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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.