Let me show you how to use Terracotta

Trend setters in paint companies are starting to talk about Terracotta again.  A much maligned colour for years, people denounced terracotta for being related to the colour schemes of the 80s and 90s.  It has been seen to hold no place amongst the smart neutrals and cutting edge blacks, whites and greys of contemporary times.  Thankfully, this has changed and the beautiful warm colour of terracotta is making a comeback and softening the landscape as it goes.  Of course it has never been out of style throughout the Mediterranean but I am glad to say it is making a return to global mainstream decorating trends. 

Let me show you how to use Terracotta
Image – James Dunlop Textiles

Terracotta and the Bohemian look

A classic Bohemian interior scheme will have some colour, some more than others, and this is where you can incorporate beautiful rugs and cushions into your look.  If you are hesitant about introducing colour then it makes sense to turn to a natural hue like terracotta which works so well in Bohemian style rugs and accessories.  You get the gorgeous richness but without the strong full on impact.

So, what is the great appeal of Terracotta?

The fundamental appeal of a Mediterranean colour palette lies in its relationship to the natural landscape of the region.  Terracotta is one of the main contributors to a classic Mediterranean palette as it is a beautiful natural colour that blends perfectly with the surrounding environment.  The Mediterranean look has been admired and duplicated for years by architects and designers wishing to evoke the same feel in their own habitat.  Silvery greens from the olive groves that dot the landscape, soft ivory and yellow of the chalkstone hills and rich ochre, umber and sienna from the local soils make up the cornerstone of Mediterranean style.

 Let me show you how to use Terracotta

How to make Terracotta work

The key to ensuring that a Mediterranean colour scheme works is to ensure that all elements, from the paint for the walls, the tiles and timber for the flooring through to the soft furnishings and window dressings are all natural products.  Lime wash paint produces a soft, weathered patina and new buildings assume an established air and in time, the lime will bloom to create an ageless look.  Floor tiles should be a natural stone, ideally terracotta while timber should be a mid to dark tone with a simple matt finish. 

Let me show you how to use Terracotta
Image – Next Homewares

The beauty of Terracotta for the outside

The great appeal of a colour or design renaissance is that it never comes back quite the same as before as designers add a modern feel and use the style or colour in a different way.  I can see Terracotta emerging as a lovely accent colour to be embraced more for elements of exteriors and in particular in garden design where beautiful natural terracotta pots sit happily with hip and trendy Corten steel.  Corten steel really is a great exterior product which is often used now for accents on houses – if you haven't come across it, I highly recommend you follow it up as it adds a really beautiful statement in a garden setting. 

Let me show you how to use Terracotta
Corten Steel brings the colour of Terracotta with a contemporary twist

So, finally, I still love the decorating mainstays of neutrals and white and I have championed the benefits and appeal of grey, in particular, for years but I am very happy to see the warmth and beauty of natural Terracotta in design once more.  And who can resist the beautiful images that this gorgeous colour evokes of sunny Mediterranean days.

How to use Terracotta
Photographer Luca Bravo

Let me show you how to use Terracotta

I always look to nature and the natural landscape for colour inspiration and I really like this image of the Mediterranean.  This beautiful photograph was taken by Anthony Delanoix and I have used it to put together the following colour palette.

Let me show you how to use Terracotta

If you want to replicate this colour scheme, then the Hex codes follow which a local paint store can help you with.

Colour 1 Hex—fdf0d1, Colour 2 Hex—f9e2b2, Colour 3 Hex—e6c58d, Colour 4 Hex—a36c20, Colour 5 Hex—561c06

I hope that this article has given you some inspiration to use some beautiful warm colours in your decorating and if you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you in the section below.

How to use Terracotta
Photographer Annie Spratt 

Related: 4 key elements of contemporary Bohemian Style

Related: My Guide to Moroccan Style

3 thoughts on “Let me show you how to use Terracotta

  1. Avatar
    Mrs Amanda Majzel says:

    Very inspiring, my mountain home is in the throughs of redecoration,this is just what I need thankyou,living in the Pyrenees near the border,difficult for me to choose colours that will suit hot summers and snowed in by the fire. Certainly I don’t feel suffocated with the relaxed tones you have showed

  2. Avatar
    Avrelle says:

    Love this!!! Love Mediterranean Styles, but also live the modern neutrals. Think it’s great that we can combine the both! Fantastic!!!

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