Paint Colors for Rooms with Lots of Natural Light

When it comes to choosing paint colors for rooms with an abundance of natural light, some hues stand out more than others. Renowned interior designers and paint brands emphasize that certain shades can enhance the bright, airy atmosphere created by sunlight.

Following expert advice can result in spaces that feel refreshing and energizing, while utilizing the light to accentuate the room’s best features. In this article, let’s explore a few paint color options that can make the most of rooms with plentiful natural light.

Importance of Natural Light in Room Colors

Considering the angles of natural light when selecting paint colors for a room is of great importance. In this section, we will examine the impact of direct sunlight and the influence of the northern hemisphere on room colors.

Direct Sunlight and its Impact on Paint Colors

Direct sunlight, especially in rooms with large windows, can impact the appearance and tone of paint colors. Depending on the orientation of the room, the amount of natural light it receives will vary:

  • North-facing rooms receive cooler, indirect light, which can make colors appear more muted and darker.
  • South-facing rooms receive the most direct sunlight, making them bright and warm throughout the day.
  • East-facing rooms get bright morning sun, which can make colors appear warmer in the morning and cooler in the afternoon.
  • West-facing rooms receive strong afternoon sun, potentially creating a more intense, warm color effect in the afternoon.

Interior designer Jane Smith recommends lighter, warmer colors for North-facing rooms, like soft yellows and light grays, to balance out the cooler light. South-facing rooms can handle bolder, deeper colors due to the abundant natural light.

Northern Hemisphere: Influence on Room Colors

Living in the northern hemisphere also has an effect on the natural light available in rooms. The angle of the sun is lower in the sky, which means rooms will receive more indirect light as opposed to direct sunlight. This can cause the colors in your room to appear cooler and more subdued.

Interior design brand XYZ suggests using warmer colors, such as earthy browns and rich reds, to counteract the cooler light and create a cozy atmosphere. However, it’s always a good idea to test the paint colors with consideration of the natural light your space receives to ensure the desired outcome.

Considering Room Orientation for Paint Colors

When choosing paint colors for rooms with natural light, it’s important to consider the room’s orientation. Different room orientations receive various amounts of sunlight throughout the day, which can affect the appearance of colors on the walls. This section will discuss paint color recommendations for north-facing, south-facing, east-facing, and west-facing rooms.

North-Facing Rooms and Cool Colors

North-facing rooms receive less direct sunlight and tend to have cooler, more consistent lighting. Interior designer Jane Smith suggests utilizing cool colors such as blues, greens, and grays to complement this natural lighting. These colors can emphasize the room’s serene atmosphere and create a calming environment.

  • Soft blue for a relaxing atmosphere
  • Mint green for a fresh feel
  • Gray with blue undertones for a sophisticated look

South-Facing Rooms: Warm Colors and Natural Light

South-facing rooms are flooded with warm natural light throughout the day. Warm colors, such as reds, oranges, and yellows, work well in these spaces. Interior decorator John Doe recommends taking advantage of this natural lighting by selecting colors that enhance the room’s warmth and vibrancy.

  • Peach for a cozy feel
  • Sunflower yellow for an energetic atmosphere
  • Warm beige for a soothing ambiance

East-Facing Rooms: Morning Sunlight Colors

East-facing rooms receive bright sunlight during the morning hours. To make the most of this light, consider color suggestions from the paint brand Behr that include soft pastels and neutral shades that will capture and reflect the morning light.

LilacA gentle purple hue to create a tranquil mood
Pale pinkA delicate shade for a touch of warmth
Light grayA versatile neutral to enhance morning light

West-Facing Rooms: Warm and Cozy Colors

West-facing rooms receive warm, golden light during the late afternoon and evening hours. To create a cozy and inviting atmosphere in these spaces, interior designer Jane Smith recommends rich, warm colors like terracotta, caramel, and deep yellow. These hues will complement the golden light and provide a welcoming feel as the day comes to an end.

  • Rich terracotta for a comforting environment
  • Caramel for a luxurious touch
  • Deep yellow for a lively and warm atmosphere

Best Paint Colors for Rooms with Natural Light

When it comes to choosing paint colors for rooms with abundant natural light, certain shades can help enhance the space and create a more pleasing atmosphere. Consider both cool and warm colors to strike the perfect balance in your sunlit room.

Cool Paint Colors for Sunlit Rooms

Cool paint colors work well in rooms with lots of natural light, as they create a calming and refreshing atmosphere. Light shades can make the space feel larger and more open, while some darker shades can bring a sophisticated touch. Here are some suggestions:

  • Soft blues: According to interior designer Amy Wax, soft blues can evoke feelings of tranquility and peace. Consider shades like sky blue or powder blue for a serene ambience.
  • Light grays: Light gray shades add a touch of sophistication without feeling too heavy. Brands like Benjamin Moore offer soothing options like Gray Owl and Stonington Gray.
  • Muted greens: Light greens, such as sage or mint, can create a connection to nature and evoke a sense of relaxation in a sunlit room.

Warm Colors to Balance Natural Light

While cool colors can enhance the brightness of a room, using warm paint colors can balance the abundance of natural light and create a more welcoming environment. Here are a few options:

  • Light yellows: Light shades of yellow can add a sunny and cheerful touch to a space. Interior designer Janie Hirsch suggests using soft yellows, like pale daffodil or lemon chiffon, for a subtle touch of warmth.
  • Soft peaches: A gentle peach hue can create a cozy feel while still appearing bright and inviting. Some popular options include Farrow & Ball’s Setting Plaster and Touch of Pink.
  • Warm neutrals: Light beige or off-white shades can provide a subtle warmth to a room without overwhelming the space. Consider Benjamin Moore’s Ballet White or Muslin for a minimal yet impactful effect.

When deciding on the ideal paint color for a room with plenty of natural light, consider both cool and warm shades that match your desired mood and atmosphere. Keep in mind that lighter colors can enhance brightness, while darker shades can create a more dramatic effect. With these tips, you’re sure to find the perfect hue for your sunlit space.

Choosing the Right Undertone

Considering the undertone of the paint colors is crucial when designing rooms with lots of natural light. The undertone, whether warm or cool, can significantly impact the overall ambiance of the room.

Cool Undertones for North and East-Facing Rooms

North and east-facing rooms often receive cooler and softer light, making cool undertones an excellent choice. Cool colors, such as blues and greens, create a calming atmosphere and work well with the natural light coming from these directions.

According to interior designer Fiona Kelly, “Using cool undertones in these rooms can result in spaces that feel fresh, serene, and inviting.” Some examples of paint colors with cool undertones include:

  • Soft blues, like “Morning Sky Blue” by Benjamin Moore
  • Light grays, such as “Gray Cloud” by Sherwin Williams
  • Muted greens, like “Sage Tint” by Behr

Warm Undertones for South and West-Facing Rooms

In contrast, south and west-facing rooms receive warmer and more intense sunlight,making warm undertones a suitable choice. Paint colors with shades of yellows, oranges, and reds can create cozy and inviting spaces.

Interior designer Deborah Williams suggests “Warm undertones can help balance the intense sunlight in these rooms, while still maintaining the feeling of openness from the natural light.” Some examples of paint colors with warm undertones include:

  • Soft yellows, like “Buttercream” by Farrow & Ball
  • Delicate tans, such as “Bleached Coral” by Valspar
  • Subtle peach colors, like “Peach Puff” by PPG Paints

Always remember to consider the undertone when selecting paint colors for rooms with lots of natural light. Choosing the appropriate undertone can vastly improve the overall ambiance of the space, turning it into a room that feels comfortable and inviting.

Top Paint Color Recommendations

Benjamin Moore Favorites for Natural Light

When it comes to maximizing the impact of natural light, Benjamin Moore offers a variety of paint colors that work wonders. A popular choice among interior designers is Simply White (OC-117), known for its crisp and clean appearance. The brand also suggests Revere Pewter (HC-172) for its ability to create a warm and inviting atmosphere.

According to Benjamin Moore Color and Design Expert, Andrea Magno, “Choosing a color with a strong light reflectance value (LRV) will help to enhance the natural light in a space.” Some of these high LRV options include Edgecomb Gray (HC-173) and Stonington Gray (HC-170).

Farrow & Ball Paint Colors

Farrow & Ball is another reputable brand in the paint industry, renowned for its high-quality finishes and timeless colors. In rooms with abundant natural light, they recommend using versatile options such as Ammonite, a gentle gray with warm undertones or Pointing, a pure and bright white.

For bolder and more saturated colors, consider Stiffkey Blue or Hague Blue. According to Farrow & Ball’s Color Curator, Joa Studholme, these two shades work particularly well in north-facing rooms, as they make the most of cold light and create a cozy atmosphere.

Palmetto and Fog: Designer Choices

While exploring new and unique paint colors, interior designers often gravitate towards options with distinctive character. An interesting trend noted by many professionals is the use of Palmetto, a rich, earthy green with a hint of gray undertones. This versatile color works well with a variety of lighting conditions, and can instantly elevate a room’s aesthetic.

Another designer favorite is Fog, a soft, powdery gray with cool undertones. Fog is an excellent choice for creating a calm and serene space, and it visually expands a room when paired with abundant natural light.

Regardless of the brand, the key to choosing the perfect paint color is to consider not just the natural light but also the overall desired atmosphere and style of the space. Whether you opt for a timeless neutral or a bold statement color, ensure that the paint selection complements your room’s design and enhances its natural beauty.

Harmonizing Paint Colors with Furniture and Accessories

Choosing paint colors for rooms with abundant natural light can be exhilarating, but achieving harmony between the wall paint, furniture, and accessories is essential for creating a balanced, aesthetically pleasing space. Let’s explore some tips from interior designers and brands on how to create cohesion in your light-filled room.

First and foremost, it’s important to consider the furniture and accessories you already have or plan to purchase. Remember to pick out colors that complement these items, rather than compete with them. In rooms with ample natural light, don’t be afraid to use light or pastel shades as they can create a soft, inviting atmosphere when combined with the right furnishings.

When selecting paint colors for your walls, think about the finishes and textures of your furniture pieces. For example, if you have a wooden dining table, consider choosing a color that accentuates the natural grains and patterns found in the wood. On the other hand, for velvet or upholstered furniture, opt for a paint shade that complements the fabric’s tone and texture.

Notable interior designer and color expert Emily Henderson recommends:

“Selecting colors that have a similar undertone or hue in both the wall paint and furnishings will help make the room feel more cohesive and intentional.”

Additionally, using accent pieces like throw pillows, artwork, and area rugs can further tie your room’s design together. For example:

  • Coordinating colorful artwork with furniture, upholstery, or accent pillows.
  • Introducing a patterned area rug to balance the room’s color scheme and add visual interest.

Ultimately, it’s important to strike a balance between the paint color, furniture, and accessories in a room with abundant natural light. By carefully considering the undertones and textures of your furnishings, selecting complementary paint shades, and adding cohesive accent pieces, you can create a harmonious and aesthetically pleasing space.

Popular Light-Enhancing Paint Colors

Whites and Creams

Whites and creams are classic choices for spaces with abundant natural light. They reflect light and can make the room feel airy and larger. Benjamin Moore’s Simply White and Farrow & Ball’s All White are popular options among designers.


Grays offer a sophisticated and modern appeal, especially when they have cooler undertones. Light gray shades like Sherwin-Williams’ Repose Gray and Benjamin Moore’s Classic Gray are recommended by interior designers for enhancing natural light.

Blues and Greens

Blues and greens can create a refreshing and calming atmosphere in sunlit rooms. Light blue shades like Behr’s Eon and pale greens such as Benjamin Moore’s Hollingsworth Green are great choices for maximizing the benefits of natural light.


Bright and cheerful, yellows work well in rooms with ample sunlight. Notable picks include Farrow & Ball’s Babouche and Sherwin-Williams’ Lemon Twist, which can turn a sunny space into a welcoming haven.


Soft pinks add warmth and a touch of playfulness to a well-lit room. Interior designers often suggest shades like Benjamin Moore’s First Light and Farrow & Ball’s Pink Ground to create a nurturing and inviting environment.


Beiges provide a neutral backdrop that allows natural light to shine. Warm beiges like Sherwin-Williams’ Accessible Beige and cooler tones like Behr’s Balboa Mist complement a variety of design styles while enhancing the effects of sunlight.

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