This syndicated article by Melissa Rayworth of Associated Press appeared in our local paper yesterday.
Here is what Meredith Heron has to say about natural light and colour, especially wall colour:
The natural light in a room impacts how a pastel colour actually appears, says Heron. East-facing windows bring a cool, blue light during the day, while west-facing windows bring in a redder light in the afternoon and at sunset. Heron says south-facing windows tend to offer a yellower light.
“My rule of thumb is to avoid the pastels that correspond to the direction of the light,” she says. “So no pinks in a western-facing room or they will look like something out of an antacid commercial.” Likewise, avoid pastel yellow in a south-facing room and blue in an east-facing one.***
*** My personal opinion is you cannot go wrong with blue, because it is easy to pop in some contrasting pops of warm colours such as orange, brown, tan or coral.
Notice she does not say anything about northern light, which is the best light for art studios — and something I still miss from my last apartment which had wide open northern light not overlooked or overshadowed by other buildings.
I have made many decorating faux pas over the course of a lifetime of moves. Of course some mistakes are rooted in the time the decorating was done — like trying to coordinate pink roses on a white background with a slightly different pink with silvery white polka dots (my childhood room in the 50s before designers were offering really coordinated collections — I was just ahead of my time!), or setting a trend for orange drapes in the 70s. We lived in a downtown neighborhood where all the homes were right at the street so you could not help but notice what drapes everyone had. At first people thought ours were weird but within a few months everyone else had orange drapes too!