There’s a hot new trend in interior design which I absolutely love. Colour Zoning (also referred to as Colour Blocking) is the intentional painting of blocks of colour within a room. It opens up a whole new way of using and defining colour in a space. It’s a great technique to add “punch” to a room without being overwhelming. Colour zoning can add definition, highlight interesting architectural elements, create a focal point, or function as artwork.
This bones of this room are quite typical. Choosing to paint out the wall and bulkhead (architectural detail) in a contrasting colour takes the room from being ordinary to extraordinary.
In this hallway (left) you can see how just a small section of colour zoning can add great emphasis. It creates a wonderful background to the framed images. Often colour zoning is used to create a focal point but in this living room (right) it is used to further enhance the existing focal point (the fireplace).
In these 2 kitchens I love how colour zoning is used as the back splash. Why waste your time with neutral coloured tile when you can paint and add a beautiful splash of colour? Plus, if you decide to change the colour next season it’s as easy as grabbing a paint brush.
The example on the left shows how colour zoning can make a bookcase read as a piece of art. The block of colour also helps to define the dining space in this multi-function room.
On the left we see how colour zoning and function are tied together by using chalkboard paint. It creates a stunning backdrop for the chair and creates a place for messages and creativity to be shared.
I love how the colour zoning in the bedroom creates a beautiful focal point. In this case it’s not about a loud “pop” of colour, but about adding subtle interest and highlighting an architectural detail. In the office area I love how colour zoning seems to add an architectural detail that isn’t even there. Had the block of colour ended at the ceiling line it wouldn’t have the same impact.
Now colour zoning doesn’t mean you’re limited to one colour. I love how the 2 colour zones, in the example on the left, read as artwork. This is an awesome application for an apartment.
In this living room we see the use of multiple colour zoning in an entirely different way. This is trickier. The best way to pull this off is choose colours that are the same in intensity which will create balance within the design.
Now to pull off any of these designs it is imperative that you do a perfect job. This means using a level, ruler, painter’s tape* and your keenest eye. No “wavy” lines allowed!
Colour zoning is changing the way we think about paint and colour. So go ahead, use your imagination… there’s a new whole world of possibilities out there!
Please note: I do not take credit for any of the designs or ideas in the above photos. I wrote this article before I realized how important it is to credit the original designer, author, photographer, genius, etc. If you recognize the work please let me know and I will credit and link the appropriate photos. Thank you!
*Bonus: Tips to using painter’s tape effectively:
1) clean surface with damp clothe and allow to dry fully,
2) apply tape (splurge on a quality brand – it’ll make this easier) in 2-3 foot sections while being careful not to stretch it,
3) use a plastic putty knife or credit card to seal the edges,
4) apply light even coats of paint,
5) once fully dry, peel back at a 45-degree angle using a steady even pace.