Well hello there all you residents of planet earth! So now that all of you became master illusionists after our last session…I have a simple question for you, have you ever noticed that the paint colour you choose at the store isn’t always the same when you get home? And you feel like those guys back there tricked your beautiful mind into purchasing a colour you didn’t sign up for? Well, I’m here to let you know that…it’s not them, it’s you. Ten to one, it’s because of some easy Interior design trick you probably aren’t doing right…your lighting.

The appearance of colour always changes depending on the amount, source and type of light subjected to it. How it seems to appear under natural light is not the same way it will appear under artificial light conditions, thereby affecting the colour combinations you choose for your space. First off, before we go any further, let us acknowledge the fact that sunlight is the most important source of light we have, hence; natural light. Artificial light (for instance candles, fire and light bulbs) on the other hand, is light made by humans…yes, you guys.

When designing your space, there are a few aspects regarding light that you need to consider; first is you need to make the most out of natural light and second, you need to know how to maximize your artificial lighting potential to bring out moods. Natural light is not only white, but a spectrum of several colours. Bold colours for instance red absorb most of the light and only reflect red. Paler colours and the closer they are to white, are good at reflecting instead of absorbing such light.

Light entering a room in most cases, hits surfaces –walls, floors, interior objects among others and as such, their finish is important. Matte (flat paint) finishes serve to diffuse light throughout a room giving it a soft touch whereas glossy finishes reflect light directly into the walls and ceiling, brightening it up. To also add a classy, almost edgy aesthetic and functional touch and create more light if need be in your space, a mirror opposite the window in a feebly naturally lit room could increase the amount of natural light in a room by reflecting it back into the room. Now how’s that for a game changer.    

Another prime thing to note is, light is also geographically specific. Warm areas require cool-blue lighting whereas cold areas require warm-yellow lighting as that has a bearing on both human mood and health. East and North facing rooms get less sunlight so they tend to be darker and colder, therefore, they ought to take warmer colours. South and West facing rooms get more sunlight; therefore they take cooler colours. Strong colours are best confined to rooms that get less use such as hallways or in rooms where you want an intimate feel.

Last but not least, your designer upholstery and drapery fabrics may need a little drama and personality added to them, do them a little justice  by playing around with your lighting and see what comes up.

And now, go home a happy person singing along…gloss paint reflects, matte paint absorbs :).




  1. Reply

    Wat!Matte colours for walls too…thts interestin.Though i wish there were more pictorial illustrations to make it a little bit more visual 🙂 …otherwise this was an awesome post @maryanne.

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