Terracotta is such a rich colour – it reminds me of classic Mediterranean-style kitchens. I always imagine a stern yet loving Italian granny cooking pasta in this type of kitchen or is that just me?
Terracotta is derived from the Italian words terra, meaning earth, and cotta, which means cooked. It makes perfect sense as terracotta pots and traditional tiles are made from clay (earth) and then kiln-fired (cooked).
When it comes to terracotta kitchens, you can add this colour to your design in several ways – be it through tiles, paint, or cabinetry. These warm, earthy tones can be included in many kitchen styles and complemented with other striking hues. “Terracotta can bring some texture and colour to a kitchen and can be used in a few different ways,” says Alex Main, director at The Main Company.
“If you’d like to make a statement, choose terracotta for your cabinetry – this works especially well in smaller kitchens as otherwise it can be overpowering. Alternatively, introduce terracotta via your choice of splashback tiles which look especially striking in country kitchens. Otherwise, add subtle hints of the colour through your accessories such as artisanal décor displayed on open shelving,” explains Alex.
What colours go with terracotta kitchens?
Terracotta can be a slightly overpowering colour. And, it can be a bit too much when it is highly saturated. But, without a doubt, it can bring warmth to a room. Yvonne Keal, senior product manager at Hillarys, says that this shade can help you embrace the feel of the desert in your home.
“This colour reflects natural light to illuminate your space with a golden glow, perfect to use in south-facing kitchens to retain the warmth,” she advises. “Terracotta falls between the primary colours red and yellow, providing the perfect balance between red as a stimulant and yellow as a mood booster, prompting feelings of innovation, warmth and happiness.”
Terracotta has multiple tones – it’s not just one shade. Picture anything from light salmon right to the deepest reddish browns.
When choosing complementing colours for your terracotta kitchen, a simple way is to keep to neutral shades. Autumnal shades such as ochre, burnt sienna, light brown, and beige work well. Try lighter hues – think soft pastels – to balance the rich terracotta colour. Be mindful of undertones and look at true-to-life shades to make these complementary colours work together.
Other nature-inspired colours, such as green, are good options. You can also add pops of dark blues and greys. Leaning even more into the natural aesthetic, opt for wood – especially with deep tones and grain.