All light, especially natural light, impacts how paint color appears on a wall—and ultimately, how paint color looks in a room. Here, we share the best paint colors for rooms that get natural light from the north, known as ‘northern exposure.’

The amount of light that comes from each direction—be it north, south, east or west—has a powerful effect on a paint color’s intensity and cast. Here are some common characteristics of northern light:

  • A north-facing room tends to get consistent light throughout the day.
  • The natural light in a room with northern exposure can be muted and toned down
  • Cool, blue-gray tones are common for a room with northern exposure.

How can you balance some of the qualities of northern light? Choose a paint color with the right amount of warm and cool undertones, and consider the brightness of the paint color.

Let’s look at solutions from our most popular color families when it comes to north-facing rooms: Whitegray and neutral paint colors. Given that these paint colors are so subtle, natural light has the greatest impact on how each one appears in a space.

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