Ask the experts: white vs bright


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Our interiors specialists answer your household questions

Q Our north-facing bedroom feels quite cold and dark. My husband wants to paint it white to make it feel lighter; are there any other options?

A There is no doubt that a north-facing room can be a challenge as the natural light is cooler and harsher, making it difficult to create a feeling of space. I recommend decorating a north-facing room with colours that have warm undertones, not shades from the cool side of the colour wheel as these will intensify the cold atmosphere. Your husband’s idea is understandable, however be warned that painting a north-facing room white won’t help as whites without light look cool grey.

I would recommend either a warm Scandinavian grey, which is not cold but rather soft with a slight celadon tint, this colouring is extremely popular right now. Alternatively a yellow tone will warm the room by mimicking natural sunlight and bouncing light around the room. My preferred colour palette would be pearl grey with a touch of lavender - it is perfect for bedrooms as it is crisp and light yet warm, so balances out the north-facing darkness. Also by pairing these colour tones with white ceilings, mouldings and skirting, the white details will frame the walls and bring the colour to life. Or you could embrace the darkness with a richer plum or crimson tone and create a warm, dramatic atmosphere.

Anna McNeil, director, Uniquely Interiors, Holme Hale; 07858 291774;

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