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need help choosing colours

Doubt mom
10 September, 2015

We are planning on buying a semi detached house. It has a medium sized living facing north. In my past three visits, I find the living room, very dark and is putting me off. But, my husband is insistent that a good paint and proper furnishing would brighten it up. The house currently has a modern copper colour walls.

The house has brown PVC windows, that i find more challenging in comparison to the standard white windows.

Please suggest.

Note: Both husband and I are very poor with interior sense and furnishing. Our current flat is so boringly painted with absolutely mismatching furnitures. So, i would like to invest better time and seek advise before doing anythign with this new house.

Comments (6)

  • PRO
    Jessica Buckley Interiors

    Hello! North facing rooms can always be quite challenging as they never get the bright warm light that south facing rooms benefit from. The light is usually greyish blue in colour and can leave north facing rooms looking drab and cold. My advice for people with darkish north-facing spaces is to go with the darkness rather than trying to fight it as no amount of white paint will make it a sunny light-filled room! In fact whites can look very dingy in north facing rooms.

    Try choosing a rich and inviting colour for the walls and then make sure that it is properly lit (plenty of table and floor lamps rather than just one overhead light) and this will create a cosy and inviting sitting room.To avoid the room from feeling overly dark you could use white curtains at the window (a nice contrast to the dark walls) and place a large mirrors on one of the walls perpendicular to the windows which would reflect light into the room.

    I hope this helps! Good luck with your new home.

    Doubt mom thanked Jessica Buckley Interiors
  • PRO

    HI, I too have a very dark living room with not much light. As long as you go with light surfaces on the walls as well as a lighter coloured carpets and furniture it will help to bounce the natural light around. Try lighting the room from three corners, with table lamps or a standard lamp. This is one the rules of Interior design and will help create a lighter brighter room. Another ides is to use mirrors. Perhaps one very large mirror to reflect the light and create an illusion of space. Or even a wall of smaller mirrors in lots of different shapes, sizes and styles. With regards to the windows, try to avoid fussy curtains, perhaps a plain simple roman blind. If the windows are small you could hang the blinds on the outside of the window recess like a pelmet effect. This means that you are still getting as much natural light as possible.

    Don't let this put you off. There are many ways you can brighten up a dark space. Good luck and I hope I've helped.

    Doubt mom thanked creativeorg
  • Doubt mom

    hi Jessica,

    Thank you very much. They currently have dark colour paints on their walls. It is making the room very gloomy. Probably it is just that colour. can you suggest any darker/ or not light colours that would go well. We have to repaint the whole house. I wanted to go for some shade of yellow because I thought they might go well with dark brown windows.

    Will surely remember the lights and mirrors. They have down lights in almost all rooms.

  • Doubt mom

    Hi creative,

    Thank you. There are two large bay windows in the living room. The living room is L shaped. I will try and post a picture soon as I need help furnishing it as well.

  • PRO
    Jessica Buckley Interiors

    Hi Doubtmom -

    It's very tricky to suggest colours without having seen photos of the space but you might like to try shades such as deep yellows which are great for bringing warmth to a room. Make sure that you avoid using cheaper paint brands whose yellows can sometimes look brash. Farrow and Ball's yellows might be a good starting point. A mid grey-donkey brown such as Farrow and Ball's Skimming Stone or Mouse's Back might also work; or you could try a tester pot of Farrow & Ball's Dix Blue which is wonderfully rich with plenty of green which would look very relaxing.

    When considering paint colours the best thing to do is get tester pots but instead of applying them directly onto a wall, paint onto a large piece of card/paper which you can hang on the walls and move around to get a feel for how it will look on the different walls (the light falls differently on each wall so there will be a difference). Observe the colour in daylight, at dusk and in candlelight or artificial light to see how this affects the appearance of the colour before you make your decision.

    Best wishes


    Doubt mom thanked Jessica Buckley Interiors
  • PRO
    Amber Jeavons Ltd

    Hello Doubtmom,

    Firstly brown upvc is far nicer than their white counterparts.. It is something you are able to paint over if you wanted to.. So sage or charcoal for example are no longer dreams... The same goes for the front door if this too is upvc.



    On to colours.. Whitening by Little Greene is a good one for the ceiling.. It could go on a wall or two and if you wanted the woodwork.. It's creamy but really chalky and bright.. which is nice for a darker room...

    Have a think about what colours you like, and are there any specific features to the room that will have an impact.. Do you have a favourite piece of furniture that is a specific colour that will determine what is going to be used on the wall.. No need for me to suggest testers and paper as Jessica has already said this..

    So on to a more dominant colour something like Callaghan also LG could be lovely.. It's a really warm slightly rust or old rose with a hint of earthy brown.. Some copper and gold accessories can work nicely too.. Along with earthy colours like stones, beige, light browns and some light charcoals..

    Choose a warm coloured velvet sofa for rich luxury, some throws to layer and cushions to compliment.. Woods and textures will help to warm the room too as well as natural rug or carpet.. A few ideas based on a rich earthy warm palette.. : ))

    Doubt mom thanked Amber Jeavons Ltd

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