9 New Rules for Color Blocking at Home

Color blocking with paint


Summer is officially here, and with it comes longer days, shorter shorts, warmer temps, and brighter colors. And while we’re definitely excited to spend more time outside (patio entertaining, anyone?), the hottest season of the year also calls for bolder, more colorful interior design to give your home that perfect summer glow. That’s what makes color blocking our new décor obsession to get your home in shape for summer. Juxtaposing contrasting colors in different blocks, shapes, and lines gives any room a brighter and more energetic appeal that’s ideal for sunnier weather.

This summer, like almost all things of '80s- and '90s-style, color blocking is back in a big way. We first spotted it in S/S runway shows, and who are we to argue with fashion? Whether using complementary tonal hues or bolder color combinations that break a few design rules with a hint of a clash, it’s time to bring the block party home.

So if you’re in the mood to break up a room or you just want to do some subtle toning, there are lots of new ways to create shapes everywhere from the floor to the ceiling by using paint, textiles, furniture, and even décor. And let’s be honest: Just like most fashion trends, we think the second tour of color-blocking décor ideas this summer will be even chicer than the first time around a few decades back.

Divide and Conquer

When it comes to refreshing a room with summer color, it's hard to go wrong with a sunny shade of yellow. But the secret to giving this room summer energy is the dividing line: The contrasting combination of yellow and optic white creates an even brighter feeling with this fresh, color-blocked twist on an accent wall.

Apricot Birch Summer Evening Geometric Art Print
Apricot Birch Summer Evening Geometric Art Print, 17" x 17" $34

Color Inside the Lines

Color-blocked living room rug
Tom Ferguson ; DESIGN: Arent & Pyke

Color blocking can give any space a personality of its own by using multiple shapes and shades to create a unique pattern. A colorful geometric rug turns this living room floor into abstract art in a focused pastel palette.

Arguto Rug, 5' x 8'
Design Within Reach Arguto Rug, 5' x 8' $995

Use Couture Color Combinations

There are few trending color combinations as chic as blush and chartreuse. Color blocking gives this bedroom a linear appeal that allows a more-is-more mentality to shine without becoming overwhelming, even including pops of greenery and black-and-white patterns in the mix. The overall aesthetic feels full of energy but also sharp, clean, and modern.

Progetto Palmador Series Sheet Desk
Dimorestudio Progetto Palmador Series Sheet Desk $Upon Request

Treat Windows With Two Tones

Color-blocked bedroom curtains
Tom Ferguson ; DESIGN: Arent & Pyke

When it comes to window treatments, it's stylish to mix shades, and color blocking in drapery can create lines that lead the eye up, down, and around the room. Adding colorful color-blocked curtains to this bedroom keeps the space feeling dynamic and vibrant with minimal wall décor. 

Linen Velvet Colorblock Curtain
Alcott Hill Lucille Colorblock Curtain, Set of 2 $60

Keep It in the Family

Color blocking in art

Terence Chin / MyDomaine

While there is no such thing as too many shades in color blocking (many retro-inspired, high-fashion versions juxtapose colors that actually clash), mixing different hues within the same color family is a great color-blocking hack to ensure everything goes together in a space. It's a more subtle approach, for sure, but when it's done right, it makes a major impact and leaves a lasting artistic impression.

18"x12" pata pillow with feather-down insert
CB2 Pata Pillow with Feather-Down Insert $40

Go Monochrome

Color blocking using black and white tile
Salva López

Putting black and white side by side creates the kind of heightened contrast that gives a space dramatic appeal. The boldness of these black-and-white geometric tiles balances the minimal design of this bedroom, and the choice to tile the bottom portion of the wall against a bright white backdrop makes the color-block effect stand out, both within each square and as pattern blocking for the room in total.

Cement Tile Slant, 8" x8"
Clé Tile Cement Tile Slant, 8" x8" $6 per tile

Shape Up

Color blocking décor ideas for the bathroom
Nicole Franzen ; DESIGN: GRT Architects

Sharp angles, futuristic shapes, and a mix of multiple bright, warm, and cool shades give this bathroom wall a colorful nod to the iconic design and décor of the 1980s (and some of our favorite bold fashions from the time period, as well). The blocks of color created by contrasting penny tiles, multicolor geometric shelving, and boldly colored hardware would add energy and optimism to any morning routine.

Wall Mirror Art
Bower Pyramid Mirror $1,600

Throw Shade

Color-blocked throw pillows
Mat Sanders ; DESIGN: Consort Design

Swapping out throw pillows is a great way to update your home each season, particularly when it comes time to make things brighter, bolder, and fresher for summer. Color-blocked throws and cushions are a great way to sprinkle a spectrum of color into a room--proof that, when it comes to color blocking, a little bit goes a long way. 

Kelim Cushion, Squares
Ferm Living Kelim Cushion, Squares $89

Mix Materials

Color blocking décor ideas for the bedroom
do mal o menos

Mixing different raw materials and textures can create a color-blocked effect in a more neutral palette. In this bedroom, mixing bright white paint and natural wood paneling creates color blocking that connects the floors with the walls while maintaining a minimal vibe. It's also a great space-saving hack to create the illusion of a headboard that spans wall to wall.

Stikwood Wall Decor
Stikwood Reclaimed Barrel Oak Wall Decor, 20 sq. ft. $281

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