7 Ways How to Warm Up a North-Facing Bedroom

Light colors, warmer fabrics, curtains, rugs, plants, insulation, natural light.
7 Ways How to Warm Up a North-Facing Bedroom
Tom Greenspan
December 21, 2022

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Most of you have one, and some of you dislike the thought of sleeping in a north-facing bedroom. The truth is it can be a great bedroom with excellent light. Did you know that artists prefer the light in a north-facing room? The light is soft for most of the day, showing colors to be vibrant, and there are no sharp contrasts from the shadows.

It may seem like a big ask to embrace a north-facing bedroom, but if you do, you will be pleasantly surprised at just how cozy a north-facing bedroom can become with the correct decor. Introduce textures and colors you may not have thought about using before.

Let's dive in and learn how to make a north-facing bedroom warm and cozy and more such as:

  • Warm temperature lights.
  • String lights.
  • Butterflies.
  • Soft and even.

Can you get more light in a north-facing room?

There are some simple techniques you can use to get more natural daylight into a north-facing bedroom, but in general, North-facing windows receive the least light and are the weakest and coolest. East-facing windows receive light in the morning and are weak and cool. West-facing windows receive light in the afternoon and are strong and hot.

If you want to get more of the weak light into your bedroom, you may need to clear some foliage and a random tree from outside of your bedroom window. Once this is done, use mirrors to reflect light around the bedroom. This cool weak light has some interesting characteristics that you will adore.

Place mirrors adjacent to the light source. This should minimize the dark cave-like feeling certainly during the winter months.

What color is best for a north-facing room?

There are many contradictions regarding north-facing bedrooms and colors. Some say avoid white, it will not elevate the room but make it feel cold, while others claim white is perfect for a north-facing bedroom, it allows the cool light entering the bedroom to bounce around the room making it brighter!

The key is going to be in using several colors, including white and some colors you might think are just too dark for a north-facing bedroom like:

  • Ash gray, it's said that the cool northern light will bring out the core colors in the gray.
  • Warm gray is a kind of a misnomer, it could be known better as greige, a mix of gray and beige, it's a wonderful color and one that you should consider for your bedroom regardless of where the compass heading is orientated.
  • Creams are an obvious choice, creams bring a feeling of softness and warmth to a bedroom.
  • Khaki, it's underused as most folks imagine the olive green khakis the military use, however, khaki paint is a warm and immersive color for a north-facing bedroom.
  • Shades of blue, now you will agree that sky blue is a good choice, and it is but shades of blue can be much darker like navy blue which brings depth and dimension to a north-facing bedroom.

Let's explore

1. Cool blue

Light blue walls are a delightful expression of a bright mood that makes a north-facing bedroom seem gloriously fresh and airy and when combined with a white candlewick bedspread then the warmth multiplies exponentially.

Just because the bedroom faces north does not mean you can't have an awesome bedroom with light colors, white works wonderfully well in this bedroom with white distressed furniture giving the antique vibe. Light blue is a wonderful color for a north-facing bedroom.

How to create this look?

Hex #ADD8E6. This gorgeous shade of blue makes any bedroom come to life and elevates the overall light of the bedroom. Combine with a white candlewick bedspread and pretty pillows for the ultimate effect.

How easy is this look to achieve? Working on a simple scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most complex level to accomplish, this bedroom is a 6.

Painting the bedroom walls is an easy task but finding the distressed bedside table and bed may be more difficult, you could do a DIY makeover and create something similar.

2. Soft and even

Not every north-facing bedroom can handle bold brash colors so keep warm cream colors for the walls and paint evenly and seamlessly to create this beautiful soft warmth for your bedroom.

One of the worst mistakes you can make is curtains or blinds obscuring windows. With curtains, try to have a curtain pole or track that’s long enough to stack the curtains back fully from the windows, so as not to obscure any light. You need to maximize the amount of natural daylight available.

Dusty pink accessories are ideal with a hint of dove gray as a contrast.

How to create this look?

It may seem old-fashioned but painting walls evenly in a single color such as warm cream can bring a certain serenity to a bedroom and make the bedroom glow. They knew what they were doing in days gone by!

Expose the windows to the full for the light to enter the bedroom.

How easy is this look to achieve? Working on a simple scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most complex level to accomplish, this bedroom is a 5.

If you have a period property is a great look and why deviate from traditional decor ideas if its works? Add some accessories to elevate the bedroom but the wood floor and  Yew table bring extra color to the room.

3. Mint green headboard

Contemporary bedrooms deserve modern designs and colors when the bedroom is north facing, this bedroom has interesting wallpaper and a mint green plush headboard to make the bedroom tranquil and soft.

The black bedside table is masterful and the gold accents elevate a dark bedroom to new heights.

Make sure you have adequate artificial lighting in a north-facing bedroom, at sometime during the day it may need to be on to assist in illuminating the bedroom.

How to create this look?

Add some style to the bedroom with this simple but outrageous wallpaper that works so well in a cooler light environment. Mint green is a design favorite for many reasons, it's an awesome color that is associated with all things calm.

How easy is this look to achieve? Working on a simple scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most complex level to accomplish, this bedroom is a 7.

The headboard is an easy fix, matching with the bedside table and lamp is a great look to achieve and easily copied, the gold elements on the lamp and table bring warmth and richness to the bedroom.

4. Butterflies everywhere

The gentle shades of pinks and mauves add warmth and sensuality to any bedroom but introducing a classic design wallpaper then your north-facing bedroom is going to look stunningly beautiful.

Even in the depths of winter when light is scarce the room will glow with warmth as the butterflies gently flutter by. A white ceiling and some interesting ornaments will make for a well-decorated bedroom that will stand the test of time. 

How to create this look?

Wallpaper always adds an interesting dimension to a north-facing bedroom and wallpaper with the richness of mauve and the femininity of pink will bring a soft gentle warmth to this bedroom.

How easy is this look to achieve? Working on a simple scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most complex level to accomplish, this bedroom is a 9.

It may not be a job for the DIY enthusiast, the whole room is wallpapered with repeating patterns is a big job that calls for a professional.

5. Shades of brown

It's not going to come as a shock to you to see shades of brown in a dark bedroom, from mustard walls to seagulls flying across a brown background.

Shades of brown could be considered the staple of warm colors to be introduced into a north-facing bedroom and it's not surprising, that the deep hues of the shades of brown exude warmth, and when combined with textures the room could be off the edge of an African resort.

Brown has been overused for accent walls for decades and has become tired as a result but there is still a place for browns in your home and putting the shades of browns to good uses in a north-facing bedroom is the best idea.

How to create this look?

You need to go all in on brown and mix and match the shades to create a bedroom that feels warm and rich. Use the lighter color of the bedroom wall to showcase the other brown shades.

How easy is this look to achieve? Working on a simple scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most complex level to accomplish, this bedroom is a 7.

It's a real mix and match, not so much of a design but let's use what we have got spare, it's a great concept if you can pull it off. When painting the wall save time and use one color, splits are time-consuming and don't always work the way you expected.

6. Warm light

In the cool light of a north-facing bedroom you will need to inject some warmth into the bedroom and if the budget is tight then opt for warm light bulbs.

The golden glow of a warm light bulb makes the bedroom feel homey and warm, somewhere you would want to be on a cold winter's night. The simple fix brings positivity to the bedroom and makes you feel like you have a warm glow also.

If you have a reading area you could have a bulb that was more conducive to reading or working but in general, the warm bulb in a north-facing bedroom is all you might need to bring some good vibes to the bedroom.

How to create this look?

Forget about decorating your bedroom if it's in reasonable condition, introducing a warm light bulb or two could be the fix you have been searching for for a long time.

How easy is this look to achieve? Working on a simple scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most complex level to accomplish, this bedroom is a 2.

Light bulbs are sold in temperatures these days and not watts.

Here's a breakdown of light bulb color temperature:

  • Soft white (2,700 to 3,000 Kelvin) is warm and yellow, the typical color range you get from incandescent bulbs. This light gives a warm and cozy feeling and is often best for living rooms, dens and bedrooms.
  • Warm white (3,000 to 4,000 Kelvin) is more yellowish-white. These bulbs are best suited for kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Bright white (4,000 to 5,000 Kelvin) is between white and blue tones. With a less cozy and more energetic feel, bulbs with this color range are best for workspaces (such as a home office or garage) and kitchens with chrome fixtures.
  • Daylight (5,000 to 6,500 Kelvin) has a more bluish tone. This light color will maximize contrast for colors, making it ideal for working, reading, or applying makeup.

7. String lights

Who doesn't like string lights? A simple north-facing bedroom with a light gray headboard and light bedroom furnishings is the ideal setting to add string lights. String lights are fun, they are budget-friendly, and more importantly, they look awesome in any bedroom and bring a degree of warmth and joy only experienced with this type of lighting.

How to create this look?

It's all about hanging string lights above your bed. You may need more than one string to achieve the same look, but they are pocket friendly and a quick fix to a dull and dreary bedroom.

How easy is this look to achieve? Working on a simple scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most complex level to accomplish, this bedroom is a 2.

It's a plug-and-play scenario, be careful hanging the string lights, place your hooks first and then drape the lights as you like.

North-facing bedrooms

Embrace your north-facing bedroom, it presents the opportunity to have this awesome soft light when there are bright days. Soft light makes painted colors look different and more vibrant. Use patterned wallpaper for a new vibe in your bedroom, either modern or classic.

Of course, lighting is a budget-friendly option and can deliver exceptional results to make your bedroom feel warm and cozy.