Terracotta tiles are often considered a throwback to that old school, 1980's styling - complete with gran's plastic covered couches.
However earthen terracotta tiles and features are making a designer comeback, and are set to feature more and more in the coming years.
Matt Leacy, founder of Landart Landscapes and president of the LNA Master Landscapers Association shares plans to incorporate terracotta in his landscape designs, choosing a natural matte finish and lighter hues.
Matt says, 'The re-imagined Terracotta is a lot more natural in look and feel, it's nothing like what we saw in the 80s. I love that it's a product that has been used for Centuries, right back to Roman times and ancient China, and that it still has relevance today. There's a wide palate of colour choice available which surprises a lot of people who think of the 80s style strong orange hues when they think terracotta. There are some lighter quite subtle colours in the terracotta range, and a more natural matte finish works beautifully in outdoor settings."
Matt adds, 'Terracotta is ideal for use from the indoors into the outdoors to give a seamless flow between interconnecting spaces. Try adding rustic wood for a rich finish to compliment the matted Terracotta's simplicity. You'll love how much warmth it will bring to a space. The space has to call for it, it can't be forced. I tend to use it as a relief from other surfaces and it is often not the main surface. Splashbacks, signature walls, smaller seating spaces work really well."
'There are many different colours to choose from. I can't seem to go past the softer, more gentle neutral tones. These are usually glazed and have a calming effect and bring an organic feel to a space, very natural and earthy. I have recently seen some beautiful black terracotta tiles that have just hit the market, the variation in them is dramatic…I can't wait to find somewhere to use them.
Some of the smaller tiles look fantastic on a feature wall or splashback. The handmade tiles that range in size but come in 120 x 40mm or the 90 x 90mm are absolutely beautiful. The glazed terracotta are pretty maintenance free and will benefit from the occasional wipe down whereas the natural terracotta will benefit from being sealed. A wax can be added to enhance the colouring."