Color Trends – Color Blocking

A gorgeous color blocked living room via Elle Decor Spain

Color Trends in Fashion have been dominated by Color Blocking for some time now, but color blocking has only recently been a heating as a Color Trend in interior design.

I love color blocking for a great many reasons, but foremost because it single-handedly solves so many common problems by providing simple solutions that anyone can access, so it had me at “Hello!”!

The design vignette (up top) featured in Elle Decor Spain is a fabulous example of color blocking, because it’s not as blunt and obvious as some statements I have seen. Design styles (color blocking or any other design modality) are most successful when they are expressed in a manner that conveys the style or technique without hitting you over the head with the concept. The room above blocks and repeats color groups both overtly and subtly, making sophisticated use of this method.

Here are some ways to get the look.

Chances are, you already own multiple elements in color that you gravitate toward – start by simply grouping them. This is a great way to get the most out of vintage and thrift store finds, as well. You simply take the trick designers use to create unity and flow in styling bookcases by arranging the books in color groups to the next level by applying the technique to the entire room…

image via Elle Decor Spain

Color blocking is an amazing way of stringing color, like beads on a necklace through the house so that the look-through carries the eye creating color continuity – the floor to the door, to the fireplace and painting, to rest on the yellow chair group (above).

Image via Elle Decor Spain

A sophisticated interpretation is best achieved by including pattern in your color blocked motif, making the pattern an aspect of you color block motif.

image from Elle Decor Spain

A specialty piece that may not have a great deal of relevance or a strong enough single voice to carry in the big picture of your design is transformed into a key component by use of color blocking.

No design is complete without the addition of something unexpected or some personal elements – nothing does this better than a portrait of your own or a family group’s DNA! I saw this first on Candice Olson’s Divine Design (above) and was thrilled to see it featured on One Kings Lane! Click here to check it out!

image via adesignstoryblog

To get the most from color blocking remember to create a palette inclusive of both bright and neutral tones, and remember to include your favorite colors to provide your design with some longevity.

image via adesignstoryblog

Book cases, as as mentioned before a great beginning point for color blocking and can set the tone for the rest of the room.

image from adesignstoryblog

Striped curtains are an inexpensive and practical inspiration point for wall color, as it costs nothing more to take them to your paint dealer and ask for a custom mix – you can opt for contrast by painting tired furnishing with complimentary colors, or you can stay monochrome by keeping your application in the same color family.

image from

The backing on built-ins is very easy to paint, and adding color-blocking via new mattes to your artwork or black and white family photo prints is simple and effectively adds a great deal of style and energy to built-in displays.

By choosing your color palette to coordinating with existing furniture pieces a new look can be cost and style effectively be created in a weekend’s time frame a price you’ll love!


If you have a pillow you love and have never been able to add to a pillow story in your home, color blocking and a single chair will set the stage for a hallway that needs some style definition.

Do you have, or have you seen the inexpensive and busy silver plated pieces that seem to dot garage sales and thrift stores? Try coating them with a clear sealer, spray paint them white with Kilz white primer and tape them off with low-stick frog tape – then add your color blocked feature color! This is a great and inexpensive way to create a display collection for less.

image via nooksucasa blog

Unique vintage lighting shows up everyday on One Kings Lane! If you’re fast off the mark at 11am EST you can snag an elements that adds something unexpected and contributes to your color clocking color scheme.

Geometry is color-blocking ready-made for you! Just add and step away…

Less can be more – try working backwards from a signature piece, like this platter from Zinc Door.

Use your inspiration element to define your wall color and pillow choices.

A subtler color blocking arrangment I did on Olioboard

Olioboard is a great way to play with this concept before rolling up your sleeves to get started. I have put up a number of color blocked designs. Stop by Olioboard and say hello – I would love to your color-blocking inspirations!