What Colors Go With Terracotta Tile?

by Drew Henry

Unearthing Terracotta: What Colors Go With Terracotta Tile?

Terracotta tiles have a warm, earthy look rooted in centuries of history. In fact, people have been laying terracotta tiles in their homes for thousands of years! (So, it must be a pretty solid design decision, right?) Terracotta’s reddish-brown hues bring a comforting and inviting energy into any space. But to make the most of these charming tiles, you have to understand which colors complement them best when decorating the rest of your room. Don’t worry! These tiles are neutral enough to work in a range of styles, from rustic farmhouses to minimalist havens. Our LiLi Tile design experts have put together the ultimate color guide to help you create designer-level color combinations with terracotta tiles as the base.  

The Allure of Terracotta: What Makes Terracotta Unique 

So, what makes terracotta tiles so special? Terracotta's appeal extends beyond its undeniable warmth. Because terracotta tiles are handmade, each tile is completely unique, creating unparalleled character. Its natural color variations, from earthy siennas to dusky rusts, and its subtly textured surface add depth and visual interest that manufactured materials often lack. This inherent charm makes terracotta incredibly versatile and adaptable to a wide range of design styles.

Color Theory Demystified: Building a Foundation for Success

Don't let the term "color theory" intimidate you! It's simply a system for understanding how colors interact, a roadmap to creating harmonious and visually pleasing combinations. Interior designers use color theory every day to create magazine-worthy rooms. But, it is simple enough for a DIYer to understand in a few easy steps. Here's a closer look at some key principles:

  1. Embracing Complementary Colors

Imagine the color wheel as a painter's palette. Colors positioned directly opposite each other are considered complementary. You probably already know the complementary colors: blue and orange, yellow and purple, red and green. Terracotta's reddish-orange hues sit on the warm side of the color wheel, meaning they pair well with cooler blues and greens. These combinations create dynamic tension, a push-pull that enlivens a space.

  • Practical Applications: Pair a vibrant turquoise backsplash with terracotta floors for a kitchen bursting with energy. Incorporate cool-toned artwork or textiles featuring indigo, teal, or sage green alongside a terracotta fireplace to create captivating focal points.

  1. The Art of Analogous Colors

Analogous colors are neighbors on the color wheel, sharing similar color wavelengths. This proximity results in a natural sense of harmony and visual cohesion. When working with terracotta, look to warm hues like yellows, golds, and deeper, richer oranges to create a sense of warmth and welcome.

  • Practical Applications: Enhance the cozy ambiance of a living room with terracotta floors by incorporating goldenrod accents in cushions, throws, or artwork. Use pale yellows for wall paint to create a sunny and uplifting backdrop without overpowering the terracotta elements.
  1. Mastering Monochromatic Depth

While contrasting and complementary colors inject energy, a monochromatic color scheme offers a sense of serenity and sophistication. This involves using variations in shade (adding black to a color) and tint (adding white to a color) within a single color family.

  • Practical Applications: Incorporate bedding in lighter shades of cream or beige, layered with accents in deeper browns or even a touch of charcoal gray, to create a sense of expansive calm in a bedroom with terracotta walls.

Bringing Color Palettes to Life

Rustic Farmhouse Charm:

  • Color Palette: Warm terracotta, deep forest green, creamy white, antique gold, and touches of natural wood
  • Envision: Exposed wood beams, a farmhouse sink with terracotta tile accents, handwoven rugs in botanical greens, and vintage botanical prints adorned with gold frames.

Learn more about the aesthetic in our farmhouse style guide

Modern Minimalist Oasis:

  • Color Palette: Earthy terracotta, cool gray, charcoal, light wood tones, and hints of black
  • Envision: Sleek, minimalist furniture with clean lines, a statement fireplace clad in terracotta tiles, abstract art featuring geometric shapes in black and white, and concrete planters overflowing with lush greenery.

Learn more about the aesthetic in our minimalist style guide

Mediterranean Escape:

  • Color Palette: Rich terracotta, azure blue, sunny yellow, crisp white, and touches of wrought iron
  • Envision: A terracotta tiled patio shaded by a pergola draped in vibrant bougainvillea, outdoor furniture painted in bright hues, patterned textiles incorporating blues and yellows, and decorative ceramic pots brimming with fragrant herbs.

Learn more about the aesthetic in our Mediterranean style guide

Essential Considerations for Color Confidence

  • Embrace Natural Light: The amount and quality of natural light significantly influence how colors are perceived. Darker hues tend to recede in well-lit spaces, while lighter shades can brighten up darker rooms.
  • Strive for Balance: While experimentation is encouraged, aim for a sense of visual equilibrium. Avoid overwhelming the space with too much of any single color, allowing the warmth of terracotta to remain a grounding presence.
  • Start Small and Experiment: If you are hesitant, introduce new colors gradually. Begin with smaller accents—cushions, throws, artwork, or vases. As you gain confidence, incorporate bolder choices in larger elements.

Unleashing the Spectrum: A Final Word on Terracotta Color Matching 

Pairing colors with terracotta tile is not merely an exercise in design; it's an opportunity to infuse your space with personality and style. By embracing the principles of color theory, you can create a home that is not only aesthetically pleasing but also a true reflection of your individual taste. Remember, there are no right or wrong answers, only opportunities to explore the vast and exciting world of color. What will you dream up for your dream space? 

Shop the LiLi Terracotta Tile Collection
Find the Perfect Tiles for Your Home

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.