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How To Use a Teal Color Palette...Successfully!

Updated: Oct 30, 2023

Teal Room Design Palette


Go on... admit it. You've always loved a teal color palette - right? I mean, who doesn't?

Teal is so much fun - and we all need that in our world! If I could, I would write an Ode to Teal. "Oh teal, you're so much fun: I love your playful hues. I think of you for inspiration - teal, you're my muse."

Ha! Ok, I'm not a poet. But I know color - and I could talk endlessly about the beauty of teal. This light-hearted shade can be used to dress up neutrals, add drama to a cool color palette, or it can be the accent color in a room of creams and whites.

Today, I'm going to talk about why a teal color palette can change your whole home for the better. Let's start by looking at a recent project I worked on for space planning inspiration. The room is a nice sized room and my client wanted a splash of color and it was designed around the drape fabric which was a must!

The drape fabric is colorful yet traditional in the sense that, when they are hung you will see some splash of color, but it’s not overpowering. The teal sofas add a playful quality to the space, reminding us that we should never take ourselves too seriously. These sofas would make a fantastic statement piece in a bedroom or a lounge room (and of course a living/family room!).


Common Concerns About Using Teal

Sometimes clients express concerns about teal color palettes. Some common questions I get are:

Is teal too bold or overpowering? I've seen people combine teal and silver - is that too cold? Will teal ever go out of style?

My response: not if you pair teal with the right colors to create balance inside the space. Teal goes great with mustard yellows and oranges, as well as both light and dark shades of wood. Cream-colored accessories also help - they create a clean backdrop for colors like teal.

I've seen teal and silver together too, but I think that gold is the perfect metal match for teal. Gold candle sticks, picture frames and even metallic gold wallpaper make a lovely (and surprising) accompaniment for teal. This helps the space feel warm, too.

Teal adds an element of playfulness, but it's not childish. It's surprising. Engaging. Energetic. And honestly, I think it's important to maintain a sense of fun when you're decorating.

How can you prevent teal from becoming overpowering?

When I used teal in a home last year, one of the first things my clients said was that they loved color and pattern. That project really made me come out of my comfort zone to see how much fun bold color and patterns can be.

A lot of people shy away from having such bold colors in their room, but there’s a way to balance bolds with neutrals. I, for one, would love a room where I could have a bold piece of furniture (I’m looking around my office as I type this!) because it's just a fact that bold colors enhance our moods. Bold colors revive us and make us happy… not to mention dark fabrics hide stains - an important feature if you have kids! (or if you just spill stuff a lot - some adults do!)

Deep-Dive Into Teal

Let's talk about teal. Teal is usually categorized in the "cool color" category, because it's a distinctive shade of green/blue. That said, teal is a much warmer color than some other shades of blue.

If you were a painter, you'd probably create teal by mixing blue and green together - and maybe throwing in a tiny bit of yellow. This is one of the reasons that teal goes so well with colors like gold and orange.

You can choose a teal that leans more blue, or more green, in order to evoke either cooler or warmer tones from the palette.

Benefits of Teal

There are many benefits of teal!

  • Elegant. Teal is an elegant color that can be refined, sophisticated and beautiful. I would use teal in a sophisticated setting like a sitting room just as easily as I would use teal in a play room or a child's bedroom.

  • Happy and light-hearted. Teal adds an element of happiness to any space.

  • Goes with many colors. Teal can easily be used with a range of warm colors, from canary yellow, to light orange. Teal matches with a variety of warm neutral colors. I like teal with cream, but you can also combine teal with beige, brown, etc.

  • Dynamic. Teal can give you the happy effect as mentioned above, or it can add a little drama to a space depending on how it’s used. What other colors are this flexible?!


Where Can You Use Teal?

Think that a teal color palette is restricted to bedrooms or living rooms? Nope! I would use this palette anywhere, even in a kitchen. In fact... I'm getting ideas just writing these words. Consider the way teal would look when combined with a white marble countertop and some walnut wood. I also think the teal and yellow color combination would be perfect in a kitchen setting. Makes me happy just thinking about walking into that kitchen to make coffee! Other rooms where you could use teal:

  • Dining room - Think: vibrant, jewel-tone teal drapery and a dark wood table with creamy white dining chairs. White tulips in a vase with light colored walls for the backdrop. The teal drapes would be the focal point here!

  • Living room - Those teal sofas I referenced earlier would look perfect in a living room or sitting room setting!

  • Guest room - Give your guests something fun to ponder as they fall asleep! In a guest room, I would love to see teal in the throw pillows, on the wall art, and maybe on a lounge chair in a guest bedroom.

  • Sun room - The sun room is a fantastic room for teal upholstered chairs, combined with a light wood coffee table and maybe some cream colored pillows.

What To Know About Decorating With Teal

Some caveats to working with teal:

Teal needs to be balanced. It’s best when combined with some warm colors or neutrals, to break up the intensity.

Teal makes a great accent color or primary color. A little teal goes a long way - but you can use large splashes of teal just as easily as you can decorate with small accents of teal.

Even large pieces - like sofas - can be beautiful. I love seeing bright, bold, artful statements in a room, like big pieces of furniture upholstered in teal.

Want More Teal In Your Life? I Can Help!

As you can see, teal isn't nearly as scary or hard to use as you might think. Maybe you want to take the plunge with teal, but you don't feel comfortable using it on your own. That's what I'm here for! I can help you add more teal to your life, one pillow at a time.

To learn more about what color goes with teal and about decorating with a teal sofa, please reach out! I’m happy to play with this color on more future projects. Click here for my services.

*Don't miss out on all the amazing room palettes I have in store for you! Sign up here to receive my monthly emails!

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