Add sun-baked warmth and an earthy feel to any space with tones of terracotta and clay
In Italian, the word ‘terracotta’ translates to ‘baked earth’, which perfectly sums up the warm, natural character of this pinkish-brown hue.
While not for everyone, terracotta has the power to add instant warmth to any home. This workshop will show you how to decorate using this trending colour – depending on your taste for terracotta, you can go large with a wall paint or floor tile, or go low-key with furniture, lighting, bedding, cushions, artwork and planters.
The boldest way to use terracotta is to paint a wall or walls of a room. It might seem scary but once applied to a whole space, this hue can actually feel like a neutral and looks even better when hit with some natural light. You will instantly feel warm and cosy. Try Resene Just Dance, Sunbaked, Florentine Pink or Beethoven.
Bedding & cushions
A more noncommittal way to introduce terracotta into your home is through fabric. If you have neutral, white or off-white walls in your bedroom and are looking for a pop of colour, some new bedding in terracotta hues will add warmth and depth without the brashness of a brighter shade. Remember to layer the bed and mix stripes with small patterns and textured cushions for a fabulous look.
On a neutral sofa, a few terracotta cushions in velvet, linen or wool and a textured throw will add just the splash of colour needed to warm it up.
Bathrooms can be quite sterile, so a great way to add some personality in this space is with coloured towels in terracotta hues. Dot a few around the bathroom and watch the space come to life.
Tip: When pairing terracotta with other hues, think of the colours of the earth, from white clay to greys and dark reddy browns.
If you aren’t ready to fully embrace terracotta, a few subtle decor additions might be all you need. Create a collection of handmade terracotta vases or vessels on a bookshelf, sideboard or console table, or if you’re a plant lover, rehome your favourite plant in a terracotta pot. Candles in terracotta holders are another good option, as are statement pendant or wall lights in a terracotta shade.
A more traditional way to use terracotta is in tiles. Commonly seen in Spanish, French and Italian homes, terracotta floor tiles used internally create a relaxed, Mediterranean feel. These tiles, which were popular in New Zealand during the 1970s and ’80s, are now making a comeback and becoming popular choices for kitchen splashbacks, bathroom feature walls and statement floors. They look beautiful when teamed with fresh whites and wood accents. Tiling is a big commitment so make sure you absolutely love the terracotta-tile look before you decide to invest.
If your living room or family room is in need of a colour injection, consider an accent chair, sofa or side table in a terracotta hue. If you like a coordinated look, remember to add the colour three times to a space, to provide balance and prevent the colour from looking out of place. This could be through a vase, an art print, cushion or throw.
Words by: Vanessa Nouwens. Photography by: Bauer Syndication.