How to Deal with North, South, West & East Facing Rooms (in Interior Design)


Room orientation is one of the first and foremost things to consider when decorating a space. The amount of natural light that each room receives has a significant impact on the colour scheme chosen.   Southern rooms are considered most desirable because of the bright, natural light they enjoy. But, with some thoughtful planning about the room’s orientation, you can create a perfect atmosphere in any area of the house. This blog will guide you about some important things to consider when dealing with North, South, West, and East facing rooms to maximise their potential!

Room orientation is one of the first and foremost things to consider when decorating a space. The amount of natural light that each room receives has a significant impact on the colour scheme chosen.


Southern rooms are considered most desirable because of the bright, natural light they enjoy. But, with some thoughtful planning about the room’s orientation, you can create a perfect atmosphere in any area of the house. This article will guide you with some important things to consider when dealing with North, South, West, and East facing rooms to maximise their potential!


North-Facing Rooms


North-facing rooms — that receive shadow-less, greyish, and neutral light throughout the year — are known to be the darkest in the house. This can make them feel cold and gloomy. Below are a few tips to help you decorate them in a way that opens them up and creates a welcoming space.


Paint


Painting a dark room with a light paint colour, such as cream or white, can visually expand your space. But, opting for white in the entire room can end up creating a clinical and boring look. To add a bit of cosiness and amenity, use the warmer tones of pink, yellow, and gold, along with accents of bold shades.

Painting a dark room with a light paint colour, such as cream or white, can visually expand your space. But, opting for white in the entire room can end up creating a clinical and boring look. To add a bit of cosiness and amenity, use the warmer tones of pink, yellow, and gold, along with accents of bold shades.


Furniture


Since the room does not receive much light, choose low furniture pieces with light colours to avoid cramping it further. Also, focus on adding accessories, such as mirrors, that can enhance the amount of light available.

Since the room does not receive much light, choose low furniture pieces with light colours to avoid cramping it further. Also, focus on adding accessories, such as mirrors, that can enhance the amount of light available.


Lighting


North-facing rooms work best with layered lighting. Install a bright white bulb on the ceiling as ambient lighting, purchase table lamps for task lighting, and choose wall sconces and torchiere lamps for accent light.

North-facing rooms work best with layered lighting. Install a bright white bulb on the ceiling as ambient lighting, purchase table lamps for task lighting, and choose wall sconces and torchiere lamps for accent light.


South-Facing Rooms


Dealing with such rooms is comparatively easier since they face strong natural light for extended periods. Though if you have a south-facing home, the direct sunlight may increase temperatures — here are interior design tips to beat the heat!


Paint


Almost all colours look decent in south-facing rooms. However, it is preferred to go with softer tones, such as green, blue, and violet, to create a balance with the intense sunlight. These colours will allow you to pull off a breezy and tranquil environment. If you want to go for colours like red or orange, choose their neutral hues to prevent cranking up the heat.

Almost all colours look decent in south-facing rooms. However, it is preferred to go with softer tones, such as green, blue, and violet, to create a balance with the intense sunlight. These colours will allow you to pull off a breezy and tranquil environment. If you want to go for colours like red or orange, choose their neutral hues to prevent cranking up the heat.


Take Advantage Of The Sunlight


Adding plants is a fun way to make the most out of South-facing rooms. They provide the best environment for indoor plants to grow and thrive. There are a variety of options you can choose from, including money plants, jade plants, areca palms, and bamboo palms.

Adding plants is a fun way to make the most out of South-facing rooms. They provide the best environment for indoor plants to grow and thrive. There are a variety of options you can choose from, including money plants, jade plants, areca palms, and bamboo palms.


Lighting


Although these rooms have adequate daylight, you’ll still need soft lighting, such as wall lights and table lamps, to introduce a cosy feel and inviting mood on evenings and dark days.

Although these rooms have adequate daylight, you’ll still need soft lighting, such as wall lights and table lamps, to introduce a cosy feel and inviting mood on evenings and dark days.


East And West-Facing Rooms


The point to consider when decorating these rooms is that they experience more dramatic changes of light compared to South and West-facing rooms.


Amongst other interior design mistakes, choosing the wrong paint colour is common, especially because many people tend to neglect the direction of their homes when making the decision. Keep reading to learn how to make the best choice!


Paint Colours For East-Facing Rooms


The morning light ranges from grey-yellow to white, which washes out colours, whereas the afternoon light is more yellowish. Therefore, you need to consider when the East-facing rooms will be used and what role they will play.   Blue, which doesn’t have a hint of grey, and green paint colours are normally recommended. If you use the room in the afternoon or evening, choose a warm and saturated palette to imbue freshness and balance out the lack of natural light.

Credit: Benjamin Moore


The morning light ranges from grey-yellow to white, which washes out colours, whereas the afternoon light is more yellowish. Therefore, you need to consider when the East-facing rooms will be used and what role they will play.


Blue, which doesn’t have a hint of grey, and green paint colours are normally recommended. If you use the room in the afternoon or evening, choose a warm and saturated palette to imbue freshness and balance out the lack of natural light.


Paint Colours For West-Facing Rooms


These rooms are not as dark as North-facing rooms, so their paint colours vary accordingly, too. They have the strongest light in the evening with a rich gold-orange hue. So, if the room will be used at the end of the day, going for cool tones to avoid an overwhelming effect is the right option. Contrastingly, you can pick warm tones if the room will be used in the morning hours.

Credit: Kate Wiltshire Design


These rooms are not as dark as North-facing rooms, so their paint colours vary accordingly, too. They have the strongest light in the evening with a rich gold-orange hue. So, if the room will be used at the end of the day, going for cool tones to avoid an overwhelming effect is the right option. Contrastingly, you can pick warm tones if the room will be used in the morning hours.


Final Words


Keep in mind that there are no hard and fast rules when decorating your space. You do you. In the end, your place is meant to be a space where you can relax and unwind, not a show home.


Just figure out your room’s orientation, consider the basic tips outlined above, play around with various colours and tones, and find the ones that make you feel the best!


Need some help picking out the right paint colours or lighting options to optimise the orientation of your space? Just book one of our Interior Design Gurus here! They can look at your space over video chat and give you tips, ideas and guidance on how to achieve an interior that you love.