Light is so important when choosing a colour for furniture or a room – consideration needs to be taken both with the direction of the room and the amount of natural light it receives.
Colour changes with both the quality and type of light, the same colour can vary enormously from room to room, at different times of the day and from season to season. This is Nature at it’s beautiful variant best but can complicate colour choice! Add to this that as unique as we all are, our perspective of colour is very individual! I have yet to meet any two people who could agree on what they perceive Terracotta to be!
North-facing rooms can be quite a challenge even here on the Costa del Sol and a virtual guarantee of 300/365 days of glorious sunshine, spoilt though we are! Northern light brings out cooler tones and smaller spaces with little natural light can appear cooler and darker. Greys and Greens can feel quite cold, not fresh and uplifting as in other parts of the house.
In contrast south-facing rooms are sheer delight! Full of light and warmth throughout the day, pretty much anything looks good! White becomes crisper and fresher, pale and neutral tones optimise light, feeling bold go for dramatic statement colours! With south-facing you can’t really go wrong!
With west and east facing rooms the decision really centres around which part of the day they are going to be used most – east-facing rooms are brighter first thing and cooler in the afternoon, the opposite can be said for west-facing.
Artificial light has a big effect, different bulbs give off different shades of light. Colours look warmer with halogen/incandescent lighting, LED emits a bluer tinge and ‘white’ light makes colours appear as close to natural light as they can be.
Also remember that paint sheen affects colour, glossy finishes reflect light, whereas matt finishes are less reflective and allow colours to look truer under bright light.
So, final thoughts on colour and light? Best advice would be to live with your colour choice for one day before making the plunge to decorate the whole room or paint your kitchen purple! Have your sample painted on an A4 piece of artist’s card or board and watch how it is affected by changing light. Colour choices are HAPPY choices.
“In nature, light creates the colour. In the picture, colour creates the light.” Hans Hofmann