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Trend Report: Terracotta Makes a Comeback

By: Sarah Beaumont

August 29, 2016

Image via CROWDYHOUSE. NANO Voltasol rolling flowerpot.

Gone are the days of layered makeup, loads of hairspray, and over-the-top interiors – the natural look is in. When it comes to interior design, minimal, white spaces loaded with plants still dominate our Pinterest feeds. But we’re beginning to see warmth enter those spaces through earthy tones and new textures. Our current obsession? Terracotta. From tiles to pots to wall colors, going natural never looked hotter.


The terracotta of today tends to have a more natural, matte finish than the ever-popular border tiles often used in the 80’s. But even if your tiles are left over from days gone by, they feel fresh when mixed with other earthy tones and materials.

Square tiles are always a classic but matte-red hex tiles add a splash of warmth and contemporary style to a space. Especially when interspersed with varying patterns and colors. On the right, a Mediterranean-style bathroom proves that traditional, glazed terracotta tiling still has a place in design.


When it comes to color, there’s plenty of room to play around. Rather than the stark whites that have dominated interiors in the past couple years, the clay-like quality of terracotta has much more depth and range. Think toasted shades like cinnamon, rust, ochre, pale pink, and burgundy.

If you’re not ready to commit to a change in wall color, opt for an art print that explores the dusty pink and red tones of terracotta. Or make a strong statement with this retro-modern chair that comes in a rusty, clay-colored orange.

Elements of the desert have already been trending in home design, but now natural pinks, reds, and oranges feel even more authentic and versatile. The subtle quality of these shades makes it possible to blend them all together without feeling too matchy.


Though terracotta is as old a material as the earth itself, artists and designers are constantly finding new ways to use it. These semi-conical pots disrupt the conventional nature of the age old pottery tradition. On the right, a clay table lamp uses white body earthenware clay to bring the vibrant clarity of the terracotta out. A combination of the classic pottery form and a modern glass blown technique brings the piece into the present day.

Sharon Muir’s line of homeware adopts the primitive style of ancient pottery, but her shapes and simplistic motifs make it feel modern and cool. We can’t get enough of the disco ball-inspired pendants on the right, which cast striking lighting patterns in all directions. Check out a full range of decor made with and inspired by terracotta, here.


From rustic to mid-century modern, terracotta works in just about any style of space. This retro living area feels especially Palm Springs with its warm flooring, brick walls, and wood ceiling panels.

Terracotta in the kitchen is a no-brainer. But unlike the orange-toned countertops and backsplashes of kitchens past, it’s all about deep, red flooring and black cabinetry.

While terracotta can blend with any style of space, this fired clay is truly a material of the desert. A bohemian abode with lots of texture and eclectic, desert tribal patterns is the perfect spot to exercise the terracotta trend in full force.

Need help incorporating these looks into your space? Check out our Mediterranean interior designers’ portfolios to find your match!

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