Teal is one of those shades of blue that can feel daring and a little unexpected. A blend of green and blue, teal is a bold color that feels like a punchier, sassier version of blue. Though we think it can make any room shine, it can feel intimidating to introduce into your home. The good news? There are endless colors that work wonderfully with teal—you just have to take care to pair it right.
Before you start to pair colors with teal, it's important to understand exactly what the color teal is. Is it a blue? A green? Designer Kimberley Seldon says it's a bit of both.
"When it comes to teal, we are evenly divided along pretty deep lines. One half the world sees teal as blue-green and the other insists it’s green-blue," she says. "The good news is, both sides are right because color is always subjective. What you see is what you get."
When in doubt, consider colors with similar undertones to your favorite shade of teal. Richer, deeper shades of teal pair perfectly with bold greens while bright, medium shades of teal are great with blues or cool neutrals.
Meet the Expert
- Kimberley Seldon is a designer, writer, TV personality, and founder of Kimberley Seldon Design Group.
- Tracy Morris is a designer and the founder of Tracy Morris Design in McClean, Virginia.
If you're looking for a bit of inspiration to work teal into your home, here are 21 colors that are easy pairings and will create a rich, bold palette for any room.
Teal + Gold + White: Chic & Unexpected
A lighter shade of teal may seem too childlike to bring into your room, but the truth is that when paired with more sophisticated hues like gold and white, it becomes incredibly chic.
"Virtually any version of teal looks great with white as its backdrop," explains Seldon.
Teal + Brick: Contemporary & Loft-Like
If you have a lot of rich, natural tones like brick or walnut, teal can act as a great pop of color in the otherwise masculine room.
"Teal enjoyed feverish popularity during the 1950s and 60s, so it was a natural choice for this downtown loft with a mid-century vibe. I used a dark teal on the walls (Benjamin Moore Knoxville Gray) and then paired it with Danish modern dining chairs and a dark walnut dining table," Sheldon says of this contemporary space.
Teal + Green: Monochromatic & Tasteful
When it comes to figuring out how much or how little teal to use, Tracy Morris of Tracy Morris Design says either go big or go small.
"Either lean completely into the color and really use it or use it sparingly," she suggests.
For a tasteful, classic look, "lean in with teal walls, white and cream furnishings with pops of pale pink."
Teal + Gold: Modern & Eye-Catching
Teal is a chameleon color, and it can take on a whole new life in a variety of spaces.
"What I love most about teal is its ability to move seamlessly from rich, traditional design to vibrant, contemporary design," says Seldon.
Here, teal is the perfect complementary color for the fun pops of gold and help to create an eye-catching look in this small powder room.
Teal + Beige: Neutral & Subtle
Think you can't create a neutral space and still use teal? Think again.
"Although most clients want to live with furnishings that are predominately neutral, the introduction of teal pillows enlivens any room," says Sheldon.
Pair with beige and gray for a classic, neutral look that still has a lot of life.
Teal + Tangerine: Punchy & Fun
Teal is by nature a fun, happy color, but when you pair it with a shade like tangerine, it takes on an entirely different vibe. These two colors are fairly close together on the color wheel, so although they create a fun contrast, it won't be harsh or garish.
Teal + Navy: Sophisticated & Unique
Navy is one of those classic hues that can add endless sophistication to nearly any space. But if you want to avoid navy from feeling too dark or traditional, adding a pop of teal is a great way to brighten up a moody space.
Teal + White: Poppy & Bright
Morris says if all else fails, pairing white with teal is a sure bet. A few bold teal accessories are perfect for adding a pop of color to an all-white space, just be sure to tie in similar undertones throughout the other shades.
Teal + Yellow: Fun & Bold
Teal and yellow (especially darker shades like mustard), complement each other incredibly well. They are both bold colors, but together they can create an eye-catching palette that adds a lot of interest.
Teal + Wood: Rustic & Country Chic
If you're all about mixing and matching wood tones in your home, you may want to add a pop of color like teal to help ground the space and balance out the various shades of wood.
Teal, especially one with more blue undertones, is a great color for any rustic space to add just enough color.
Teal + Pink: Sweet & Creative
If eclectic is your theme, pink and teal make the perfect combo. The calming presence of teal helps to ground the pink shades without taking away from the warm energy it emits. Look for a shade of teal that reads green to pull in the cooler tones in the pink.
Teal + Purple: Feminine & Sophisticated
Purple and teal are perfect for creating a rich, jewel-toned room that is both lively and moody. Though two much of both colors together can feel oversaturated, layering them with a white or gray base is a great way to ensure they don't take over or dominate one another.
Teal + Black + White: Classic & Chic
Black and white is such a classic combo that it's hard to go wrong, but when you need to add a little color to this pairing, teal is a great choice. Opt for a richer, darker teal for a more modern feel or go for a punchier, light teal to really brighten up the space.
Teal + Gray: Unexpected & Chic
Though teal may not be the first color you gravitate to when decorating with a medium gray, it's perfect for bringing out the cool tones and ensuring the gray doesn't lack personality or liveliness.
Teal + Orange: Eclectic & Happy
Because teal is opposite to orange on the color wheel, they play so nicely together. Pick darker teal shades to help ground the bright orange colors for a punchy, bold look that is great in kitchens, bathrooms or dens.
Teal + Leather: Retro & Modern
We love pairing rich leather furniture with bold teal walls. The combo creates an eye-catching look that feels both sophisticated and a little fun.
Teal + Red: Cozy & Warm
A rich red clay tile can be a hard material to work with, but surprisingly teal is a great color to pair with a very warm red. The coolness of the teal helps to soften the warm undertones in the red tile.
Teal + Charcoal: Rich & Sophisticated
A rich, moody color like charcoal gray can make a huge statement in your room, but too much of it can overpower and feel dreary and dark. A pop of teal and yellow help brighten up this sophisticated space and keep it light, fun and unique.
Teal + Brown: Warm & Inviting
Brown is one of those colors that can feel a bit bland in the wrong settings. But pair it with a light greenish teal and it becomes fresh and energetic.
Teal + Powder Blue: Soft & Pretty
If you thought powder blue was just for little boys' rooms, think again. Consider mixing shades of blue and teal together for a beachy, breezy color palette that feels serene and relaxing.
Because teal can read either blue or green in certain settings, pick a teal with stronger blue undertones for a more monochromatic look and feel.
Teal + Griege: Calming & Cool
Whether decorating a simple, Scandi-inspired bedroom or renovating a more modern living room, greige is a great all-purpose color. To avoid a bland greige room, though, add a few pops of teal via throws or pillows to brighten up the space.