By Design: A Faded Terracotta Living Room by Rukmini Patel

Written on 23rd June 2022

Photography by Douglas Gibb

Interior designer Rukmini Patel knows a thing or two about the power of colour. “I connect very strongly with colour in my home and it’s integral to my interior design work,” says the designer - she’s a woman after our own heart.

We caught up with Rukmini to talk about how she used colour - Faded Terracotta from The California Collection to be precise - to transform her lounge from cold and unsociable to warm and inviting. One of our sun-soaked shades created in partnership with acclaimed designer Kelly Wearstler, this earthy colour is perfect for adding warmth to a room.

How do you use this space?

I use this space for relaxing, reading and entertaining. It’s predominantly used on the weekends and we purposefully haven’t fitted a TV in this room, which allows me to be more mindful and calm by spending time away from screens.

This space is part of a large, open plan kitchen and dining room area; however, before it lacked a cosy feeling and wasn’t conversational. When we were entertaining, we had to pull dining chairs out to fit everyone in and it didn’t feel quite right. So, I redesigned the entire space… which brings me nicely onto the next question!

 

What atmosphere did you want to achieve when designing it?

I wanted the space to feel warm, cosy and contemporary. Also, because my home is a new build, I wanted to add as much character as possible by using antique pieces, vases and artwork. I like to layer textures as much as I can and the more natural the better. Texture softens a room, so I’ve intentionally added it throughout with the sheer curtains, the natural lamp shade, linen cushions, even down to the Berber rug. Faded Terracotta acts as a warm background where I can play with these textures to create an earthy, grounding effect.

Before

After

Why did you choose Faded Terracotta?

I totally fell in love with this colour for its unique ability to make a room feel warm and fresh at the same time. I love how it changes with the light and it has a very grounding effect, which is why I gravitate towards it during the weekends as a way of recharging and connecting to the natural world within my home. When the room catches the evening sun, it transforms the space and feels so inviting. In fact, it’s been the main talking point with our guests.

 

The artwork you’ve chosen looks amazing against the colour, any tips on pairing furnishings and artwork with a stronger colour like this?

I choose artwork which doesn’t necessarily match with the scheme - if anything, it’s totally ok for it not to. It’s more about finding statement artworks in sync with the space. It’s also important to think about scale and how it works with the walls and ceiling height. Big artwork will always make a bigger impact.

Other tips would also be to find artwork that resonates with you and ensure your frames enhance the piece. For darker walls, I would suggest oak frames and for lighter walls, black or darker frames. It’s also worth thinking about what colours will pop, like how the cobalt blue Matisse print really stands out against the Faded Terracotta.

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