paint colors for room with east and west facing windows

GAinWMMay 4, 2014

Hello, I am a long-time lurker with many diy home projects. I have been reading about how to choose paint colors for the direction a room faces. Everything I read is about one direction. My house faces east, so the great room faces east, but I also have sliders and a kitchen window on the west side of the room. The morning and afternoon sun is very bright. I love a big open and airy space. My kitchen cabinets are the medium oak from the late 80's, which will remained stained, but I will be refreshing them at some point so that they are less orange. The colors suggested for east and west facing rooms are not the same, so what else do I need to know about choosing a paint color for this room?

I should add that I do not have anything right now that can be a focal point. I am starting from scratch in this room except for the cabinets. I can't figure out if I want warm or cool colors in here.
Thank you!

This post was edited by GAinWM on Sun, May 4, 14 at 11:20

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peony4

Hi, GAinWM. I have painted my main floor an offwhite with cooler undertones, and it changed the entire appearance of my natural oak floors and any wood furniture. As a backdrop, the lighter, cooler wall color toned down the orangey-ness of the floors and any redness in cherry or other furniture.

If you want to tone down the oak in your cabinets, and you like airy and bright, then I suggest starting with samples of a few off-whites or lighter shades (some cool, some warm), painting large samples on posterboard (leaving some white around the edges so your current wall color doesn't interfere) and moving them throughout your space, at all times of day, to see in which direction you want to go. Once you decide whether you like cool or warm, then you can move in the direction of the shade.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 12:06PM
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Patricia43

Benjamin Moore Oklahoma Wheat
Sherwin Williams Sawdust
BM Dry Sage

I have east-west facing great room/DR combination and I have used BM OK Wheat which is the best color I have used there.

I have SW Sawdust in an east/west bedroom/bathroom which works well.

I have used BM Dry Sage in East-West facing kitchen with oak cabinets which was the best color I used there.

Because of the situation of my house, most of my rooms open east/west on one side while on the other side, they are north or south or north/south.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 12:18PM
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teacats

Perhaps this color? Neutral -- but with enough strength to carry the whole area -- including the orangey kitchen cabinets .....

Here is a link that might be useful: BM -- Horizon Gray 2141-50

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 12:29PM
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camlan

Frankly, I'd pick a color I liked that would still keep the room looking open and airy.

The key thing would be whether to get a warm shade of that color or a cool shade of that color. Since you get both morning and afternoon sun, when do you use the room the most, morning or evening? What's your climate, hot or cold most of the year?

The general advice is that a room that gets lots of sunlight can seem warm, so you want a cool tone to the colors in the room to counterbalance that. And a room that gets little sunlight can seem cool, so you choose warmer colors to warm it up a bit.

My guess would be that a cooler shade of whatever color you like would work best in this great room.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 12:46PM
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Patricia43

I had oak cabinets in a gray kitchen when I moved here (new house). That is the absolute worst color anyone could ever pair with oak. It reminded me of a dreary communist mess hall.

The first thing I did was paper the kitchen with an ivory textured paper. What waste of time and money.

I then painted the room an orangish red which was okay but I wanted better than okay.

So, next I painted it a jade green color which was better but the best thing I found is a yellow with brown undertones or green with some brown undertones. It has to have the yellow of oak and the brown of wood mixed with whatever you use. A natural environment for oak is green, yellow and red. Picture the leaves of spring, summer, fall and winter and how beautiful it looks.

I had this many papers and colors in 5 years.

You cannot fool the human eye into believing which colors work with oak by pushing a color that is vogue. It has to be the right color or it will not work no matter what designer put it in a room on TV or in a magazine. Go to nature and pick the colors of oak leaves and it will work.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 12:52PM
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peony4

Patricia's assessment only works if you want an earthtone environment. I had warm yellow and taupe walls before, and my house felt like permanent Fall. I loved it for many years, but needed a change.

Cooler colors can indeed work with oak, if your preferences lean toward cool. (The sky is blue--that's nature, right?) Cool doesn't have to mean cement gray, either. Get some samples and start paying attention to what your own eye prefers.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 12:59PM
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ontariomom

patricia,

So what paint colour of yellow with brown undertones did you use? Or what green with brown undertones would you recommend for oak?

Carol

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 1:03PM
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teacats

A lighter tone ....

Here is a link that might be useful: BM -- Creme Brulee 2022-70

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 1:10PM
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teacats

And a green ....

Here is a link that might be useful: BM -- Oak Grove 489

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 1:13PM
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teacats

And a very pale green ....

Here is a link that might be useful: BM -- Celery Salt OC-136

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 1:15PM
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Patricia43

Benjamin Moore Oklahoma Wheat
Sherwin Williams Sawdust
BM Dry Sage
I have east-west facing great room/DR combination and I have used BM OK Wheat which is the best color I have used there.

I have SW Sawdust in an east/west bedroom/bathroom which works well.

I have used BM Dry Sage in East-West facing kitchen with oak cabinets which was the best color I used there.

I have purchase iceberg most recently for my GR/DR combination but have not painted yet. I will paint it and evaluate it. I do like fall/spring colors. I like the colors of a lion's coat or leaves with a yellow color. I do not like the emerald colors or blue royals for oak companions. It is too hard. I think the grays are too blah. I like the colors of nature but then I can mix accessory colors to create a pallet of beautiful colors. The wall color is not everything but oak and west/east north/south directions can dictate what the main color must be.

I also do not think taupe plays well with oak. For me, it was like a mistake trying to be corrected. I think some ocean aquas could be good, but I have not yet done that.

Olives and avocados do well with oaks. They are a natural. imento accents make for a beautiful vignette. Nothing prettier than a spattering of the right color of red with the greens of fall or evergreen in winter.

Because of the situation of my house, most of my rooms open east/west on one side while on the other side, they are north or south or north/south.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 1:43PM
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peony4

I had BM Hampshire Gray (it's not gray, but rather a green) in my formal room for years. It's one of my all-time favorite colors--works with leather, wood, seagrass, and anything earthy.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 2:23PM
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GAinWM

Thank you everyone. This gives me some food for thought and a direction. My house is on a wooded lot - oaks, maples, pines. We have 4 seasons and we spend most of our time in this room because the kitchen is included. I am trying to bring the outside colors in, but i just don't want it to be too dark. I did the same thing on the lower level, but the lighting is completely different down there.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 5:48PM
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ontariomom

Thanks patricia for all your advice. We have an oak table, chairs and oak china cabinet, so we are considering colours too. Good luck Gainwm!

Carol

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 9:01PM
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