11 colour block paint ideas

Painting your walls? Take colour scheming to a whole new level with colour blocking, the must-have interiors trend for contemporary and traditional rooms

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What is colour blocking?

Simply put, colour blocking is the pairing of two or three totally different colours to make a bold statement. We’re seeing this graphic look remixed on to walls, floors and in home accessories but, with so many combinations and shapes to try, how to get it right? We’ve rounded up the very best colour blocking ideas to get you mixing and (un)matching with aplomb. 

If you are unsure about how to introduce colour into your space or dubious about what shades will work best, check out our comprehensive guide to choosing the perfect paint colours for every room first.

1. Be brave with your paint colour choices

Pink and green: this colour combination is on our lust list. Something about mixing tropical greens with cool pinks just works, creating a refreshing feel for both living spaces and bedrooms. Enhance the effect by painting furniture in the lighter of the two shades. 

Love the idea of a new look bedroom? Be inspired by our 12 modern paint ideas for bedrooms

Colour blocking in bedrooms

Wall paint in Amsterdam Green, £39.95 for 2.5ltrs; chalk paint in Antoinette, £18.95 per ltr, both Annie Sloan 

(Image: © Annie Sloan)

2. Don't be afraid to clash paint colours

Colour blocking is all about enlivening walls with clashing tones. Take your cues from far-flung destinations and go for deep, vibrant shades. Recreate the look by painting sections of the wall freehand, leaving the edges rough and unfinished for a relaxed effect or take it even further with an ombre accent wall.

Colour blocking in living rooms

Peek-a-boo Blue and Scrumptious Feature Wall Paint matt emulsions, both £13.50 for 1.25ltrs; Shocking Pink Coloured Emulsion in matt, silk or mid sheen, £16.50 for 2.5ltrs, Crown 

(Image: © Crown)

3. Paint the walls to match the floor

Matching the floor colour to the walls creates a strong statement. Painting the lower third of the wall in the bright colour with a neutral shade above helps create a feeling of loftiness in the room. Highlight your woodwork by continuing the colour across architraves and doors in a seamless band. Use a laser level to ensure you get a horizontal line – try the Bosch GCL 2000 from Screwfix

Get your kitchen's colour scheme just right with our 10 paint ideas for kitchens.

Colour blocking in a dining room

True Colours UNI 574 vinyl flooring, £22.99 per m2; Noble geometric mint rug, from £48.99, both Carpetright. For similar paint, try Dance Hall Period collection flat matt, £21.50 for 2.5ltrs, Crown

(Image: © Crown )

4. Use paint to create a focus 

Instead of using an oversized piece of art for your wall, create an area of interest by painting a section of wall behind a favourite piece of furniture. Increase its impact by painting a darker outer area then a slightly lighter shade inside to ‘frame’ the paint effect.  

Love this hallway idea? Find 15 fresh paint ideas for hallways to inspire your space.

Colour blocking in a hallway

Air Force Blue 260 (outer stripe); Carys 148 (middle stripe); Light Gold 53 (inner stripe), all Absolute matt emulsion, £42 for 2.5ltrs, Little Greene

(Image: © Little Greene)

5. Create eye-catching shapes with paint 

In a living room with few architectural features, you can be more daring with the pattern created by the colour blocking, while unexpected colour combinations will give your walls punch and character. 

Recreate the paint effect in this room by keeping, in the main, to a similar palette of tones, then add a surprise splash of strong colour. Mixing square blocks with geometric triangles only amplifies the effect. 

Find 10 more paint ideas for living rooms to find your perfect colour scheme.

Colour blocking in a living room

Barbican colour block wall mural, £36 per m2, Murals Wallpaper 

(Image: © Murals wallpaper)

6. Paint a statement ceiling 

Statement ceilings are officially a thing. Reimagining your space as having five walls rather than four can bring a whole new dimension to decorating. Patterns and textures are being used along with muted tones, but we love the impact of having a strong paint colour overhead, particularly in a bathroom where daring colour choices are limited. Find more paint ideas for bathrooms if you need still more inspiration.

Not sure where to start with painting your ceiling? We have a simple step-by-step guide to painting a ceiling to help you out. 

Colour blocking in a bathroom

Walls painted in Stoneware with Andes Summit on the trim and Tomato Tango on the ceiling, all Aura Bath & Spa matt, £27.50 for 940ml, Benjamin Moore

(Image: © Benjamin Moore)

7. Get creative with patterns

Encourage your little explorers by using large triangle shapes to make mountain ranges as a backdrop to their room scheme. For this look, try using a dark paint against a paler background. 

For a similar effects and lots more inspiration, check out our inspiring paint ideas for kid's bedrooms.

Colour blocking in a children's room

Mid Sleeper with drawers, bookcase and roll out desk, £850, Little Folks Furniture. For similar grey paint, try Down Pipe modern emulsion, £45 for 2.5ltrs, Farrow & Ball

(Image: © Little Folk Furniture)

8. Paint your panelling 

Adding panelling in the bedroom is a great way to add interest and makes an ideal canvas for some artistic self expression, with small sections painted in one or
two bold colours. Try primed Shaker wall panelling from Howdens as a backdrop to your tonal masterpiece. 

Find lots more ideas for paint colour schemes for bedrooms in our dedicated feature.

Colour blocking in bedrooms

Room by Argos

(Image: © Argos)

9. Add pops of colour 

Make a feature of your windows by edging them in a vibrant shade. This look can work with any colour offset against your walls – but you can afford to go bold and really make them pop. Use a fine-headed brush for precise painting.

Colour blocking in a hallway

Valspar Premium Blend v700 walls & ceilings range in Eclectic green (front wall), Picturesque (back wall) and Tropic Heart (window frame), £25.20 for 2.5ltrs, B&Q 

(Image: © B&Q)

10. Mix and match your wallpaper

Colour blocking doesn't have to stop at paint, get creative with different patterned wallpapers. We love how this swirly, fantastical marble print looks with pops of gold and teal. You can find similar prints at John Lewis

Marble effect wallpaper

(Image: © Carpetright)

11. Get creative with circular designs

To add even more interest to a colour block wall, try contrasting square shapes with circular designs. We love how the circle outline, painted in Dulux's Colour of the Year, Spiced Honey, contrasts with the sharp lines throughout the rest of the room. 

Dulux Colour of the Year Spiced Honey

(Image: © Dulux)

Looking for more paint ideas?