Teal, for all intents and purposes, is a deep blue-green color, similar to cyan but darker. Some use the terms “turquoise” and “teal” interchangeably, and while this is true sometimes, it’s not true always. (Think of how all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares. Similar concept.) Teal at its brightest, with plenty of yellow mixed in, is indeed turquoise, but there are other tones and shades of teal that make it quite a separate color.
In this article, we’ll take a look at several different shades of teal, the color’s overall personality, and how it can be used effectively in gorgeous home design, regardless of style.
SHADES OF TEAL
Light Teal Blue – In its bold, vibrant state, teal absolutely pops when paired with bright white. (Think: whitecaps on the ocean waves.) Its complementary color, or color wheel match, is coral. Light teal blue leans toward the cooler end of the spectrum and works well to create a soft, relaxing space with plenty of positive chi and energy.
Steel Teal – Steel teal is a cooler version of teal with plenty of grey undertones. With its close proximity to the neutral of choice (grey), steel teal is used in many contemporary designs, in a variety of ways. It radiates more of the tranquility of blue but is supported by the growth that comes with the color green. Use it in décor and design in those settings where serenity is desired.
Teal – Teal lives in the color scale range somewhere between green and blue. True teal actually has mostly peaceful blue with a small amount of yellow (which increases the final color’s uplifting energetic effects.) It’s reminiscent of natural waters, and this is particularly prevalent on teal-tinted glass objects. It’s almost like being on a coastal vacation, but in your living room! Almost.
Teal Blue – Teal blue trends even further toward the cooler end of the green-blue spectrum, but we’re still keeping clear of the deeper shades, so vibes of energy and youthfulness are apparent. Interestingly, teal blue is believed to aid in concentration and clear thinking because it calms the nervous system and helps to control speech and expression. Not a bad color choice for a home office or study area.
Dark Teal Green – Now we’re hitting in the deeper, moodier versions of teal. This dark teal green, for example, is studious and dramatic. When we’re stressed or tired, this color seems to shoulder the burden and buoy up our spirits. Its effect is instantaneously calming and gently invigorating, but be sure to use it in appropriate doses, such as in large amounts only with plenty of natural light.
Dark Teal Blue – Dark teal blue looks absolutely stunning when paired with or against golds, such as lighting fixtures or gold frames. Creativity and sensitivity simply ooze from such a sophisticated-yet-approachable combination. It’s no surprise, really, with such aesthetic effects in its arsenal, that teal is a color of multi-tasking.
HOW TO USE TEAL IN HOME DECOR
Now that we’ve looked at a variety of teal shades and tones, let’s look at the color overall and how it’s used in home décor to make its mark. As with all colors, this blue-green mix can combine with white to become tinted or mixed with grey to become toned. In its deepest shades, teal is muted and looks almost like green slate.
Remember how teal is sometimes interchangeable with turquoise? This is certainly the case when teal is at its brightest. In this instance, it has a vibrant yellow tone and absolutely pops. A vivid color like this looks well with classic black and white, among others.
Deep shades of teal are associated with the controlling and healing of emotions, perhaps because there’s stability in such a somber color tone. However, its vibrant parentage provides balance to the sobriety, making teal, even in its deepest forms, a comforting color.
Let’s look at the inherent qualities of the colors that make up teal for a minute. Blue, as we’ve discussed, is soothing. Yellow is energetic. Green is growing. Those three color effects might seem to be somewhat at odds with each other, but their combination actually creates the most radiant and down-to-earth color. Teal speaks to the heart and the eye. It’s able to be friendly and happy and enjoyable…without being too silly.
With all its outward reflections, teal can also demand the spotlight in a most self-centered manner. This is what makes it a fantastic color choice in a room with a staid, classic, and/or “mature” color palette. It infuses the space with a bit of fun and is a visual highlight.
Grey tones of teal, such as steel teal, work well in speckled, mosaic combinations with plenty of white and light neutrals. It, too, can benefit from a bit of energetic citrus infusion, as seen by this small yet important lime stripe.
Teal is actually quite a versatile color, depending on the form you choose to use in your home décor. It works particularly well with other neutrals, such as cream/ivory, navy, and gold/grown tones. Put them all together, and you’ve got a chic aesthetic with plenty of personality.
Teal is considered an excellent color choice to include in your everyday surroundings because it can help with the development of organizational and management skills. Therefore, I’m thinking of painting the inside of my junk drawer in teal and leaving it for a week to see what happens. I have high hopes.
Teal, like turquoise, can be empathetic and caring. It has been called the “color of the evolved soul”. Even so, those of us who have still-evolving souls can enjoy the serenity and structure of the color on a comfortable piece of furniture. Isn’t this corner nook, with the stuffed teal armchair, brass reading lamp, and charcoal papered walls, absolutely irresistible?
One of the most attractive characteristics of teal is its versatility – it is a classic color that works well with nearly any style. You can have a memorable eclectic space with teal or a traditional or modern one. This versatility probably stems from the fact that teal can be either aesthetically loud or a visually muted, depending on how it’s used.
As is the case with most colors, too much of one color can drive you a bit crazy. Teal is no exception. Too much teal in your space or life can overstimulate your brain and senses, creating mental, emotional, and physical imbalance. Be sure to pair it with other appropriate colors to maximize its healthy, beautiful potential.
While too much teal can be overbearing or overstimulating, let’s look at what the opposite effect could be. Too little teal around you could result in a feeling of apathy or non-emotion. This is no way to live. I recommend the antidote of a flying-fish-over-teal-ocean-waves sofa.
Teal is a great color to use to break up a decorating rut or design stand-still. It’s a color that generally appears cool, calm, and collected, creating structure and intention in a stylish space.