Terracotta itself – as both a color and material – has been trending back into the design world for the past year or so. And while I’m a definitely a fan, I have to say that I was skeptical of this return to terracotta tile floors. While they can look charming in a European farmhouse style situation, could they really be versatile enough to work in modern decor? Of course, the answer is what the answer usually is: if it’s done well, anything is possible!
Secretly, I’m pretty excited about the inspiration I’ve been finding for this because our entire basement is actually covered in saltillo tile (a form of terracotta). Needless to say, I’ve struggled to embrace it. This resurgence of well-designed spaces showcasing so many options for making it work is helping! I especially love the classic farmhouse styles here. It feels cohesive with what’s going on in the rest of our house. Now, making it work in a bedroom or living room is a whole other story, but I’ll consider that my challenge for this summer.
I would say that this modern farmhouse style is probably the easiest way to incorporate this type of tile. So let’s look at how designers are getting a bit more creative…
I love the way this hex looks in a darker color – not the traditional terracotta orange, but still terracotta material. You’ve got some really modern elements going on in here, and it all works fantastically.
For even more juxtaposition, though, check this dining space out!
A similar idea to the eat-in kitchen above, but taken a step further where the super modern cabinetry and furniture is combined with old brick flooring. I’m into it. The kitchen below is doing the same thing, with even more mid-century modern flair.
And speaking of mid-century modern…
This home built in the 60’s was recently remodeled, but the floors are actually original! For those of us who have moved into homes where design choices like this have already been made for us – rejoice and take notes. There is hope! The furnishings throughout have an easy California ranch style, despite the fact that this home is in the Hudson Valley, and I think they work perfectly.
And then there’s the truly original applications of this terracotta tile that are really bringing them into current design. After all, what’s more current than millennial pink bathrooms? Not much.
Now here’s a little secret: not all terracotta tiles are made from terracotta. Some have the same look but are actually porcelain. So if you’re going for this style, you actually have quite a few options of where to go an what to look for! Here are a few of our favorites:
The nice thing about terracotta is that it comes in a variety of price points. Be careful, though, of the type of tile you’re purchasing and where you’re installing it. Some tiles aren’t meant for places like a shower unless they’re properly sealed, while others can crack at low temperatures because they absorb water and then freeze. It’s best to do a little research first! The two sources with the green dot by them are ones that I’ve used and trust.
And if you really want to get authentic, there are even sources for antique French terracotta tiles, which are incredibly stunning, with a price tag to match.
What do you think of this style? Are you into it, or would you run far far away from it? While I do think that the strong orange tone can be harder to work with, I do think there are some cases in which I’d totally go for it!