Oh yes, we might not talk about it but we can all see it: you’ve got ugly 80’s terracotta tiled floors and you can’t hide them or can you…. I have lived in 3 homes with them and always hated them. I have also styled A LOT of homes with them and there are ways around making them ummmm shall we say not so obvious!
But then again they are back in fashion who knew! so how can you make them work in your home and bring them back to life and back to trend in 2022? The terracotta popular today looks much more natural and matt than the Eighties variety so sadly you may have to still “style” them.
Some people argue terra cotta tile is a dated look, and I agree if absolutely everything else in the space (furniture and decor) is dated as well. However, terra cotta floors are a timeless material that feels most at home in Spanish revival homes or spaces with a Mediterranean vibe.
What are terracotta floor tile?
In Italian, terracotte means “baked earth“. The tiles are made from a specific type of clay with a high iron content, which gives the tiles their reddish colors.The colors of terracotta tiles range from yellow tones to dark brown. The color depends on where in the world the clay is obtained. Terracotte is a ceramic tile but less expansive than other ceramic tile choices. Terracotta tiles are porous. Therefor they need to be sealed to avoid staines. But when you care for your tiles as you should than they can last a very long time – alas why they are still in your home from 1982 or last century…
What exactly is wrong with terracotta floor tiles?
I’m sure they were trendy at the time they were laid, but the 80’s style terracotta tiles have not aged well. They’re big, they’re an odd colour to style, and they seem to be eh-veh-ree-where. They also cost a fortune to remove and replace. So if you are renovating or just bought your first home and have a limited budget or even about to sell and want to make them lets say disappear there are ways read on….
What do I do if I have terracotta floor tiles and I can’t afford to replace them yet?
Lucky for you, there are ways around minimising the visual impact of terracotta floor tiles if it’s not in the budget to have them removed. I see this quite a bit in my styling work, and have figured out a few failsafe ways of drawing attention away from your bad floors and toward the better parts of your home.
First of all: get yourself some BIG RUGS. I use them all the time to arm a space and distract from the floor. We’re talking taking rugs large enough to go almost to the edge of room – it’s a quick and easy way of re-flooring without the cost that goes with it.
Look at this room after we implemented our guide compared to the main picture which was before
I also endeavour to draw peoples’ eyes up in a room – not to the ground – with careful use of mirrors, art and lighting. More and more I’m finding most people don’t even notice the terracotta tiles once we have been in, they’re too busy looking at the rest of the space and how well it works.
What colors go with terracotta floor tiles
Terracotta has a lot of pink and orange in it, so it’s good practice to avoid these colours (and any red wood) in the same room as the tiles. You might think it would help harmonise the colour throughout, but all it does is draw out that pinky-orange even more. Orange is the complement to blue on the color wheel, so terra cotta is a lovely accent in spaces decorated in blue hues.
Working with opposite colours, and taking advantage of terracotta’s distinct garden-y vibe, bringing in an abundance of greenery with plants works wonders. They are bright, distracting, and make a room look really pulled together.
For walls, you want to add light colours with no yellow or reds in the paint pigment, accented with with bright white trim, blinds and shutters to help distract the eye away.
Don’t bring dark or light wood into the room to furnish it if possible, as it too draws out the colours in the terracotta to seem brighter than at they are.
Having said all this, terracotta is one of the interior colour trends from 2019 – God help us all!