This guest post is from interior designer Amie who works in the Perini showroom. Amie specifies products and tiles for clients and creates dreamy bathrooms and kitchens on a daily basis.
A material that has been around for many hundreds of years, and what seems to be overlooked, is now at the forefront of interior trends. Terracotta is a beautiful natural material that boasts variation in tone and texture. The material is natural clay that is fired at a low temperature and iron compounds within the clay give terracotta its iconic rusty tones.
Terracotta tiles are available in varying tones, ranging from an apricot colour as seen within our Prato range, to a deep red such as our Naples range. You also have different shapes and sizes to choose from such as brick format, where you can stack them or lay them in a stunning herringbone pattern. Square, hexagon and lantern shapes are also popular choices. It's important to note that the beauty in both terracotta ranges lies in their imperfect nature. Variation of colour, shade and the odd chip is common and only adds to their handmade appeal.
A question that some clients have is whether natural terracotta needs to be sealed, and the answer is yes. Being a natural clay body that has been fired at a low temperature, the minerals are partially melted, resulting in a hardened but still porous material. An impregnating sealer such as Dry Treat Stain Proof is a natural drying sealer that won’t alter or deepen the tone of the terracotta, but will protect it from most stains.
The main point of interest with this strong focus on terracotta is that the industry has been so fixated on cooler tones. With such a contrast now to warming and textural variations that terracotta has to offer it is bound to add character to any space. This beautiful, natural material has no limits as to where it can be used. Common spaces that terracotta tiles are used include outdoor alfresco areas, pool surrounds, home living areas and kitchens. But, this year we are seeing terracotta tiles being used in more extravagant spaces such as restaurant bar fronts, feature fireplaces and even in bathrooms.
So many of us love to incorporate as much natural material in our homes as possible, and what better way to do so than with rich, earthy toned tiles that perfectly reflect the colours of our native Australian outback. Pair this gorgeous material with emerald green tones such as our Tavola Alga Marina tiles, or even just by adding some rich green indoor plants and you have yourself a warm, visually appealing space that will work its magic for years to come.