We so rarely are in the right place at the right time with a camera to catch a perfect moment but a few years ago in Philadelphia everything worked in my favour. I was out in the late afternoon and was coming out of a store when I looked up and saw the trees and the roofs painted in orange western light. I had my camera in my hand, as I had just bought a battery, and so I managed to take this beautiful shot of western sun.
A western facing room is going to have, for most of the day, indirect cool light. It is only in the final hours of daylight that a room will be bathed in a warm orange light. Greens love this light as does its complementary – red. Red becomes far less noise in this light and if you have a western facing dining room red is always a perfect colour.
This southern facing wall has a much darker green than appears on the wall. The bright southern exposure has pretty much washed it out. It is certainly hard to tell it was a green wall. Southern light is strong yellow/white light. It has the longest exposure during the day. It simply washes out pale colours. If you use intense colours, in southern light it had better be a room you want people to be stimulated in.
Intense colours will vibrate in full sun. The good news is southern light is wonderful for the white wall trend. Pure whites and blue whites are beautiful in this full on light. Cool colours in a mid tone range can glow in this light and browns are less sombre. Always beware that this light will cast shadows.
This room never seemed dark even with these dark brown walls. The room was always suffused with light most of the day.
This gray in this bathroom had a very pale blue in the colour chip until I put it in this Northern exposed light, Beauti-Tone Pierced FD045. Hello blue ….goodbye gray. (I didn’t think I needed to test it …such a small room….wrong) I liked it enough that I didn’t change it. I always felt good in this room. It was lovely place to have a bath. Northern Light rarely has direct light and is quite neutral. The light is blue as a rule and does get gayer as you go north. Pale colours are beautiful in this light especially warm ones as it counters the coolness of this light. The benefits of this light is that it has limited shadows and glare and the light is quite even through the day.
Eastern light cast a green tinge. It is a warm light in the morning and a cool light for the rest of the day and so the light can then tend to be a bluish gray. Pale colours work well in this light especially cool greens and blues. This particular room had eastern and western light. For this room I did use many colour samples taped to the white primed wall and I watched them constantly through the day. Anything with a gray or dirty beige tone just went…. dirty. In the end I went with a beautiful clean pale yellow called Salt Cellar also Beauti-Tone FD031. It was one of the few colour that kept its integrity through all the changes throughout the day. I loved this room too.
So never doubt the power of the sun or ignore the direction your room faces.
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