Terracotta – generally known as baked earth in the rich history of Bengal, has made its way to the modern world of interiors with a spectrum of ingenious forms. The definition to what terracotta is seems to be unbounded in present times, but hues linked to fading sunsets and a tawny orange do come to mind.
The uses of terracotta have expanded from materials for murals, earthenware, sculptures and tiles to colours and themes as well. Its rustic charm and earthy accent make it a timeless addition to interiors of all sorts – be it your homes, offices or eateries.
Terracotta in Bengal
For ages, skilled clay artisans have molded mixtures of clay and mud into various shapes to create different household items. At a spin of the potter’s wheel was formed items, mostly of a reddish orange tint – a burnt colour of clay, sold at fairly reasonable prices and in great demand. Slowly, most things clay came to be associated with meager and low-cost means, as shiny and expensive china and porcelain gained popularity and took over. However, as we step into progressively modern times, terracotta is making the comeback it so rightfully deserves! Be it Pohela Boishakh (Bengali New Year) or a Pooja fest – you’ll find elaborate table set-ups using terracotta clay dishware and other traditional terracotta crafts for home décor. It truly is a beautiful way to celebrate a day of all things Bengali!
One way in which terracotta has evidently remained in our lives throughout has been through the handicrafts sold at Aarong. Racks full of bells, ashtrays, incense holders, exquisite flower vases, pen holders and even foot scrubs made of terracotta have been displayed from the very beginning – celebrating the many forms of the work from thousands of rural artisans across Bangladesh. The versatility of terracotta has allowed it to be made into several items. Sometimes plain and sometimes polished or painted, equally artistic nevertheless.
Moving on to how terracotta can be incorporated into interiors, let’s explore how we can enrich our environment with such earthy accents and warm hues.
Murals and decorative installations
Be it for your home or a restaurant, a mural made of terracotta, can be a perfect, timeless addition. In your home, you could install a terracotta mural in the foyer or in the garden for that authentic ambience.
When it comes to eateries, many restaurant-owners nowadays want a certain theme. So, if you are planning to opt for a more traditional ambience, then a terracotta themed setting would be a perfect fit. Think of a wall as a canvas for an installation of terracotta clay pots or other pieces.
You may decorate your ceiling with terracotta blocks or even a wave of terracotta bells or pots to add a jaw-dropping visual aesthetic to your restaurant’s interiors.
As discussed earlier, terracotta is no longer just an earthenware – it is also a colour, a theme in its own right! To enhance a room of cold colours or to bring some warmth to your setting, introduce a feature wall. Make a bold move – paint it terracotta! It will give your interior a striking contemporary look and really tie the room together. Not only will it look more comforting, but it’ll add all the style and chic to your interiors. Additionally, terracotta is a versatile colour that blends well with a lot of other shades. It is also a great colour to go with rustic, bohemian and of course the traditional bengali style interiors.
Addition of a terracotta coloured fabric sofa will add a pop of vibrancy to your interiors. Not only does it look classy, but unique too – as you will not find furniture of this colour in every other household. Accentuate using contrasting pillows and a carpet (aztec prints could be a great pick!) to create a sense of flamboyance with such rich hues in the room.
Similarly, if the colour theme of your room is mostly cold, then you could opt for terracotta coloured curtains – they will look as good as you would hope! Furthermore, use terracotta pendant lights for an effortlessly voguish and striking look – they come in different shapes and sizes, too! Yes, indeed with this colour, the possibilities are endless.
Be it for the garden or a room that you wished would stand out in the house – terracotta tiles are quite apt. When using terracotta tiles, your creativity should know no bounds. Furthermore they bring in an aura of calm, peace and authenticity, crafting an ambience of ultimate comfort and relaxation.
Small terracotta textured tiles are also fantastic decor additions. They come bearing different figures, scenery, designs and colours – perfect for an accent wall.
Terracotta tableware does not need to be limited to occasions like Noboborsho alone. Half-dipped cups or terracotta kitchenware will serve as statement pieces for you to display when you’re hosting lunches! Bring them out for any dinner party, and they’ll definitely catch eyes with the stunning setup they can create!
Terracotta and botanical
Now what’s a combination that is classically everlasting? That’s right – green plants in vintage terracotta pots. Be it plain terracotta pots or ones with patterns, carvings and colours. It is unmatched compared to any other kinds of pots used in gardening.
Pick a plant you love and place it in a clay pot of your choice. The piece alone will serve as a great addition of character to your bedroom, living room or even your kitchen. You may also take things up a notch by placing plant pots in metal or fabric hangers to create you a little hanging garden. Alternatively, a laddered shelf can serve as a prop to display terracotta clay pots and exude a lovely garden aesthetic.
In retrospect, terracotta can do it all. From being featured as murals, used as tableware and home décor, to being an accent wall or a pop of colour in your furniture and more. With its abundant forms of use in interior design, we hope this blog inspires you to incorporate terracotta in your interiors – in one or many of the ways discussed in this article.
For professional help with bringing the magic of terracotta into your space, feel free to contact us at Sheraspace!
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Very rich and engaged piece of writing. Loved the way Zarrin portrayed the multiple uses of terracotta.
Much love, Zarrin.