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  • Gina Everett


When choosing a paint colour, most of us rely on what we see in the can to represent what we’d get on the walls. Ever painted a room with a carefully picked colour, only to cringe at the way it ended up looking? If it's any consolation, chances are, the debacle had something to do with your room’s lighting. Yes, the daylight entering your home through the windows, through the skylight, as well as the artificial lights at work, can dramatically affect the colour of a surface.

Here’s how-

1. NATURAL LIGHT- Although sunlight is known to provide the purest perception of colour, it constantly changes in intensity as the day progresses from dawn to dusk. Got lots of natural light entering a space? Observe the wall paint at different times of the day (and even different times of the year). If you have the same colour everywhere, you’d notice how it will vary from one room to another. In order to best comprehend how daylight affects the various rooms in your home, consider their orientation.

  • North- Light from the north has a soft, bluish cast to it. In order to offset that, you can use bright shades of yellow or orange-red to bring in some warmth and make the room appear brighter. Placing a mirror opposite to the window further reflects light in the room. If you want your space to feel cocooning and dark, use cool shades of blue or green to up the north light effect.

  • South- Rooms facing the south are filled with warm, orange-yellow light all day long. You can get the most out of this light with blue undertones for a soothing coastal look. Neutrals can be used for a warmer feel.

  • West- Shadowy and dull in the morning, west-facing rooms are bathed in a warm glow in the late afternoon. This light is best maximised through white walls as they reflect it naturally, giving the room a nice airy feel. Neutrals can work well too but the change in colour intensity through the day will be more pronounced.

  • East- Rooms oriented to the east receive yellow light till the noon and bluish thereafter. In order to retain maximum light here, you can go for pale shades of blue and green, which, by the way, look gorgeous in the morning sunlight.

2. ARTIFICIAL LIGHT- The kind of artificial lights used, also affects colour perception as different light fixtures emit different hues of light. Incandescent and halogen bulbs generate yellow light that tends to amplify warm colours. This can work nicely with yellow neutrals but will overcast blue undertones. So if you want to go for blue in a room with these light sources, it will be advisable to pick a blue shade with a tone of red. LED lighting has a cool temperature and is therefore more suited to contemporary interiors. In order for your walls to have the truest impression of their colour (as in possible in daylight), choose a bulb which emits white light.

A warm glow to these Incandescent bulbs

The most important thing to consider before choosing a paint colour, is the utility and occupancy of the room at different times of the day. Decide for yourself if you want the paint to calm or excite you and then figure out how you can use lighting to your advantage. Once you’ve picked a colour for your walls, use large tester patches to see how it appears through the day. We recommend using large tester patches with a double coat, preferably on the corners so you can see the colour in light as well as shade. Don’t forget, the gloss level of paint matters too!

If you need help with choosing colours for your space or want to share your colour testing experience, please feel free to contact us at

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