Paint Dilemma; Northern Light and Small Windows  

Our "fairy tale cottage" faces east, the living space is along the north side of the house, with two small windows punctuating the main wall, which equals northern light.  The problem with northern light is that it tends to have a blue tint to it.  I experienced this same dilemma along the coast, where the light is very intense with a definite blue tint. Our home there had large gorgeous windows, where the fairy tale has few, small windows.  Heavy sigh. Now I understand why the walls were burnt orange. 

The trouble with blue light is that it will throw green upon everything except blue base colors; blue, purples, greens or maybe taupe.  Warm colors dull in blue light.  The additional challenge of low light creates a space that has bright spots, the small windows throughout the living room act as blinding spots of light.  The result of that is that colors become darker than they are, it is imperative not to go too dark or you'll just have a void of color.  Pastels are a great way to brighten up a space, the soft light colors add visual light.  Bright true colors are another option to brighten up a low natural light room. Short of painting the walls black, pastel or Crayola colors....(burnt orange) - what to do? 

Mr. GDC and I are not pastel people.  We prefer neutrals, also warm colors.  I've never been much a blue girl, except for blue and white porcelain.  The in between shades of soft colors don't appeal much to us, the idea of pastels is not making my heart sing with excitement. Bright colors make me sigh. I was hoping to create a warm, inviting, cottage space a little English with French accents.  

In Galveston I chose Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige, it is a soft taupe.  With the changing light of the long sunny days there the rooms actually changed color as well.  The spaces would range from soft grey to beige.  It was a wonderful color to work with, it literally goes with anything.  Do I want to use it again? 

The daily trips to the Home Depot here in Corsicana found me standing in front of the Behr paint counter.  There's only so much following Mr. GDC around I can do.  I get distracted...Squirrel! I brought home a couple of Behr samples; Creek Bend and Naturalist Grey.  I absolutely love Creek Bend at night, a medium warm grey it is stunning at night.  During the day, you can't see the color on the northern wall of the room due to glare from the windows.  Can I live with that?  Broody walls... I envision taupe and cream buffalo check drapes with a wide trim on the lead edge, paired with warm accent colors of terracotta and gold, maybe a floral chintz - English Country Cottage.

Naturalist Grey is actually a medium to dark sage green.  It performs better in the space.  Do I want green?  There are terracotta bricks everywhere in the house.  I planned to have rusty, brick reds or oranges as an accent color to pick up the brick floors and exterior famed "Corsicana Brick".  Do I want green and orange?  I think with this sage green I'd use blues as an accent.  Sage, blues, and terra cotta?  

I tried one of my all time favorite Benjamin Moore paint colors; Coastal turned green, not a pretty green, it looked as though it needed to take two aspirin and get some rest green. The collection of paint cards is growing. 

Behr Creek Bend left, Benjamin Moore Coastal Fog center, Behr Naturalist Grey right 

My design training is whispering in my head to go lavender, blue, or green.  Mr. GDC may divorce me if the walls turn lavender.  Benjamin Moore has a beautiful dusty lavender Violet Pearl that  may have a go here at the cottage. 

Photo Credit; Benjamin Moore Violet Pearl #1451

Photo Credit; Carla Moss Interiors, Benjamin Moore Violet Pearl 

Photo Credit; Carla Moss Interiors 

I can envision the walls in this soft, dusty lavender, blue drapes paired with terra cotta and camel accents I think the living room could come together well.  Heavy sigh, we would need a different Persian rug, that is a large investment. Do I want lavender walls? 

For soft greens you can't do better than the perfection created by Joan Garner, at "For The Love of a House" blog.  She used Benjamin Moore Grey Owl OC52 in her living area. It is pure perfection.  

Photo Credit, Joan Garner, For The Love of a House

I admire and adore her easy style, elegant yet comfortable. She expertly layered texture and subtle color to create an interesting space.  You can visit For The Love of a House here .  She's a Texan too, transplanted to New England.  BM Grey Owl may be my next paint sample, inspired by this gorgeous room! 

One thing is for certain, we need better lighting.  There are 1980's/1990's recessed downlights in the room, complete with diffusers.  They fail to provide enough light in the center of the room to make up for the shadows from the small windows.  More clear light would help solve the dilemma. I can't help but wonder if there is another six inches above the drywall ceiling. Maybe remove the ceiling and install track lighting.

I'll keep painting sections of wall, creating vignettes while pondering and collecting paint cards - maybe I'll play a little "go fish",  Got any blue? Got any green? Go Fish! 

Until next time, wishing you all the best - 


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