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Top 13 white, tan and gray paint colors for a north facing room

A north facing room has indirect, but consistent lighting and it is best to use white, tan and gray paint colors with warm undertones in these rooms.

The orientation of the rooms in your house is an important consideration when it comes to deciding on how to design and decorate these rooms.

Once you have established the orientation of the room that you are decorating, you can start determining how the lighting in that room will affect the way that colors reflect in your room.

North facing rooms can be quite tricky in terms of natural lighting, as these rooms usually have very consistent low light.

This light will affect your design as this means that colors that you choose for your walls and furniture will look different once they are in this room with this lighting.

What are north facing rooms?

When you are searching for design inspiration, you may be bombarded with terms such as “north facing rooms” and these terms can become confusing. In order to determine the direction of any room in your house, you can simply use a compass.

When you point your compass at the biggest window in your room, the way the dial points will tell you the direction of that room.

Some room designs will have multiple big windows, which means that you will have light coming from multiple directions, which should actually give you more freedom in terms of color in that space.

The orientation of your room usually tells you where the light is coming from, but with the rotation of the earth and the sun, not all the room orientations get the same amount of light. South facing rooms often get the most light, followed by west- and east facing rooms, respectively.

North facing rooms are usually considered to be the coldest and darkest of all of the orientations. North facing rooms often get little to no natural sunlight during the day and when these rooms do get a bit of sunlight, this light reflects very coolly.

How lighting affects color

Knowing the orientation of the room which you are planning to decorate or design, is important, as the lighting in the room will affect what different colors look like in that specific room.

This means that a color may end up looking very different in the store or in a different room, as it will in your north facing room.

To understand how lighting can affect the appearance of a certain color, it is often helpful to understand how exactly we see colors. Light is formed through waves on the electromagnetic spectrum.

The colors that we see are the results of objects absorbing and reflecting this spectrum light. The colors that we observe and object to be are usually the colors of the rays that did not get absorbed by the object.

Natural and synthetic lighting can both have an effect on how other colors in the room appear to the naked eye. The natural lighting in north facing rooms often have a cool, almost blue tint, because this light is indirect.

This lighting can make the other colors in the room, like the wall paint, flooring, furniture and art, seem less saturated and darker.

This cold, dark feeling is usually not a feeling that people want to accentuate within their homes, so it is important to take note of the lighting in your north facing room and keep this in mind when decorating the room.

There are positives to northern light. The natural lighting in north facing rooms is often a diffused kind of light and this means that the lighting should stay very consistent throughout the day.

This makes it easier to decorate, as you can be sure that the lighting will not change too much during the day, so once you find a color scheme that works, these colors will look great no matter the time of day.

The cool, indirect light in a north facing room can make it difficult to choose paint colors that will work within the room, but fortunately, there are a few different paint colors to choose from depending on the look that you want to create in the room.

Top 13 white, tan and gray paint colors for a north facing room

White colors for a north facing room

A white color with warm undertones can help to brighten up a north facing room that gets little to no sunlight.

White colors like any other colors can have varying undertones, however, in a north facing room you want to ensure that you choose white colors with warmer undertones to counteract the cooler light in this room.

Choosing colors with warm undertones will help you to create a cozier feeling in the room, instead of a stark clinical feeling that colder white colors can sometimes have.

Some examples of warmer white paint colors include:

1. Marbles by Earthborn

The clay in the formulation of this paint gives it a natural and subtle warm undertone.

2. Navajo White by Benjamin Moore

This is a very creamy white paint, which pairs perfectly with cooler light to give a soft warm glow to the room.

3. White Chocolate by Benjamin Moore

This is a yellow-toned white color which works well if you have medium cool-toned light in your room.

4. Powder Sand by Benjamin Moore

This is a very yellowy white color that will help you to tone down very cool toned light.

Tan paint colors for a north facing room

Tan and beige colors are also a good option for north facing rooms, as they will add a lot of warmth to the room.

These colors have a bit more pigment than a white paint color, so they will be more noticeable in your room, but they are neutral enough for you to add other pops of color in other places in your design without the whole color scheme feeling too busy.

Some examples of these tan and beige paint colors that will work well in north facing rooms include:

5. Lenox Tan by Benjamin Moore

This is a very rich tan color that has some yellow tones, but will look closer to a neutral color in a north facing room.

6. Grant Beige by Benjamin Moore

This is a more subtle beige color that does not lean too yellow or gray.

7. Accessible Beige by Sherwin Williams

This is gray-beige color that will give your north facing room a truly modern look.

8. Kilim Beige by Benjamin Moore

This is a very earthy beige color, which will add a lot of warmth into your cooler north facing room.

Gray paint colors for north facing rooms

Many people tend to want to stay away from gray in a north facing room, out of fear that this color will make the room feel even darker and cooler.

However, gray colors can be quite effective in giving the room a modern look as long as you choose a gray with a warm or yellow undertone.

Some examples of gray paint colors with warm and yellow undertones that will work well in north facing rooms include:

9. Rocky Horse by Earthborn

This is a darker grey with a very brown undertone, which can create a warm and cozy feeling in your room.

10. Trilby by Earthborn

This is a yellowy gray color, which will counteract some of the blue tones in your north facing room, for a more neutral tone throughout the room.

11. St John by Earthborn

This is a lighter shade of gray if you are looking for a pale shade that will still have some warmer undertones to it.

12. Pale oak by Benjamin Moore

This is a light, warm gray color which will soften some of the starkness of northern light, but still help to brighten up your room.

13. Chelsea Gray by Benjamin Moore

This is a darker, but still warm gray option that will accentuate the moodiness of a north facing room and create some contrast with the lighter colors in the room.

Final thoughts

The orientation of your room mostly refers to the physical direction that the windows are facing. This placement of the windows will affect how much and what kind of light shines into your room, depending on the orientation.

If you have a north facing room, the light shining into your windows will be darker and bluer than that of other orientations. This

will be an important factor to consider when you are deciding on a color scheme for this room, because in the end, color is just different reflections and absorptions of light.

Fortunately, there are several different color options for north facing rooms. White paint colors with warmer undertones can help to brighten up a dark north facing room.

Tan and beige paint color are an excellent option if you are looking to create a comfortable and cozy space in your north facing room. Even warm toned gray paint colors work well in north facing rooms, if you want a more modern look.