Today’s post is all about plant styling, more specifically, interior styling with terracotta. As I highlighted in my 2018 Trend Report, indoor use of terracotta is increasing in popularity once again, which I would cite as being related to the retro cool mid century modern aesthetic. Whilst the minimal ‘clean’ monochrome style of recent years (characterised by the glazed white cache pot popularised by stores such as IKEA) still dominates the market to some extent, I think terracotta can make an excellent accompaniment.
🌿 TERRACOTTA INDOORS
Over the last few years, the migration towards bringing the outside in with the increasing popularity of houseplants, has also been reflected in the acceptability of using terracotta in a modern home setting. You don’t need to look far on Pinterest or Instagram to see how effortlessly chic the colour combination of white interior / some green (plants) / plus warm terracotta is. The natural, earthy presence of an unglazed pot in a room provides an artisan contrast to modern interior decor.
🌿 PLANTS + TERRACOTTA
When picking the perfect pairing between plants and pots, there are a few things to consider. Due to their porosity, terracotta suits plants that like to be kept on the dry side – which is why you often see cacti and terracotta coupled together. This material also allows the roots to breathe more easily. Terracotta will dry soil out more easily but be sure not to overwater, as the most porous of vessels will not solve this problem. If you want to keep things uniform in appearance, any plants that aren’t suited to terracotta can be put into a plastic pot inside.
Above is a selection of smaller terracotta in different styles that can be grouped together to form an arrangement… aside from the broken one of course. I included this as a bit of a warning, as compared to glazed pots, terracotta smashes quite easily!
🌿 SMALLER TERRACOTTA VARIETIES
// 🌿 To the left is the traditional ‘flower pot’ shape, a standard 15cm pot and a mini version grouped together // 🌿 In the middle and to the right is the taller and thinner style which I really like. The mini version also has a rounded lip which works well in a minimal setting. As the photograph on the right shows, this extra few centimetres of height in this diameter adds a modern twist and a cleaner silhouette. //
// 🌿 Above left is a close up of my shower curtain… even this has different styles of terracotta! // 🌿 One of my cacti couples in terracotta on the right // 🌿 Below left is a more rustic pot that I bought in combination with the cactus in it // 🌿 Below centre might upset the ceramics fans because it’s not actually meant to be used a a pot, it’s actually a jar from an independent kitchen store, in the photograph you can see the lid. Of course I like to support contemporary makers, but in all honesty, I was using this to store teabags until I put this haworthia in it! Repurposing in this way is totally fine in my books… and also saved me buying another plant pot. //
🌿 LARGER STYLES
Now we enter ‘classic terracotta’ territory… The photographs above show the traditional varieties of flower pot shape, the more modern minimal (above right) and terracotta adorned with slightly more decorative details (above centre). Above left also features some of the terracotta saucers, which I absolutely love – I find it hard to leave a garden centre without picking one or two up! They can actually have some different uses besides plants; I use one on my desk for office miscellany, a small one on my dresser for jewellery and one on my hall stand as a key ‘bowl’!
// 🌿 When looking for terracotta, it’s always worth shopping around as despite being more affordable than other cache pots, garden centres aren’t always the most affordable places to buy them – I’ve found some great prices in The Range(above left) and Wilko// 🌿 Above centre shows an eye catching terracotta display in my local garden centre // 🌿 More contemporary styling often combines terracotta with another contrasting material, metal being a great example here (above right and below) //
// 🌿 I also wanted to draw attention to the classic IKEA terracotta that has a lot of love online, due to it’s aesthetically pleasing proportions, with a beautifully scaled saucer to match. // 🌿 Here’s an example of an alternative way to incorporate terracotta that could work if you wanted to try something more contemporary. I usually keep my yucca plant in this… It’s also really satisfying that the terracotta fits perfectly into the diameter of the basket! //
// 🌿 Below is in my local coffee shop… bags of used coffee grinds are left for people to take in a gigantic terracotta pot. In the same way as the wire basket above, I love the colour combination and textural contrast of the terracotta and metallic packaging. I have one of these giant pots in the greenhouse I have access to that I use to store plastic plant pots, that makes for a tidier space than pots all over the work surface! Another idea would be to have a large pot such as this to keep your gardening tools in, you could even use a matching saucer as a ‘lid’ by placing on top.
Perhaps next time I will share with you some of my other favourite plant pots as I get a lot of questions about them! I love the process of matching the plant to the pot (I do it this way around) and experimenting with creating a particular mood in my plant styling.
🌿 I hope this post gives you some ideas of how to use terracotta in your interiors and don’t forget to check out my Instagram ( @_houseplanthouse) for more inspiration. In addition, I will be curating a post next Tuesday on our group page (the real houseplants of instagram – @therealhouseplantsof_ig) about how my friends and I use terracotta in our homes.
Thanks for reading!
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