7008
Jasmine White Dulux 67YY 88/044
Slipper Satin Farrow and Ball 2004
All White Farrow and Ball 2005

Final thoughts

One of your first steps, when you are planning the color scheme of any room, should be to determine the direction that the natural light in the room is coming from.

This is because the orientation will influence the reflection and appearance of all of the colors in your planned color scheme.

In north-facing rooms, the diffused and cool natural lighting could make colors appear dull and colder than they actually are, which could make the overall room design feel dark and gloomy.

To counteract this, many people opt for white as their main color in the hopes that this color choice will help to brighten up the color scheme of the room.

However, even within the white color category, you still need to be careful which color you choose, as white paints can have hidden undertones that reflect cooler or warmer undertones in certain lighting conditions.

There are several warm white paint colors from Benjamin Moore and other brands that will work well with northern exposure.