Certain as the sun rises in the east, choosing wall color for east-facing rooms will present a challenge. On bright, sunny mornings your room will be filled with warmth from the sun's yellow glow, but come noon the same walls will appear much darker. By evening your room may look like a completely different color than what you see upon rising in the morning.
Since I'm still searching for the perfect color for my east-facing great room and am considering a much darker color, I was thrilled to see a piece on this very subject in the April issue of House Beautiful. A number of designers were asked to weigh in and suggest an option. Several mentioned the need to consider the yellow cast given off by the morning sun. With the exception of the fabulous designer Grant Gibson, the consensus seemed to be muted versions of pastels with yellows, greens, blues and silvery purples taking the lead. (Paint colors below appear darker on screen than they did in the issue of House Beautiful.)
Farrow & Ball Hound Lemon 2
Benjamin MooreSpring Meadow 208
Benjamin Moore Crisp Morning Air
Gibson mentions in the HB piece that he chose a deep cobalt blue from Farrow & Ball in his own bedroom because the moody quality of the color appeals to him in the evening.
Farrow & Ball Drawing Room Blue 253
The comment by Mr. Gibson made me think about the importance of choosing a color based on what type of feeling you want the space to invoke and what times of day you'll be spending in the room. A deep eggplant color in your bedroom may feeling soothing when you retire for the evening, but that same color in your east-facing breakfast nook may not give you the energetic feel you desire with your morning coffee.
In my own attempts at choosing a paint color that works both day and night I have found it very helpful to select paint chips at the store rather than relying on the color I see online which can be deceptive. Buying test samples of colors that appeal to me and trying them out on large poster boards allows me to tape the sample to various walls in my room and view them at different times of the day.
I rejected these two colors (which appear far brighter on the screen) after seeing how dreary and washed out they looked in the evening light.
The camera really does lie, these colors are much darker in person.
While wall color is one of the least expensive options for changing the look of a room, you don't want to waste time and money on paint that doesn't work in your space. Because the light in east-facing rooms seems to change every few hours, it's well worth it to spend $20-$30 on paint samples in order to get it right the first time.
These one quart test samples from Sherwin Williams are ideal for testing out colors without committing and, as my blogging friend Kelle Dame pointed out, can be used for random projects around your home even if you reject the color for your walls.
I'm currently on my 4th test color, it's taking far longer than I anticipated to select a color, but in the long run I know I'll be glad I chose wisely it's never fun having to do a project over because of a mistake.
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