Banish thoughts of dated Eighties clashing primary colours - colour blocking is back with a bang this season and has been reborn in surprisingly versatile new ways. Follow these top tips and you'll be the most stylish kids on the block...

Softly does it

Colour Blocking Softly does it

Colour blocking needn’t mean brights. Contrasting blocks of soft pastel hues looks equally as impactful – and it's one of the key colour trends this season, too.

Expert tip

Colour blocking is easy. All you need is a tape measure, decorators' low tack masking tape, and a spirit level (or chalked string and a plumb line) to get your vertical lines straight. Take a peek at this How To video which shows you how to mark graphic shapes on a wall and use the same method to create your block shapes.

Square it up

Colour Blocking Square it up

Super-sizing your colour blocking segments transforms a featureless room into a dynamic space full of va-va-voom.

Expert tip

Play with tone and contrast to make each block do something visually different. Warm and darker colours leap forward whereas cool or pale hues take a step back, so you can use variations of your favourite shades to really make the space come to life. Get the look with Fuschia Lily, Tangerine Twist, Lemon Pie and Spring Rose.

Work of art

Colour Blocking Work of art

Channel the likes of Mondrian with a palette of primary colours on a white canvas. Complementing bigger blocks with thin stripes of colour will lead your eye around the room, turning your space into a three-dimensional masterpiece.

Expert tip

Colour doesn’t have to be confined to the walls, and ceilings don’t always have to be white. Set colours free and be inspired to use your walls like a canvas - we've used Lemon Punch (window) and Raspberry Bellini with Pure Brilliant White. Use colour in unusual spaces like the window recess to make it truly individual. Need inspiration? Have a look at the work of the De Stjil movement and get your artist's smock on…


Colour Blocking Well Toned

Want a space that feels calm? Don’t dismiss colour blocking just yet. Go for tones and shades of a similar colour for a subtle variation on the look to install a serene feel to your room.

Expert tip

Use different tones of the same colour to make features of the things that you often overlook. Draw the eye with darker shades against a paler backdrop and consider clever, simple things like a deep band of colour just above the floor level. Our stripe cards will help you find different tones of the same colour, or look at the back of the Dulux Colour Guide to find columns of colours which work beautifully together. Here we've used Striking Cyan (window), First Dawn (wall, top) and Sea Blue (wall, bottom).

Vital ingredients

Colour Blocking Vital Ingredients

Thinking laterally with your blocks pays off – play around with bands of colour in different widths to build up a striking spectrum in overlooked spaces.

Expert tip

You can make the biggest transformation with a surprisingly small amount of colour in spaces that cry out for a little more attention – such as the space above kitchen units. All you need is a selection of 250ml tester pots for small blocks of colour (try Enchanted Eden, Lemon Tropics, Blue Lagoon and Striking Cyan for a combination like this) – then you can ramp up the energy with complementary accessories.

Tonal shift

Tonal shift

If you’ve got wardrobe doors in need of a reboot, a colour blocked scheme will transform them in an instant. Pick graduating shades in the same colour family for a harmonious and grown-up take on the technique.

Expert tip

Use quick-drying gloss or satin for your wardrobe doors for a great finish. Have a look at this helpful How To video for hints and tips on how to prepare and paint furniture. Try using Fuschia Lily, Berry Smoothie and Sweet Pink for a sophisticated boudoir.

To choose the perfect colours for a colour blocked effect, use the free Dulux Visualizer app to pick colours from your favourite artwork, accessories or furnishings and explore the coordinating colours it suggests.