The Ultimate Luxe Guide To Interiors, Travel & Style

Thursday, June 15, 2017

All that glows isn't gold; it is terracotta

Whilst everyone else is tweeting about the latest colours of SS/17 (greenery, coral and the like), I’m here to enlighten you on THE colour to have up your sleeve if you want to be in the interiors cool gang. Terracotta will be all over your screen come autumn and before you dismiss it out of hand because I concede, I too had my reservations that its kind of outdated; let me fill you in because you’ll come to love it as I do, so let me save you the 180°. Plus, Milan doesn’t get colours wrong and they have put that colour from the late 80’s back on the map.

Here’s what you need to know:

You’ll hear it called copper, burnt orange or persimmon; Farrow & Ball have a gorgeous 'Red earth' and Dulux in the image here call the back wall, Golden pheasant. Terracotta might be relabelled to give it more alluring connotations, but it is Terracotta in all its rusty, burnished, spicy loveliness.                                                                                                                                                
This leads me onto my second point: Terracotta isn't a colour to be relegated to accent pieces - it isn't a gentle; or more poignantly, it isn't a cosmetic or frivolous colour. Terracotta is rich, earthly and dynamic and will create an authentic and striking response if you really go for it in swathes. Don't be intimidated by its strong and grounded quality and be half hearted in its use. If I can persuade you, it is best executed on all four walls.

What I also love about terracotta is how beautifully it works tonally and my favourite schemes see it layered with complimentary tones from the same ‘earthy palette’ from sunlit creams and putty pinks through orange, dark red and spicy browns. Don’t think I’m suggesting you channel your earth goddess! The overall result of tone-on-tone is sophisticated and atmospheric and a restricted scheme has an edgy contemporary feel.

In my personal interior design style, I frequently lean towards a narrow palette for a refined appeal. You can have lots of pieces and from different styles and I love an eclectic styling, but if the palette ties up, the overall look is harmonious. Terracotta blends beautifully with warmer metals and punches of gold as well as light woods and marble. You can also introduce off white and dark colours/black to create contrast and use these on bigger pieces like curtains and large furniture.

There are endless colours that look stunning with terracotta and I love contemporary patterns that introduce colours in an interesting way. For a more contemporary scheme, terracotta looks slick with greens including teal and khaki and slate and pale greys. For a more feminine softer feel, team terracotta with powder pink, bone and spring blues or greens.

I could go on forever creating schemes, can you tell I’m an interior designer?! In all seriousness, if you have any colour questions, let me know!

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