Dark colours add depth and rich atmosphere to a room

The enduring appeal of teal

February 13, 2023

Given that neutrals are constantly touted as the easiest of shades to work with, it’s perhaps surprising that teal has proved enduringly popular in interior design. And given this shape-shifting shade can run the gamut of the blue-green spectrum, how do you even define the colour teal? Is it closer to turquoise or aquamarine? Or simply blue-green? Good Homes chats to some of the leading paint colour experts to get their insights into the enduring appeal of the teal colour, and how you can use it to maximum effect when decorating your own home…

What colour is teal?

Is teal blue or green? According to Dian Parker, who wrote The Allure and Power of the Colour Teal, this sassy shade sits right between the two colours. ‘Psychologically, blue has a calming effect and green is enlivening,’ she says. ‘Combine the two, and you have a wonderful balance… a colourful haven between tranquillity and revitalization.’

But why is teal called teal? Like most colours, it is derived from nature. Ducks, to be precise. In the same article, Dian explains that it was first mentioned in 1917, and ‘is believed to originate from the freshwater duck, the common or Eurasian Teal, which sports a dash of the colour on its head, close to the eye, and on its wings’. 

YesColours passionate teal colour is the most glorious sea foam colour

Photo: Snug

Teal is a timeless shade

‘Teal is one of the hottest colours out there right now, both when it comes to paint colours and furniture and home decor items,’ says Emma Bestley, Co-founder & Creative Director, YesColours. ‘It’s a timeless shade that, when paired with the right complementary colours, can easily become the star of your home and get you hundreds of compliments from your friends and family members.’

‘Depending on the undertone or the lighting in your space, as well as the surrounding colours, teal can look different in different rooms or corners,’ she continues. ‘It can be warm, with a hint of yellow, or colder, with a blue tone that will add even more drama to its royal look.’

‘Our YesColours Passionate Teal paint provides tranquillity while the green boosts the energy completely, making it a perfect hue for almost every area of the home. Our Loving Teal is a dignified and emotionally balanced colour, making it an ideal choice for the bedroom, living room, or hallway.’

YesColours passionate teal is ideal moody slate blue teal colour

Photo: YesColours

Teal is a versatile shade

‘The most versatile of shades, teal sits in the centre of the colour wheel, effectively tying together eclectic schemes of varying hues. A combination of blue-green, depending on the natural light in the room, teal can look anywhere from a cool ocean blue to a restful and tranquil green hue,’ says Helen Shaw, Marketing Director, International, of Benjamin Moore.

‘The bold shade offers balance, using its mid-point between blue and green to great effect, as these are the two colours that require our eyes to do little adjusting and are, therefore, the easiest and most pleasing to be around. In addition, its warm ambience and organic quality make it eminently liveable-with, and one of those rare shades that is truly usable in any area of the home,’ says Helen.

‘Personally, the shades that represent the truest teal for me are those that exude tranquillity and warmth, and sit evenly between blue and green.’ Below is Benjamin Moore’s Largo Teal, which takes its colour cue from the picturesque waters surrounding Florida’s Key Largo.

Colour drench the windows and walls in the same shade of teal

Photo: Benjamin Moore

Teal can be a flirt

For Dulux Creative Director Marianne Shillingford, ‘teal lies in the heartland between blue and green, so it offers the best of both colour characteristics in a room: the expansive tranquillity of blue with the biophilic balance of green. It’s an inviting, exotic colour that reminds us of warm tropical seas, shimmering feathers, butterfly wings, and fine silk.’

‘Wherever you use teal, it looks stunning,’ says Marianne, ‘and although it’s not a shy colour, it doesn’t attract attention by shouting; teal just flirts seductively, and everyone eventually falls in love. A true Teal? Probably of all the beautiful teal shades we have, I’m going to say Teal Tension.’

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Let us help you create the home of your dreams! Get ideas & inspiration from Good Homes every month, delivered direct to your door. Visit goodhomesmagazine.com/newsletter to sign up for the weekly Good Homes newsletter. Meet the Good Homes team at Ideal Home Show and be inspired by our on-trend roomsets.

~ Karen Walker, Editor, Good Homes

Create a elegant, cosy look with Dulux's Teal Tension

Photo: Dulux

What colours go with teal?

‘Bright and refreshing, teal pairs surprisingly well with lots of other colours,’ says Good Homes Associate Editor, Jo Messenger. ‘Orange sits opposite on the colour wheel, so rust, coral and tangerine shades create a bold contrast. For a more toned-down palette, opt for warm browns like coffee and caramel or soft, dusky pinks.

‘It’s perfect for adding pops of colour to a neutral scheme and works particularly well with other cool hues such as grey and stone. Farrow & Ball’s Vardo is a particular favourite of mine – it’s undoubtedly flamboyant but with a chic and classy edge.’

Teal can be a great contrasting colour

Photo: Farrow & Ball

Get the look: teal living room accessories

Kit out your living room in this timeless, versatile shade with Good Homes’ pick of six of the best teal buys…

moodboard of blue green living room furniture and accessories

1. Teal Tension from Dulux

Teal Tension from Dulux is a gorgeous shade that will make your living room feel like a cosy cocoon. The rich colour has both warm blue and green undertones, that will add depth to your home. The perfect shade for a modern, elegant look. From £20 for 1 litre.

2. Berry Dot Wallpaper

This lively Berry Dot wallpaper from OhPopsi in Ink & Azure will bring a splash of fun to your interiors and add a touch of the trendy teal colour, which contrasts perfectly with the pops of meandering berries in yellow-gold. From £73.00 per roll.

3. Hetty-two seater sofa from Sofology

Sofology’s sofas are handcrafted and have seats filled with a foam core with a Dacron fibre wrap, to ensure a super comfy place to relax. Their Hetty two-seater sofa comes in the colourway Linoso Teal, so you can tap into the teal trend in style. From £549.

4. Vida 100% wool diamond shaggy rug

The Vida diamond shaggy rug from Cult Furniture is hand-tufted and made from 100% wool and designed with this art-deco inspired diamond pattern. This teal shade comes in three different sizes. From £129.

5. Tweedmill alpaca wool throw

The teal colour taps into so many colours of nature; sea greens, slate blue moody skies and is soothing on the senses. How better to use this colour than to wrap yourself in it, blanket form. This cosy, knitted Alpaca Blue Slate blanket starts from £78.95.

6. North star teal paper lantern

While Paper Starlights bills their North star teal paper lantern as ‘fantastic for parties’, it also makes a lovely year-round decor statement and brings a touch of magic with light twinkling out from its tiny hand-cut star-shaped perforations. With a turquoise base colour, this teal starlight starts from £23.95.



A message from the editor:

Let us help you create the home of your dreams! Get ideas & inspiration from Good Homes every month, delivered direct to your door. Visit goodhomesmagazine.com/newsletter to sign up for the weekly Good Homes newsletter. Meet the Good Homes team at Ideal Home Show and be inspired by our on-trend roomsets.

~ Karen Walker, Editor, Good Homes