Rooms which face north are always a challenge to refurbish, as they get very little or sometimes no
sunlight whatsoever. Any natural light which does enter is often cold too. To alleviate this as best
you can, it’s best to avoid decorating with cold colours such as grey, and stick to warmer tones such
as yellow shades, or neutral creams. If you are pursuing more colour, then try darker and warmer
tones like purple for example.
The room or window size can affect the temperature too. Whites, off-whites and creamy neutrals
are available in many shades, so there is one for every example of room.
Any room can be completed to feel brighter just by painting the ceiling white so it mirrors light
instead of absorbing it. The tricky thing with some pure brilliant white emulsions is that they’re really
creamy off-white, which is not what you imagine, or need, from a product called “pure brilliant
white”. Make sure you invest in a reliable brand which can produce proper whites.
Colouring the walls and ceiling white can go a lengthy way to making a room feel lighter, but paint is
just a small part of it. One of the best ways to brighten up a kitchen is with pale, preferably white,
high-gloss unit doors, as these rebound light around the area. Glossed entrances are a decent way to
update the room and doesn’t have to be lavish.
You should also capitalise on some mirrored furniture and mirrors for the walls – mount one
opposite the window to take full advantage of the light and make the room seem larger. Mirrored
furniture will also echo light back into the room better than anything else so keep it in mind, and add
mirrors anywhere you can, especially in dimmer rooms which may have less significant windows.
Don’t forget the floor either. White painted floorings, or shiny white floor tiles in kitchens and
bathrooms, will help to jump light around.
Switching, expanding or adding windows can make a vast change but it’s a costly and disrupting
answer to the problem, and planning permission can restrict what you do. It’s more realistic an idea
to swap curtains for efficient roller blinds which also let more light in.
A drastic answer is to take away a wall. Colliding two rooms into one gives the subsequent room
additional windows and it may then profit from sunlight for most of the day if it’s now both east and