how to colour block
From Habitat magazine - issue 21
It's a simple on-trend way to create eye-catching and personalised interiors – colour blocking.
Colour blocking is exactly what it sounds like: a design technique that groups blocks of colour together. It's a simple way to not only dress up your walls but also your house exterior, ceilings and furniture.
Colour blocking tips:
- If you're colour blocking interior walls, start with one wall of a room or you'll end up with visual confusion.
- When you're starting out stick to three colours, which are easier to manage. Also limit yourself to simple shapes: squares and rectangles.
- For added dimension, you can add white or black lines between each colour, easily created with masking tape. Think Mondrian paintings.
- Use colours with the same saturation values, ie either all soft pastels, or all deep clear colours.
- Or, use varying shades of the one colour, like four different blues.
- Or for a more intriguing effect, use colours close to each other on the colour wheel, ie oranges and reds, purples and blues, yellows and oranges.
- For a subtle take on colour blocking, try varying the gloss levels and texture. For example, if you use Resene Enamacryl gloss next to Resene SpaceCote Flat, the change in finish will provide the interest. You might then include an anaglypta wallpaper to paint over, for texture, in another block.
To offset the predominantly raw, natural materials of this house designed by Tim Dorrington of DAA, he and homeowners Mark and Susie Easterbrook chose strong, sunny, vibrant colours – Resene Monza
(red), Resene Supernova
(yellow) and Resene Chilean Fire
(orange) for the kitchen. Says Mark: "This is the 'active' part of the house, so we wanted energetic colours. In summer, the house is full of warmth and sunlight, so we wanted colours that brought this through in the colder months as well. We wanted to avoid cooler colours in this space, especially greens, because the extensive glazing brings so much green in anyway."
Architect John Mills used the aerial dance of the tui to inspire the dramatic colour blocked ceiling of this Wellington house. The composition of six different colour-stained ply panels represents the blurred flash of deep incandescent colour of a tui as it dives past you in full flight. The stain colours were carefully customised with Resene Colorwood
. This sense of movement is also echoed in the way the floating ceiling starts true and square to the north and west, then dips and twists to the south and east. This house recently won a Resene Total Colour Maestro Residential Interior award (see page 24).
Colour blocking with a twist – this Japanese-style dining area has colourful storage compartments hidden beneath the raised tatami mat floor. The colours are those used elsewhere in the house: Resene Raspberry
, Resene Hero
(yellow-orange), Resene Morning Glory
(aqua) and Resene Grenadier
(orange) while the walls are Resene Canterbury Clay
. The colours were selected by Nathan Edmonston of MOAA Architects and client Yuki Fukuda.
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