Autumn is here and the color terracotta is coming in strong. Powerful, rich and natural in character, it gives presence to any space. If you go to Instagram or look in the shop windows of your city you will see shades of green, gray, orange, brown and above all, terracotta. And is that both the light terracotta color and its darker chromatic range are absolutely trendy.

Discover the characteristics of this tone, how to apply it in interiors and what colors to combine it with to seduce.

What type of material is terracotta?

Terracotta is one of the oldest manufactured materials. It is basically fired clay. Hence its Italian name “terra cotta”. Its uses in architecture, sculpture and decoration have been infinite throughout history: terracotta houses, terracotta floors, terracotta facades, and more recently, even terracotta lamps.

Although it is a material that strongly conveys the Mediterranean character, it has also been echoed in many other cultures. One of its oldest decorative applications can be found in the roofs of the Forbidden City in Beijing or the incredible 8,000 warriors of Xi’an. It is also a material that refers to ethnic styles, as the beautiful terracotta sculptures of Bankura in India remind us. 

Jaanus Jagom盲gi

Today there is a real revival of polychrome terracotta ceramics and many artists and designers have revived its value as a noble material.

We recommend you take a look at the Instragram profiles of: @daphne_christoforou, @amii.ceramics, @clara.ceramics, @taniagoldberg_fineart or that of young promises like @grantakiyama…authentic inspiration!

What is terracotta color really like?

To make terracotta color you must mix almost 50% brown and 50% red to capture its clay essence. There are also light terracotta color ranges and darker ones that are closer to orange or brownish tones.

For centuries artists have debated about what is terracotta in paint without reaching a consensus. However, designers, with their more practical nature, have associated it with Burnt Orange from the Pantone color palette, using it in their collections, window displays and interior design projects. Everything between Pantone 2429 U and 180 U would fall within the terracotta color spectrum. 

What is the meaning of terracotta?

This color evokes nature. It is a warm color, associated with the earth, the rustic, the natural and the living, which connects with our origins. Terracotta fuses the neutral character of brown tones with the vigor, passion and energy of red tones, which results in a color with great strength, but which retains its balance. 

In decoration it is a color that transmits warmth and serenity, creating very cozy atmospheres. Applied to interiors it usually provides a rustic touch, while in exteriors it stands out with exuberance.

What does terracotta go with?

Terracotta combines with a wide variety of tones due to its neutral character. Although if you are going to apply terracotta as a wall color, we recommend you not to abuse it because its intensity can collapse the environment.

Terracotta goes great with colors of the same spectrum as reds, oranges and creams. It combines very well with white, with which it has an almost perfect correlation. Paired with turquoise, purple and green tones, it can achieve striking and surprising effects. However, if you are looking for softer and more relaxing combinations, we recommend combining it with beige, mustard and coral tones. With the latter you will create a warm, elegant and lively palette.

In general, we do not recommend combining terracotta with intense blues and grays. Similarly, it is better to be moderate when using it with chrome colors such as silver and gold. In principle they seem to combine perfectly… but be careful not to saturate spaces with these combinations!

Terracotta colors for interiors

If you want to play with this trendy color in interior decorations, one of the best ways to use it is to integrate it through structural elements such as terracotta tiles. They fit great with rustic-inspired decorative elements such as jute baskets, pottery and ethnic-inspired furnishings. Terracotta tiles combined with white walls create a fantastic canvas for minimalist spaces full of personality.

If you prefer to introduce terracotta colors for interiors through decorative elements, you can do it with small details such as a timeless terracotta pot, or with home textiles: a terracotta-colored blanket or cushions that will bring that unique natural warmth of this tone.

Maria Orlova

Surely now you are getting a lot of inspiring ideas to apply the terracotta color in the corners of your home. Keep browsing our magazine and find many more decorating tips! And don’t forget to follow our community for all the latest trends @decommunity_