EFFECT of LIGHT on COLOR

EFFECT of LIGHT on COLOR

Yellow Benjamin Moore

Benjamin Moore’s mellow yellow (CC2020-50)

When you plan a room, always remember the available light, both natural and artificial. Natural light is dependent on exposure. That’s why, when choosing paint colors for a room, it’s smart to look at color samples in the actual space and under different lighting conditions.

For the best test, buy a paint color sample and paint a small area on the surface of the wall. Observe how the color looks at different times of the day, in natural and artificial light. Then you will get a sense of what your room will look like throughout the day.

Here are some suggestions from designer and Dabble Magazine Editor in Chief Kimberley Seldon to help you choose the best paint colors for rooms that are exposed to sunlight from the north, south, east, and west. (Note: artificial light will further affect the appearance of colors.)

Northern Exposure

Light from the north is indirect and cool, and can appear gray depending on where you live. To counterbalance this effect, choose a yellow or cream such as Benjamin Moore’s flurry (CC-100), barley (CC-180), or buttermilk (919); and warm, pale pinks and corals like pink moiré (CC-158) and tofino sunset (CC-156) to amplify the sunlight. For me, I had my art studio built with three huge windows to let in the northern light so that I see true color for my paintings. This northern exposure offers the correct light in order to photograph my work for publications. The walls are painted a neutral gray/beige (#969), and the ceiling is a bright white. So if you want a cheery room, the colors suggested here are a good choice. Check them out.

Southern Exposure
Warm southerly light lasts the longest and can become intense at mid-day. A mid-tone color such as lavender lipstick (2072-50) will look fresh in the daytime and become richer at night. Rich blues and greens lose intensity but can appear to glow. Try meadowlands green (2036-40), winter green (2045-60), or serenity (2055-60). Browns appear less somber in southern light. Go for a warm, earthy hue like rich clay brown (2164-30).

Eastern Exposure

Benjamin Moore "Cloud White"

Benjamin Moore “Cloud White” and others

Benjamin Moor color "Flurry" off white

Benjamin Moore color “Flurry” whites

Eastern exposure provides bright, yellow light that’s ideal for high-activity rooms like kitchens, playrooms, and family rooms. That’s why the light of the eastern exposure is perfect for a breakfast room. Pale colors look fabulous. Warm pinks, corals, yellows, or whites like pink bliss (2093-70), cloud white (OC-130), snowfall white (OC-118), or milkyway (OC-110) will enhance the light, while cool blues and greens like blue bonnet (2050-70) will temper it. There are a myriad of whites, and they are rarely stark, except for ceilings. Pure white walls can be tiring.

Western Exposure
Green and cream work well in the muted, late afternoon sunlight of a western exposure. Try pairing adam green (2037-40) with mellow yellow (2020-50), or green with envy (2036-30) with marble white (OC-34). Complementary colors, such as green and red, are not quite as garish. Reds appear richer and less flat because they absorb light. A red like warm comfort (2010-20) is a good choice for rooms that require drama and intimacy, such as dining rooms.

Remember also, that the window treatments can shut out the natural light, or admit light, depending on your design choices.

When you choose artificial lighting be aware of the type of bulbs that are available today. They vary in color. The LED’s are usually a perky white light. Lighting today can be dimmed. I always seek out the brightest white light because it keeps your colors  crisp. Lighting is another huge subject to discuss. When you want to choose lighting for your home or office, go to a dependable lighting store, for example, here in Connecticut’s Fairfield County, my favorite store is Klaff’s in Norwalk.

Ever since 1969 when I was a student at the New York School of Interior Design, I have been a faithful client of Benjamin Moore Paints. Their paints have stood the test of time. Benjamin Moore reps visited and demonstrated how and when to use their paints to my students at my school, Interior Design Institute, in Woodcliff Lake, NJ, and supplied each student with paint chip books, a valuable tool for interior designers.

Visit our Colour Gallery to get more room colour scheme ideas. (On-screen colour representations may differ slightly from actual paint colours due to monitor calibration.)

Get more decorating tips from our All About Colour videos featuring Kimberley Seldon.

 

 

WINDOWLESS ROOMS

WINDOWLESS ROOMS

The sun warms our planet, provides us with light and is crucial to all life on Earth.

One of my readers asked me to talk about windowless rooms.  I sent a query back to her explaining that rooms w/o windows can be so depressing.  “What tactic do you want me to take? ”

Her answer:  Safety from natural and man-made disasters. Not depressing.

Well folks, with my 40 plus years of interior design work, I can tell you that a windowless room can be depressing.  So, before I talk about creating one that has live-in possibilities in case of disaster, I want to let you know that without access to natural light and fresh air, bacteria has no way to dissipate.

It’s the ultraviolet light of the sun that grows our veggies that make us healthy, and kills the bacteria that make us sick.  Oh sure, you can get special indoor artificial lighting that does some sun imitation, but living in a space where there is no natural light of the sun, is not ideal.  Not ideal physiologically or psychologically.

The president of the company always gets the corner office.  The one with the windows.  It’s not priority by seniority, it’s productivity by possibilities.  The ones who make the decisions get the best window(s). Important decisions are made in this conference room.

Conference room with natural light, lots and lots and lots.

The more important it is, the bigger the windows.  The industry tried to change this philosophy, but it did not work.  The natural light makes the grade.

When’s the last time you gazed upward and marveled at the mysterious, life-giving force that is the sun?

If you believe the whole staring-at-the-sun-makes-you-go-blind thing (which is actually true), you’re probably not doing a whole lot of sun-gazing. But it’s a real marvel: The sun warms our planet every day, provides the light by which we see and is necessary for life on Earth. It can also cause cell death and make us blind. It could fit 1.3 million Earths inside its sphere [source: SpaceDaily]. It produces poem-worthy sunsets and as much energy as 1 trillion megaton bombs every second [source: Boston Globe].

All of this, and our sun is just a plain old average star, by universal standards. It’s really just proximity that makes it so special to Earth. We wouldn’t be here if the sun weren’t so close.

And what about cruise ships?  My son Paul frequently goes on cruises with his friends and family.  He gets an exterior stateroom with a balcony, but there are interior staterooms as well. But those staterooms have no balcony and are windowless.

Ship interior stateroom windowless

They use the old mirror trick to give the impression of light.  The mirrors are in the oval/round shape of the ship windows.  Not too shabby.

I prefer windows, even on a ship.  A windowless room, bah, humbug.  Even if you got stuck in a basement apartment when you got out of college, just a slit of a window inspired a happy dance.  But if you have one of those theatre rooms,

Windowless Theatre Room

most likely in a lower level with no windows or you cover the window or eliminate the window.  Now we are talking about an on-purpose windowless room.  This room is not to live in unless…unless there has been a disaster and you must stay in this room until the disaster ends.  The room pictured here is pretty fun to spend some time.  Light colors and reflective surfaces, and if you turn out the lights and put on the movie projector, turn up the sound, munchies at hand, not too bad.  Add battery powered lighting, shelving, canned/dried food/water and potty, some warm clothes, you got a great place to wait out a disaster.

A safe place, a secret room below ground, a tomb in a pyramid.

King Tuts Tomb

New for 2020.  Tomb construction with all the amenities for windowless winning spaces.  Protect the people, protect the environment.

King Tut's tomb map to make your own passage

Will this go over big in the future?  Will we need to construct windowless rooms with secret passages to protect our sanity, our children, our lives?

 

 

 

 

Sun photo above courtesy of NASA

 

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