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Color Blocking: Trends going into the New Year

Color-blocking has exploded in recent years.  It jumped onto the fashion scene 5-10 years ago, and has built a strong presence in the world of interior design.   While early renditions of color-blocking combined neutral colors and conservative schemes, 2017 and 2018 has seen more daring combinations; involving bold and vibrant shades from complete opposite sides of the color wheel.

Is this what we expect to see in 2019 as well?  Not according to HGTV editor Lori Johnson.  In her opinion, while 2019 pieces will surely continue to utilize color-blocking, the shades used will be softer, less abrasive, and more sensible.

Color-Blocking Explained

Color-blocking, as the name suggests, is simply the “blocking-together” of solid colors onto one design or ensemble.  Color-blocking explores different color combinations to create one, unified design.  In a more traditional sense, it commonly uses shades from opposite sides of the color wheel, however there’s no real “cut-and-dry” definition.  The approach has seen an explosion in popularity in the fashion industry in recent years.  However, it’s doesn’t only apply to wardrobes and outfits.   Color-blocking has also been discussed in terms to artwork and—more recently—home design.

Some claim that the real appeal to color-blocking comes from its simplicity.  Can it get more simple than basic geometric shapes and solid colors?  The answer to that question is really up for debate.  While standard shapes and solid colors are comparatively basic, the combinations of shapes and shades are seemingly infinite.  While color-blocking might be simple, it takes a great amount of vision to contrive pleasant schemes that complement one-another.

In terms of home decor, recent color-blocking designs have involved bright, vibrant colors and non-conventional pairings.  However, according to Lori Johnson, expect to see these inhibitions toned-back in 2019.  Johnson predicts more conventional and intuitive color pairings in the coming year, especially using more delicate shades, softer patterns, and two-toned combinations.


What to Watch for in 2019

In terms of “softer” shades, pastels will be key in 2019.  Johnson forecasts the bold patterns of 2018 will give way to softer more elegant tones for furniture pieces, walls, and even accessories.  For instance, she describes a sofa designed by Natasha Baradaran.  The piece is strictly two-tones (cream and pink) swirled together for a soft touch that feels “understated and bold at the same time.”

In-fact, many top names in modern design endorse this idea of subtle and soft, yet refined.  For instance, Michelle Workman of Michelle Workman Interiors believes that there may not be a particular “color” for 2019, but rather a feeling.  According to her, a growing trend isn’t exactly a shade or material, but a sentiment of escapism—light and breezy patterns, made with pastel-toned fabrics.  This only corroborates Johnson’s prediction of softer pastel color-blocking in the coming year.

Johnson offers a few additional pieces that exhibit this type of color-blocking pattern.  Perhaps among the most notable is an accent wall designed by Joann Kandrac with Kandrac & Kole.  The design mends marbled wallpaper with delicately color-blocked curtains—“sophisticated and subtle” Johnson calls it.  The scheme is gentle and soft, but refined.

In-fact, according to Johnson and some painting contractors in Kennesaw, accent walls are rather favorable canvases for color-blocking schemes.  It’s all about bringing things together, and color-blocking can be exploited to unify even the oddest of color-combinations.   So long as the shades are light and welcoming, there’s really no restriction to the colors than can be featured.  Johnson highlights a few more examples that successfully feature pinks, soft oranges, and gentle blue-shades.

It’s not so much “which” colors are used, but rather the combinations they’re featured in.  This may sound simple, but it takes vision to find the best pairings.  While these designs may not be “daring” they really don’t have to be.  Blocking colors together certainly takes style, but a more refined and conserved kind of style.  While designers in the past few years emphasized bold and non-conventional color-pairings, 2019 will introduce the softer-side of color-blocking.  From furniture to accent walls, refined and comfortable designs will be heavily featured in the coming year, and something to keep on the radar for individuals looking to revamp their home décor.

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