Colourful and courageous: Colourblocking in interior design
Colourblocking is a trend that you may already be familiar with from the world of fashion: Combining a yellow skirt with a turquoise blouse and a pink clutch bag would be a perfect example. Pulling off that kind of outfit takes a little courage, and the same is true of colourblocking in interior design – this huge new trend will appeal to those with a decisive, creative and courageous streak. In this article, we share our helpful tips so that you can colourblock like a pro.
From the catwalk to the kitchen and the runway to the hallway: What exactly is colourblocking?
In fashion, colourblocking involves pairing bright, single-coloured pieces to create a statement look. As an interior design trend, the possibilities of colourblocking are equally fascinating. And just like in that outfit you’re really proud of, where every element plays a part in the overall look, interior colourblocking also incorporates every aspect of the room: From walls, furniture and curtains to decorative accessories and light switches. This holistic approach is the only way to bring harmony to a room with so much clashing colour.
Instead of limiting yourself to a single family of colours, proponents of colourblocking combine contrasting colours across large surface areas, without using patterns to break up the ‘blocks’: Think sunshine yellow chairs around a luminous white table sitting on a large pink rug. When done right, this kind of combination can inject a sense of fun and energy into your home.
Colourblocking: It’s all about the contrast
The most important rule to remember when you’re planning your colourblocking interior revamp is that there are no rules. In principle, you can colourblock in any combination you like the look of. However, contrast is the key to pulling off this trend.
In “traditional” colourblocking, complementary colours – those that lie opposite one another on the colour wheel – are viewed as the best pairings: blue works well with orange, red is the perfect partner for green, and yellow complements violet. These colours are strongly contrasting so each brings out the best in the other.
Bright and bold or subtle and understated? Colourblocking caters to all tastes
As it gains ground, the colourblocking interior trend has progressed beyond this “traditional” approach. Now, designers are combining colours that you would never expect to see together: Violet and coral, for example, can form a perfect pairing. The more surprising and original the combination, the better. The trend encourages you to come up with your own daring combinations that fly in the face of all the rules: Pink cushions on a red couch? Why not – because these kinds of combinations are exactly how you create the visual effect that colourblocking aims to achieve. In fact, you can match (or mismatch) colours however you like.
There’s also a more subtle way to jump on the colourblocking bandwagon: You can use nude shades and pastels to create attractive contrasts that are slightly easier on the eye. Choose colours from different colour families, and use the less rich shades on larger surfaces so that the blocking effect can come to the fore. Two pale-coloured vases on a table won’t make an impact. But a mint-green door on an antique-pink wall will really pop. And the effect is doubled if your light switches are colourblocked too: Something you can easily achieve with the Gira Event, which is available in the ever-popular mint-green shade.
How do you combine colour in interior design?
If you’re wondering how many colours can you include in your colourblocking plans, there isn’t really a hard and fast rule – like so many other aspects of colourblocking, the answer depends on your space and your situation. But it’s a good idea to decide on a limited palette: You can’t go wrong if you pick two strong colours to use in conjunction with a neutral shade like white, cream or black.
You can also create great blocking effects on a single piece of furniture: Who says that both doors of a wardrobe need to be the same colour? A deep blue on the left and a warm mustard yellow on the right will look fantastic placed against a white wall!
Drawer fronts are also a perfect candidate for a colourblocking upgrade: In the kitchen in particular, you can achieve a great new look with very little effort. As chic and timeless as an all-white kitchen may be, they don’t exactly exude energy and joy. Choose a few cupboard or drawer fronts to cover in matte petrol and find some curtains in the same colour. Add an orange stripe to the white wall, find some matching chair cushions and install a Gira switch in orange to quickly and easily give your old kitchen a fresh new look.
Colourblocking inside and out
Whether you fancy trying out the trend in your bathroom, bedroom or kid’s room, colourblocking works well in any space and with virtually all interior styles. You can also deploy colourblocking outside, to transform plain façades and windowsills into style statements. Or you can do things on a smaller scale, perhaps on a balcony or patio: Pair turquoise seat cushions with red brick walls or a yellow sunshade with the green grass and blue skies and use nature as part of your colourblocking plans.
The bigger picture versus the finer details
Although the colourblocking interior trend often uses large blocks of a single colour, it’s important not to lose sight of the smaller details.
It’s the little things that tie your concept together.
Make sure that your accessories match the colours you’ve chosen. As walls often play a huge role in colourblocking, it’s a good idea to choose switches that harmonise with the colour scheme too. The stylish retro-effect Gira S-Color is available in deep red and blue.
If you need more inspiration before embarking on your own colourblocking project, check out this video:
If this article has got your colourful creative juices flowing, share your bright ideas for colourblocking with us!
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