'It's so effective at making your home work harder' – the latest paint trend endorsed by colour gurus

We're waving goodbye to millennial grey altogether

Desk area built in beside steps, green wallpapered wall and inbuilt green bookshelves
(Image credit: Future PLC/Bee Holmes)

Could it be that 'millennial grey' is finally on the way out? After speaking to colour experts it's becoming increasingly apparent that homeowners and renters alike are looking to decorate and spruce up their homes with colour, and we've found the latest new colourful paint trend to try at home - colour zoning.

Admittedly, it's almost impossible to mention the colour home decor trends without mentioning even just a handful of our favourite paint ideas. From the top of our heads alone, we've got to give a shout-out to colour drenching and following the launch of Dulux's colour of the year, Sweet Embrace, the ombre paint trend.

Well, to our luck, colour zoning is a new contender that has entered the home decorating arena vying for our attention as the next big wonder design trick – and its main objective is to make your home work harder.

Desk area built in beside steps, green wallpapered wall and inbuilt green bookshelves

(Image credit: Future PLC/Mary Wadsworth)

Colour zoning – what is it, and how do you achieve it in your home?

When we talk about colour zoning, it doesn't stray too far from the objective of general zoning when designing a home. If you consider the ways to zone an open-plan space to create dedicated areas that employ a sense of purpose, colour zoning effectively does the same thing – albeit, through the use of colour rather than furniture placement or flooring choice.

While partnered with TaskRabbit to help Brits 'banish the beige' in their homes, colour expert and interior designer Sophie Robinson revealed to us at Ideal Home that one of the most common themes she was seeing during her colour consultations was 'wanting to understand how to zone a room using colour and which colours would be best suited to zone the space'.

'So knowing what colour should the ceiling, walls, and windows should be,' says Sophie.

Sophie Robinson sitting on sofa
Sophie Robinson

Sophie is an undisputed colour queen and tour de force in the interior design industry with over 20 years of experience in all things interiors.

Bedroom with terracotta, rattan, and wood colour scheme with terracotta painted arch on feature wall

(Image credit: Future PLC/Kasia Fiszer)

Following on from this, we asked Sophie for her top tips on colour zoning, to which she advised, 'I always tend to try and start with this. How do you want the room to feel? Do you want the room to feel cosy, tranquil, and calming? Or, do you want to be really dramatic, striking, and uplifting? I don't think people really think about that.'

She continues, 'I think too often we default to, 'Yeah, I just want it to be really calming,' but that's not right for every room in the room. So you've really got to think about the space, what you're doing in it, and that can lead you to make the right colour choices.'

White fake fireplace with white painted logs stacked inside, large colourful canvas on mantelpiece

(Image credit: Future PLC/Joanna Henderson)

Now we know what colour zoning is and some foundation in it, how can we learn to put it into action in our own homes?

Speaking further on colour zoning, Marianne Shillingford, creative director at Dulux says, 'Using blocks of colour to define a space and how you might use it is so effective at making your home work harder but the best colour zoning benefits from a bit of thought, creativity and often bravery.'

Marianne Shillingford Creative Director
Marianne Shillingford

Marianne is a decorating expert who is passionate about the power of colour to change lives. As well as her current role as Creative Director at Dulux, she is the founder of the Colour in Design Award, which encourages a new generation of colour-forward design talent.

Bedroom with wallpaper accent wall and wall panelling, jewel toned bedding and houseplant

(Image credit: Future PLC/Bee Holmes)

'Take a block of colour up onto the ceiling over a dining table and suddenly the area feels more defined and special,' advises Marianne.

'Add stripes or polka dots in places where you fancy a microdose of joy and layer harmonious colours together rather than simply painting blocks of colour onto white.'

Whether it's deckchair stripes, HBO Succession-inspired moody florals, or even leopard print flooring (yes, really), if it makes you happy, then don't be afraid to get stuck into it. Perhaps dipping into the bold side of colour zoning will spark the start of your own villain era.

Kitchen with green cabinetry colour scheme and gold detailing with houseplants displayed

(Image credit: Future PLC/Bee Holmes)

Marianne concludes, 'Look at the colours you already have in the room and extend your favourites onto the walls for a coordinated relaxed look. Most of all, decorating should be fun…so just have a bit of fun with it.'

Jullia Joson
Junior Writer

Jullia Joson is Ideal Home’s Junior Writer. She’s always loved all things homes and interiors, graduating with a bachelor's degree in Architectural Studies from the University of Nottingham in 2022. Previously, she was an Intern Editor for ArchDaily. Now focused on news stories, Jullia can be found down the TikTok and Pinterest rabbit hole scrolling through any new and upcoming trends, hacks, and home inspiration.