Trend Alert: Terracotta & Earth Colours

Trend Alert: Terracotta & Earth Colours

feature image: Dulux New Zealand

by Marica Fick

Like our previous trend post about the resurgence of Rattan, the hot and spicy colour trend we will be sharing today also smacks of retro deliciousness.

With the chill of winter fast approaching, we are quite happy to see the interior colour palettes shift to richer and warmer tones. I think it is exactly this yearning for warmth, cosiness, and womb-like comfort that has made TERRACOTTA the go-to home colour trend of the past few seasons.

Trend Alert: Terracotta & Earth Colours
A perfect balanced of terracotta hues, pale blue, and earthy materials in Fonda Mexican restaurant in Melbourne. | source: Eclectic Trends

To give you a greater scope of the massive popularity of this earthy-coloured trend, let me share this tidbit:

A few times a year, Pinterest releases as a category specific report detailing the latest and greatest pinning trends from around the world. Last year, they reported a whopping 95% increase of terracotta-themed interior and homeware images in the UK alone.

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Colours that don’t “do it” for me…

When considering colour in décor and design, I often wonder where the starting point of this specific topic is and where it end (if ever). There is just so much to say about colour – its intentions, its effects, the trends, the do’s and the don’ts and more. But over and above all that, one thing I am always conscious of is the fact that colour is “individual specific”. What works for me may not work for you.

Which brings me to the opinion I want to share with you today- the colours that just don’t do it for me any more and those that manage to grab my attention of late.

Terracotta walls and a dark stained vanity? Definitely does NOT do it for me!
This earthy African interior is bland, dark and heavy. Give me colour that pops!

Let’s start with the DON’T DO IT: Terracotta orange and clay colours, along with that dark stained finishes on wooden furniture and joinery items. For me the days of the dark kitchen cupboard doors and drawers, as well as dark coffee tables, dining chairs and tables are long gone tired, over and done with. That whole dark wenge and dark African mahogany wooden finish seemed to walk hand-in-hand with the deeper “earthy tones” of burnt orange and clay on a background of beige colours. Pretty much that “African” look.  We were subjected to such an over-exposure of it, that it became anathema to me – loathed when encountered. That is where the problem lies – total over-exposure. Could the possibility also exist that working with these dark finishes were somewhat limiting and stifling, leading to creative boredom?

It almost seems silly to be raising this style as a topic of discussion, particularly since there has been a natural progression from dark finishes to lighter natural wooden finishes with complimenting vibrant colours such as green, fresh oranges, soft browns and strong hues of blue. NOW THIS I CAN DO!  The operative word here is VIBRANT.

See how this pale blue compliments the terracotta! Beautiful and FRESH!

With the gradual advent and introduction of growing eco-awareness, the shift to natural was inevitable. Somehow, that shift to all things a-la-natural has evoked a surge of creative energy, making it very difficult to grow tired of this natural trend. It is the foundation for a much broader colour spectrum and really can be such fun to work with.

HOWEVER, having said all of that, I am not writing off the colour clay completely. In fact clay can be a fab complimentary colour (and burnt orange if it comes to that) when carefully paired up with another vibrant colour, such as a strong teal blue.

Now this is colour that POPS! The vibrant teal compliments the warmer terracotta perfectly! (This bright combination is not for the meek though)

Take this bathroom for instance.  The feature colour is teal, complimented by the clay bath, vanity unit and towels. When it is not the dominant colour, IT CAN DO IT FOR ME.

Images sourced from Houzz: here.