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Monday, March 2, 2009

Understanding Natural Light

I've had more than one client fall for the claims of "foolproof" color palates or fall in love with a color in a friend's home only to discover it looked dismal in their own home. The most carefully chosen color palates are sure to disappoint you if you don't view them in the room they are intended for.
In the case of my client who chose a paint company's "foolproof" color palate, the colors probably looked fabulous in the light of the store but once they were applied to her daughter's room, which only received direct light first thing in the morning, they appeared drab and depressing! Another client fell for a golden yellow that looked terrific in a friends home. When we viewed the color sample in her dining room, however, she could see that it would appear far too orange in her own home.
How wonderful if you have some rooms in your home that get an all day southern exposure of natural light. But in reality, many of us grapple with rooms that may have only some natural light in the morning or don't receive direct light until late afternoon. This must be a consideration when understanding color and how to use it in different natural light conditions. The function and visual ergonomics of a room must also be assessed in choosing appropriate colors. Natural light also changes in color throughout the day and in different geographical areas as well as in different seasons. Light appears bluer in the early morning and progresses to yellow, orangish then redish orange as the day progresses. Color in the Northern California appears grayer than the warm climates of Southern California.