With the rise in popularity of 70s inspired styles and decorating palettes, terracotta has quickly climbed the ranks to become one of the trendiest colours for interiors.
The appeal of this hugely warming hue is understandable, as even just a few touches can bathe your home with a toasty glow.
The word ‘terracotta’ is Italian for ‘baked earth’ and is generally used to describe unglazed earthenware ceramics or bricks, but the term has also become synonymous with the cosy ruddy brown-orange colour of the material itself. The hue is easy to combine in different ways, especially with other warm, nature-inspired tones like creamy whites, tussock golds and olive green and materials such as wood. But it also works well with cooler blues and greys as well as materials like concrete to create an interesting contrast effect. This warm and welcoming entryway relies on the former.
Though the terracotta trend pulls inspiration from the ancient ceramic tiles, it’s less focused on incorporating them than it is on finding new and modern applications for the colour palette. A tiled floor can be a big investment and a lot of work to install – which can be compounded when you’re choosing them in a trend-focused hue that may not stick around for the lifespan of the material. But with little more than simple measuring and masking, you can bring the covetable look of rustic terracotta tiles to your home in the course of a weekend with the help of Resene Walk-on paint.
Resene Walk-on is a general-purpose flooring and paving paint with a satin finish. It’s made with tough acrylic resins to give maximum durability and abrasion resistance in a single pack finish and it’s ideal for use on steps, decking, concrete, porches, suitably primed timber, composite boards and interior floors. This terracotta ‘tiled’ floor is painted with two coats of Resene Walk-on tinted to Resene Raven, which serves as the ‘grout’. Once dry, a ruler and pencil were used to measure and mark out even 250mm increments along each wall. Working in one direction first, strips of 24mm wide high quality painter’s masking tape were applied – which will leave a clean and crisp edge when removed – measuring again periodically to keep the lines nice and straight. The same was done from the other direction to create a perpendicular grid. Press firmly on the edges of your masking tape so that it adheres fully and doesn’t allow your topcoat colour to seep underneath. To get the terracotta tiles, two coats of Resene Walk-on tinted to aptly named Resene Tuscany have been rolled on and allowed to dry fully before removing the masking and bringing in furniture.
To complement the raw and dusty orange hue of the finished floor, the walls are painted in creamy Resene Eighth Pearl Lusta and the door in russet brown Resene Felix. Leaning further into the 1970s design inspiration, the cabinet has been given the look of woven cane doors by first painting the outside and door frames in two coats of Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss enamel tinted to Resene Blank Canvas and the inside of the door panels in Resene Gold Coast. Once dry, a testpot in Resene Double Dutch White and a small artist’s brush was used to create vertical and horizontal lines. If you’re a perfectionist, you could measure and mask a grid on your doors by following the same steps as you did on your floor. For this project the lines are hand-painted to create a softer and more informal look.
This cabinet is handy for tucking away items that you don’t want on display. The added double hook rack and shelf in Resene Double Dutch White provide additional storage for coats, hats, bags and other things you may need on hand for your day-to-day comings and goings, but also for prettier décor items that you want to show off or support your colour scheme. Create DIY artwork and give a few small accessories a fresh coat of paint using testpots in Resene Tuscany, Resene Blank Canvas, Resene Gold Coast and Resene Felix to connect them with the hues used throughout the space, making for a cohesive look.
To finish it off, all that’s left is to bring in a bench or chair – preferably a timber one stained in a warm wood tone, such as Resene Colorwood Natural or Resene Colorwood Oregon – and a small rug for soaking up any unwanted moisture you may track in on your shoes.
Project by Kate Alexander. Images by Bryce Carleton. 2021
Colour inspiration gallery
Get inspired with colour and the latest decorating and colour trends! Select just the right look and mood for your space.
Self care space
Focusing on self-care and relaxation
Be prepared - a functional home office space