Although it’s actually been around for almost a century, the colour blocking trend has become more and more popular in recent years. With the right approach, colour blocking with paint can be both enjoyable and rewarding.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what colour blocking means before listing some of our favourite colour blocking paint ideas to get your inspiration going.
While it might sound like a new trend, the roots of colour blocking arguably started in the early part of the 20th century with the beginnings of modern abstract art.
Some of the earliest examples can be seen in the work of Piet Mondrian, a Dutch painter and art theoretician. In fact, his 1930 painting ‘Composition with Red, Blue and Yellow’ consists solely of black bordered geometric shapes, which are filled with bold, contrasting colours.
As new ideas often do, the principles were then translated into other creative media, finding their way into fashion and graphic design before moving onto architecture and interiors. Yves Saint Laurent famously made a cocktail dress with the design of Mondrian’s composition in the 1960s.
In its purest form, colour blocking is all about strong contrasts, emphasis, geometric shapes and adding interest in sometimes unexpected ways. This might sound a little alien or hard to imagine, but in reality it is a great tool to help you think more creatively about revamping your space
Thankfully, there are a multitude of decorating tricks to get you started – and you certainly don’t need to create a multicoloured composition in your home to get on board with the colour blocking trend.
If you’re looking for a new way to approach your decorating and interior design, then the following colour blocking paint ideas could be right up your street.
A familiar, entry level way to get started with colour blocking is to add a feature wall to a room. Sometimes called an accent wall, it simply means adding a different colour to one wall in a room. This quick and easy design trick is a great way to add focus, interest, drama or character to a room without the need to move all your furniture or change the whole décor.
If you like the idea of colour blocking on walls, why not run with it? Another popular colour blocking trick is half and half walls. It means you can also add texture and additional character if you incorporate panelling…
Once you have got the idea, your home can offer up many opportunities for creativity – you can extend the half and half feature around a corner for a bolder look:
As explored in our recent blog post, the half and half trend isn’t solely limited to walls either. Painting your top and base kitchen cupboards different colours is one of the most on-trend colour blocking paint ideas.
Away from simple walls and cabinets, colour blocking can be used to highlight your home’s architectural features. That could be a chimney breast, as below, where Dusky Blush is matched on the table legs for a cohesive look…
But you can also try it with a window or a doorway. Start with a band of colour around the doorway or frame, using the same colour as the door and/or trim to help it attract attention. You can even change its appearance with a shaped outline:
If you want to maximise the impact of an architectural element, a bold pop of colour is a great choice. This is achieved to great effect using Hot as Mustard to match a doorway’s trim (as below), or for a more subtle look, the same idea can be applied around the inside of a window recess.
By combining some of the colour blocking paint ideas above, you can actually mask features in your home. Using a half and half technique across features like doors and chimney breasts creates a look of continuity which can actually take the focus off the feature itself. That’s certainly the case with this bold and beautiful application of Victory Lane…
Who says you need existing features to make colour blocking work? With a little imagination, the trend can actually be used to create features all on its own. Play with space, break up large areas of wall and emphasise specific areas to create distinctive zones or to frame furniture, as with this delightful use of rich mid-brown Moleskin behind a dressing table:
Creating features is a great colour blocking idea for large featureless spaces or small areas where definition of space needs to be more subtle. You can use a dark or strong colour to bring forward the end wall of a long room, or widen a narrow space with a horizontal band of a contrasting tone. Take a look at four more great examples in the post below…
Rooted in the middle of the last century, the first experiments in super-strong contrasts and bold outlines have softened. These days, more muted and tonal combinations are just as widely used. That makes colour blocking paint a great way to inject a bit of colour into a room.
Easy-going shades like Green with Envy can be used to create a new, colourful section on a neutral backdrop, seen here used to great effect, defining the dining area/zone of a space.
But colour can also be added in the smallest of areas. Take a look at the use of Dusky Blush to create colour blocked doors with contrasting shades…
But this trend isn’t confined to walls! Perhaps you are renting your home and can’t decorate, or maybe the idea of redecorating feels daunting? You can equally take the principles of colour blocking and apply them to your furniture. Create a statement piece for almost any space – add a pop of colour and create interest.
You can revamp what you already have – even the most straightforward chest of drawers can sing with a unique shade like Hot as Mustard.
Or get yourself a fabulous but dated, pre-loved piece and reinvent it with a bold colour like Flamenco:
If you want to be even more adventurous, try a creative colour blocking design across two pieces. The design below uses Wise Old Sage, Apple of My Eye and a blend of the two – this Individual and inspired idea would work equally well on a wall…
Don’t forget floors! Colour blocking can also add intrigue to the space you’re walking on. Going beyond blocks of colour, you can try wide and narrow stripes, a series of stripes using tape, or even diagonals.
Or go practical and zone your floor by adding a painting block of colour - a bit like a rug - to define areas of different use, like seating or dining. The sky is the limit, ironically, for your floor.
The last of our colour blocking paint ideas? Go wild. Once you get a taste for colour blocking, and become familiar with what does and doesn’t work, you can get more and more creative with the masking tape.
Whether you’re ready to dive in with masking tape at the ready or you’re just testing the water with an accent wall, colour blocking with paint is a great way to add contrast, interest and depth to your home.
Whatever your colour blocking dream, Frenchic provides a wide selection of beautiful colours to make it a reality. Browse over 70 wonderful paint colours available throughout our product ranges, then start transforming your furniture or walls.
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