Look at the light


Image courtesy of Zoffany

As the trend for ‘don’t move but improve’ continues, the long bank holiday weekends are a popular time for a bit of DIY. In fact we heard recently that DIY activity dramatically increased over the Easter bank holiday weekend.

There are lots of ways to add a new and fresh touch to a room without a complete overhaul; a new blind; some bright scatter cushions; statement artwork… or you could simply dust off your paint brushes. Changing the colour of a room can have a hugely positive effect on how a space looks and feels. So with the May bank holidays upon us we thought we would give you some thoughts on paint colours….

Light is probably the biggest influencer on what to go for, so bear in mind which way the room faces and make sure you view the colours you’re considering at different times of the day, allowing for both daylight and artificial light. Grab yourself some tester pots, paint several pieces of card and place them all around the walls of the room.

North facing rooms can be a real challenge as they receive the least natural light and are consistently cooler. Rather than fighting this, embrace it and opt for a rich dark shade to create a dramatic yet cosy feel – deep purples or burgundies – perfect for a library or den. Alternatively, if maximising light and space is a priority and you’re looking for a lighter colour, be sure to choose a shade with a warm rather than cool base – avoid greens or greys.

In total contrast, southern-facing rooms enjoy light throughout the day and are much easier to decorate. As the sunniest place in the home, anything goes! However, to maximise the feeling of space go for soft cooler tones such as pastel shades of blues, greens and teals – the colours of this season in fact.

With east and west facing rooms it’s useful to consider whether you’ll use them more during the morning or afternoon and tailor your colour choice accordingly. West facing rooms can feel dull in the morning but are filled with a lovely warm glow in the afternoon. To maximise this light, go for whites and neutrals so that they bounce light around the room. Or you could try red based shades which will come alive in the afternoon sun. Conversely, East facing rooms tend to get bright morning light that has an almost bleaching effect, then can look gloomy later in the day. Avoid this by choosing a warmer palette to offset the lack of natural light later in the day.

There are lots of different paints on the market but we particularly love Zoffany’s paint palette. They offer 144 shades in a variety of finishes, the coverage is great and the paint is hardwearing. We keep a selection of sample pots in the shop but can order any we don’t have in stock.

So, dust off your paintbrush and give that tired room a bit of a facelift.