How to decorate with colour in a north facing bedroom

Updated March 23, 2017

Like bedrooms with low ceilings and small windows, north-facing bedrooms suffer from having small amounts of natural light, particularly during the short days of winter. Four white walls and neutral accessories only make the room feel drearier. Instead, compensate for the darker interior by decorating your bedroom with colours that highlight the best features of your room, and add warmth and vitality to the space.

Select light and bright hues for your room. Draw your inspiration from an inspiring piece of artwork or a brilliant ethnic textile, and locate paint cards in these hues.

Place paint cards on the walls of your north-facing bedroom or paint a sample patch of colour on the wall. Look at how the colour changes throughout the day to make sure that warm gold does not transform into a sallow yellow at sundown.

Combine hues creatively. Use a new neutral such as pale yellow or warm, rosy grey to set the room's tone, but consider a striking hue such as periwinkle blue, lime green, candyfloss pink, fuchsia, mango orange or turquoise for an accent wall.

Extend the look with furniture. Use lightweight, angular furniture frames in honey-toned wood, white, cream or metal to keep a dark bedroom interior feeling lighter and less cluttered. Use a platform bed for simplicity, or consider a brilliant tufted ottoman surrounded with floor cushions to transform a dark corner into a reading area.

Warm up the space with textiles and lighting. Scatter pillows across the bed to add splashes of colour and patterns. Mix florals, stripes, paisley and toile for a bohemian modern effect. Hang simple sheer panels or window scarves to keep natural light at a maximum. Use table lamps, floor lamps, track lighting, recessed lighting, a chandelier, pendant lights and candles to provide ambient and task lighting, and to showcase the bedroom decor's brilliant palette.


Clean all windows inside and out to maximise natural light and make colours and textures shine.


Keep tall or wide furniture away from windows so that nothing casts a shadow into the room.

Things You'll Need

  • Paint cards
  • Paint
  • Furniture
  • Textiles
  • Lighting
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About the Author

Nina Makofsky has been a professional writer for more than 20 years. She specializes in art, pop culture, education, travel and theater. She currently serves as a Mexican correspondent for "Aishti Magazine," covering everything from folk art to urban trends. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Mills College.