Hi, everyone! Thanks for dropping by Flawed yet Functional today! Creating a beautiful, functional home for my family is one of my joys in life. I love decorating, painting, and sewing to make this happen. Remember, the “new” bed I acquired this past summer? Well, I’ve been pondering how to make the master bedroom more cohesive and masterful without painting the bed (That’s a warm weather project that will have to wait until spring.). Today I’d like to show you the process I went through to select wall paint that complements a north facing room and wood furniture.
Painting is so tricky, right? The undertones are sneaky, lighting is different from store to home, and some of the time, the colors we like just don’t work. You feel me on this one?
And yet the quickest, cheapest option for incorporating the new bed into our master without a huge refinishing project was to paint the walls. So finding the perfect color must be done. The purple/brown walls did nothing for the medium maple or oak stain on the bed.
Besides the walls clashing with the wood tone, I wanted to remedy the darkness of the room. Our master is on the north side of the house with two windows: one facing west and one north. Also, there are woods behind the house, shading the room further. The room is dark. Add in dark walls, and the room is darker.
Now I don’t hate our bedroom, it has a coziness to it, but with the new bed, I’m ready for a change, from dark and cozy to light and fresh. Something like this:
Selecting Paint for a North Facing Room
The first hurdle is to find an off-white paint that works for a north facing room. Did you know that the light from a north facing window is cool so a warm toned color works better? If you want to dive deep into paint colors, undertones, light, etc. check out Kylie M Interiors. She knows all the things about paint colors!
(In fact, if you want to know the ins and outs of a specific color, search by color name on her site!)
After spending hours on Kylie’s site learning about LRV, paint for north facing rooms, and review white after white after white, I landed on sampling Benjamin Moore’s Ballet White and Pale Oak. In my heart of hearts, I wanted Pale Oak because it still has a hint of grey in it.
However, Pale Oak was dull and flat on my walls and very true grey without a hint of cream. So bah. It looked terrible. My friend has this color in her playroom, and it is fantastic (that room is west facing though). She lent me her leftover paint to sample in my room. Surely it was mixed wrong…it wasn’t!
Pale Oak is just NOT the color for this room. I tried a couple other greige colors just hoping against hope to get some grey in this room. Agreeable Grey turned out to be even more bland grey than Pale Oak. I even tried going super white with Sherwin Williams Alabaster…too stark.
Each color that leaned towards the cool side was a clear loser. Grey tones read very dull, dark, and boring in this dark north facing room.
What color did I keep coming back to every time? Ballet White. It’s an off-white with yellow undertones. The color pops in the room in all lights: morning, afternoon, and overhead lights in the evening, looking fresh and bright all day long. Why? It has a warm undertone which fights the natural cool, blue light that comes in from north facing windows. Huh. Learn something new everyday, don’t we?
Moral of the story: Don’t fight the orientation of your room. Select paint colors that go with the natural and artificial light in your space.
Selecting Paint for Wood Toned Furniture
Ok, not so fast, the other part of selecting a new wall color is complementing the wood tone of current furniture. The whole reason for painting the room is to help show off the new bed!
I painted sample swatches on all of the walls, but I was especially sure to get a swatch near the headboard. The grays or gray-toned beige were clear losers. Grey paint + medium-orange wood = a bland combination.
BUT…Ballet White, which is a creamy off-white with yellow under tones, popped behind the headboard. I initially thought there was too much yellow in this color until I compared it to so many other paints. The warm tones in the paint blend well with the warm tones in the wood. Neither is competing with the other; rather, they show off each other perfectly!
Moral of the story: don’t fight the undertones of your furniture, select paint that has the same undertone.
A Fresh New North Facing Bedroom
After many tests and runs to the paint store (5!), I’m proud to show you my labor of love: a master bedroom with wall paint the complements a north facing room and antique wood furniture!
The wood furniture pops against the creamy white paint, just as I hoped!
The room is so much brighter too. Ballet White has a LRV of 73.54 so it reflects TONS of light around the room.
My oldest son keeps looking around the room and exclaiming, “It looks so new, momma!” I agree, son, I agree. So new, refreshing, bright, and not clashing with the furniture. Well worth a Saturday’s work, wouldn’t you say?
Before and After
Because, who doesn’t like a good ole before and after? Let’s go way back to this summer before the new bed was set up. Oh what a little elbow grease will do!
It’s turning into an adult space that’s cohesive, refreshing, and beautiful once step at a time!
If you’re looking to paint a room in your house, don’t fight your furniture or your house! Select wall paint that complements both the direction of the room and the furniture you have. You can make a beautiful space with hand-me-down furniture. Odds are the furniture will well outlast the color on the walls anyway, so make it a happy existence! Work with what you have!