5 key tips to choosing colours for the rooms in your home

white door

In the midst of the Spring cleans so many of us are often doing at this time of year, it’s not unusual for us to decide it’s time to give our rooms a fresh lick of paint too. But it’s no small undertaking, and you’ll have to live with the results for quite some time, so it’s important to choose your colours carefully! (Apart from anything else, you’ll want to make sure that your room colours complement your internal doors). So this week we’ve summed up a couple of handy tips and tricks to help you narrow down the colours that are available, so that you can get exactly the right feel and mood you want for every room in your home.

1. Do you want to make the room lighter?

Immediately, you might already be answering ‘yes!’ to this question as an off-the-cuff answer, but hold your horses for a second. While it’s true that brighter, lighter colour schemes can make a room feel more spacious and airy, it doesn’t mean that it should be a foregone conclusion for every room in the house. You might well find that the room in question looks better in a darker, cosier colour scheme, especially if it’s a bedroom. Various shades of maroon or navy are viewed as especially calming, even luxuriant. In short, while light and airy is always going to be popular, you’ll first want to have a think about all the possible alternatives!

2. Which way does the room face?

The direction of the room is more important than many people think. When you’re outside you can easily tell morning light from evening light, and the same is true when you’re at home indoors. The quality of the incoming light will differ depending on whether the room is facing North, South, East or West.

Choosing colour for a North-facing room

North facing rooms tend to get light that’s cooler and harsher, which will have an effect on cool and neutral-toned rooms especially. For that reason, you may first want to have a think about a shade of yellow or pink. (In fact, we recently talked about the best ways to decorate with mustard tones.) However, if you see yellow as a bit of a bold colour, as many people do, it could instead be an idea to consider neutral colour schemes that just have hints of yellow or pink undertones. Alternatively, darker colours like charcoals or purples can give the room a richer or cosier look.

Choosing colour for a South-facing room

Let’s be honest, everyone loves a good South-facing room! There’s a great reason for this – in these rooms, you get to enjoy the benefit of direct sunlight throughout the entire day. While the temptation might therefore be to go for a bolder colour, it’s worth keeping in mind that paints in here can look warmer and often yellower than they might do on a chart. For that reason, cooler colours and more neutral tones are usually a wise choice, if you want to play it safe.

Choosing colour for a East-facing room

East-facing rooms are interesting in that they start out bright earlier in the day, but go steadily cooler as the hours pass. It does mean you can afford to experiment with brighter and bolder colours, if you prefer to wake up to particularly vibrant surroundings. Alternatively, blue, green or pale neutrals with a blue or green base can nicely offset the sunshine if you want to go for a more restrained look.

Choosing colour for a West-facing room

Basically, selecting colours for a West-facing room is the same as East-facing, but in reverse (as you might expect!). Here, the room will get cooler light in the mornings, but will progressively get stronger and brighter throughout the day, so you’ve got to pick your colour accordingly. Again, blues or greens are often a solid choice, and remember that whatever shade you choose will be intensified later in the afternoon.

3. When do you use the room?

You’ll need to consider this in tandem with the direction in which the room faces. The thing is, once the sun goes down, artificial light is going to affect the way the room appears. Almost all colours are going to look noticeably different under lamplight than they will under direct sunlight. Halogen lamps do a good job of showing off paint colours, but they often make them look slightly warmer. LEDs, on the other hand, create much colder light, so you’ll need to think about how your chosen colours will appear under the room’s normal lighting conditions.

4. How big is the room in question?

We’ve included this one last as you’ve probably already thought about it – it’s fairly common knowledge amongst homeowners, even those who wouldn’t count themselves necessarily into interior design. If a room is relatively small, brighter colours tend to make it feel larger. Cooler colours are best, as these appear further away. Whites and pale neutrals will reflect the most light, helping the space to feel brighter and airier. We’d also advise sticking with the same paint colours across all four walls of a room, as the breaks in colour caused by something like an accent wall can make you more conscious of the limited space.

5. Don’t forget your internal doors!

open door

We’ve talked before here on the Savoy Timber blog about the importance of matching your internal doors to the impression and style you’re trying to create for your home, and that’s especially relevant when it comes to colour. You’ll also need to be especially careful that you protect them when you’re painting the room! And if you’re thinking about a refresh of your internal doors, we’ve got a huge range of them to choose from right here at Savoy Timber. Brighter, airer colour schemes are especially well-suited to our range of white internal doors, while darker and cosier colour schemes might be better suited to our collection of oak internal doors.

You can see our full range of internal doors at any of our DIY stores across the North West – we’ve got locations in Preston, Blackpool and Wigan for you to shop to your heart’s content. And if you have any questions or need any advice, one of our friendly members of staff is always around to help!