Illustration for article titled Find Out Which Direction Your Home Is Facing When Deciding How To Decorate A RoomPhoto: (Shutterstock)

Whether you’ve recently moved to a new house or apartment, or are enjoying another winter home to upgrade your place of residence, there are many things to consider when creating a decorating plan. In addition to factors like your budget and the way the space is used, there is another important piece of the puzzle: the direction the space – and your entire home – is pointing. Here’s how to find out, and why it’s important.

Illustration for article titled Find Out Which Direction Your Home Is Facing When Deciding How To Decorate A Room

This is how you determine which direction your home is facing

If you don’t know which way your home is facing, All you need is a compass (and yes, that works in Google Maps). If you’re in a house, stand in front of the front door and see which way the compass is pointing.

If you’re in an apartment or want to find out which way a certain room in your house is facing, it’s not that easy. Sure, you could stand by the front door and see which way the building is facing, but if you’re decorating a room on the other side of the structure it might not be as useful.

When decorating is the most important thing find out in which direction the natural light comes from. To find out, use your compass when looking towards the windows, which are the main source of natural light in the room.

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Why direction matters

Ultimately, one orientation is not superior to the other, Megan Devine explains in an article on Each has its own set of advantages and challenges. So it’s more about understanding what they are and how they can be addressed.

In addition to determining natural light, the direction a home is facing has other implications, including energy efficiency, heating and cooling costs, home maintenance, and energy flow. Our focus here will be on the decoration, however Read Devine’s articles Learn about the other effects of orientation on a home.

Use of home orientation when decorating

As we discussed above, the direction a house (or room) is facing determines the amount – and timing – of natural light it receives. Here are a few ways you can use this knowledge to help you make your decorating and design decisions:

Use of blinds and curtains

East-facing houses (or rooms) Get the morning sun. While this is good for regulation Daily rhythmPeople who don’t necessarily want to wake up when the sun comes up may want to invest in blackout curtains or blinds. If the room is west facing and you need help from the sun to wake up each morning, consider thin curtains that will give you privacy but also let in light.

Illustration for article titled Find Out Which Direction Your Home Is Facing When Deciding How To Decorate A Room

Color selection

The time of day when a room gets the most natural light can also help you choose colors for walls, furniture, and other decor. Here are two examples from Devine:

For example, in west-facing rooms, design professionals might keep you away from hues of red and oranges, which get most of their sunlight after 2 p.m. Fans of bold or dark colors may want to limit them to south-facing rooms that get enough light throughout the day to withstand intense tones.

Furniture placement

Now that so many of us have some sort of home office – even if it’s just a makeshift desk in another room or hallway – it’s time to think about the type of natural light your work area receives. For example, if it’s in a west-facing room and doesn’t get a lot of light until the afternoon, make sure you have enough lamps or other artificial light sources – not just to help you see what you’re working on, but also to to wake up at the beginning of your day.

Use of mirrors

If a room does not get a lot of natural light, a well placed mirror (or two) can help increase the light in the room without the need to add more lights.