Paint companies are starting to talk about Terracotta again. A much maligned colour for years, people denounced it for being related to the colour schemes of the 80s and 90s with 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.
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.
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 and timber should be a mid to dark tone with a simple matt finish.
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.
I love greys and whites 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.
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.
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.