Inspiration Article

Masterclass: How to decorate a north facing room

How to decorate a north facing room

Decorating a north facing room is no mean feat. The lack of natural light entering the room will dictate the paint colours you use and how you’re going to style the space. Here, we share our north facing living room ideas from our colour specialists and reveal the best colours for north facing rooms.

Why are north facing rooms difficult to decorate?

When it comes to natural light exposure, north facing rooms aren’t as fortunate as the other three orientations. Typically, south facing rooms are filled with a generous amount of warm, natural sunlight throughout the day, whereas north facing rooms receive very little. This can bring out the cooler tones in your paint colours, making them seem much darker than they are. So, it’s important to select the right shades for the direction your room is facing.

“North facing rooms have lower and cooler light levels, which can affect how paint colours appear on your walls. To make a north facing room much cosier to be in, opt for soft warm colours with hints of pink, orange and yellow in them.” Marianne Shillingford, Dulux Creative Director.

The best colours for north facing rooms

It’s all about the mood you’re trying to set. Do you want to let the light in or embrace the darkness? Lighter-toned hues will naturally brighten a space when the sunlight can’t reach it.

Steer clear of green and grey tones, and instead use yellow or pink-based paint colours such as Dulux Heritage Powder Colour, DH Linen and Cream. They’ll add a gentle glow to your room. To create a sense of drama and depth, wrap the space in deep tones like Dulux Heritage Cherry Truffle. Warm, lavish, and velvety, this chocolate shade is the perfect paint colour for a north facing room.

Dulux Heritage Cherry Truffle

Image: Dulux Heritage Cherry Truffle

Styling tips for north facing rooms

Paint colour shouldn’t be your only consideration when decorating a north facing room. The lighting, furniture and accessories that fill the space all have a huge role to play in making your home feel inviting. Here are a few style suggestions to inspire you.


If room is only exposed to cool northern light, layer it with your own warm lighting. Opt for a bright white bulb for your ceiling light, then gradually introduce light bulbs that give off a softer, warm glow for your floor and table lamps to make it feel cosy.


If you want to brighten a north facing room, avoid crowding it with bulky, dark furniture. A neutral sofa with thin legs and a slim frame will be better suited to your space, so will white or light wood for storage units and shelving.


Mirrors are great at bouncing light around rooms that face north. Strategically place them opposite windows to reflect the sunlight that does spill into the space and to create a sense of openness. Soft accessories can also be used to add pops of colour to brighten your room or accentuate your chosen paint colour.

If you feel ready to take on a north facing room, explore our stunning range of classic Dulux Heritage colours here, all of which are available in two high-quality Dulux Trade finishes.

Make sure you follow us on Instagram and Facebook. Share your Heritage colour story with us using #MyHeritageHome and tag @duluxheritage.


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