From the more traditional shades, those of the terracotta floors and brick walls, to the contemporary interpretations that (also) cover household appliances and cars. Color designer Francesca Valan guides us to rediscover terracotta

A global colour, this is the first definition of terracotta given to us by the color designer Francesca Valan: it is, in fact, the only color strong>capable of uniting countries and cultures with a universal language, that of the nuances of the earth.

But not only that, it is a timeless colour, therefore capable of transmitting the solidity and security of aesthetics free from the fluctuating fashions. Terracotta also works everywhere, on walls, floors, furniture and decorations.

An ancient story

Unlike all other colors, strictly linked to geography, the color of terracotta transcends cultures, differentiating itself only, in places around the world, for the different types of clay with which it is produced.

Terracotta is the most ancient expression of the ceramic world (the first evidence dates back to around 25,000 BC) and is obtained from a mixture of common clay, containing iron oxides, cooked at temperatures close to 1000 degrees.

Thanks to the possibility of shaping it, terracotta is used by man both as a building material, in the form of bricks and tiles, and for the production of commonly used objects. One of the many examples is the first building entirely built of brick, and no longer of wood, in North America: Bacon's Castle from 1665.

The first choice for those who love traditions

“The material origin of the terracotta color makes it easy to insert into domestic spaces such as offices - explains Francesca Valan - because it really goes well with everything. Attention: it looks good with real materials and not with their imitations.”

If used for the floor, the first sensation it brings to the environment is solidity, understood as safety, and this can also be useful information for creating an office, where, vice versa, floors perhaps also more valuable ones, such as marble, do not create the same atmosphere.

The best materials to include in an environment with terracotta colored floors or walls (not both because the result would be too heavy) are wood, brass and brass copper, while the colors to match, again to create stability, are all neutral.

In a city house, these characteristics allow those who live there to travel with their imagination towards the countryside, perhaps a farmhouse in Tuscany.

Use it in contemporary environments

Just like the material from which it is born, terracotta adapts to the times, as well as to places. Today, in fact, it is one of the easiest colors to cross both in the fashion and automotive fields, usually the sectors from which it is easiest to perceive current trends.

To make it contemporary in the home, for example in the living room, one of the best combinations is with a concrete floor which, thanks to the walls or upholstery covered in terracotta-coloured fabric, will also acquire a note of warmth.

Another idea to update the look of the living room is to combine terracotta with LED or neon lights colored inblue, light blue or lilac.

In the bedroom, it can be used on a single wall as an accent, the one behind the headboard, or, a very current choice, on portions of the wall that do not necessarily correspond to their profiles, but designed by lines (even diagonal) in strategic points of the room.

Terracotta-coloured enamelled walls and ceilings are an excellent idea for giving personality, but above all intimacy, to a small bathroom. In this case, you can play by differentiating the finishes: glossy enamel on the walls up to half the height and then matt to join the ceiling.

In the kitchen, after white, it is the perfect color because, given its material origin, it does not alter the perception of food, on the contrary it recalls images linked to it such as terracotta pots and pans.

In addition to having the gift of speaking a universal language, instinctively understandable by all cultures, we can affirm that terracotta is also a functional colour, capable of crossing the house with style and character.

Cover image: Kieffer, Untitled collection by Formafantasma