What color is teal? How to use it in your decor

Known for its timeless and harmonious qualities, we explore the question, what color is teal?

teal painted room with desk area and chaise longue, geometric patterns on walls and on pink rug
(Image credit: Future)

A deep, cyan-green shade that is a firm favorite for designers and decorators alike, the color teal can be used to create both a calming and energizing atmosphere in an interior space. 

Named teal after the common Teal duck, which has a bright teal eye-patch on its head, the color’s connection to nature reinforces its soothing and stimulating characteristics. In this article we will explore the frequent questions asked when researching, what color is teal?

If you are decorating with teal, this guide will be invaluable.

teal painted living room with floral sofa, coffee table and book shelves

(Image credit: Future)

What color is teal?

Located between blue and green on the color wheel, the teal shade is made up of an equal amount of both colors, which makes it a tertiary color (an equal mix of primary and secondary colors). 

The color teal is regarded to ignite feelings of balance, calm and tranquility, which suggests why it is so popular in interior design as these sentiments are for many what we associate with home. For paint experts Benjamin Moore, ‘Aegean Teal’ was chosen as the the Benjamin Moore color of the year 2021, with the shade recently being disclosed as officially Benjamin Moore's best-selling paint color.

If you are looking for room color ideas, teal is great for establishing an elegant impact in a space. Natasha Bradley, Color Psychologist at Lick Paint states, ‘teal is great for entryway ideas as it is a very welcoming color and helps you bring the outside in, but it’s also really dramatic. By opting for a darker green such as Lick’s Teal 03 in the hallway, it will make all the rooms leading off it look lighter'. Whether you are using teal to accessorize in a living room, or to paint a bathroom or hallway, the classic shade can integrate into an array of styled spaces. We now explore some of the most popular questions asked when researching, what color is teal? 

teal kitchen with teal painted walls and cupboards, marble countertop

(Image credit: Future)

Is teal more green or blue? 

Placed in-between blue and green on the color wheel, teal is made up of a mix of both primary shades. As teal is a secondary color, there are many shades available, with some closer to green and some closer to blue.  

What color complements teal? 

In the color wheel, complementary colors sit opposite each other, for teal, which sits in the blue-green section, the opposite, complementary colors are red-oranges. Tobie Lewis, Senior Brand Manager at Valspar Paint says to use teal 'with a cleansing white to maximize natural light in a room, or in contrast with an earthy mustard yellow or burnt orange to add more depth to your color palette.’

teal painted bathroom with teal panelling, bath and stool

(Image credit: Future)

What two colors are teal? 

As discussed, teal sits between blue and green on the color wheel. A secondary color, teal is formed from mixing primary colors, blue and green. To create a lighter teal shade, add white or yellow to the blue and green mix, to create a darker shade, add black.  

How can I decorate with teal?

This popular teal color trend is easy on the eye – and a very good choice for those who prefer a louder hue, rather than subtle, quieter shades. A beguiling hue that reminds us of warmer climes, teal has the ability to be both invigorating and calming.

‘I am a big advocate for color, and a rich blue-green on the walls paired with strong red tones creates the perfect harmony in my view,' says Sarah Fortescue, founder, Sarah Fortescue Design. 'It’s particularly suitable in a north-facing room where strength of color can replace the lack of natural light and sunshine.’

'Some consider decorating with blue to be cold (and it can be sometimes), but this powerful, punchy shade is anything but; rather it is enlivening in its strength,' explains Tricia Guild, founder and creative director, Designers Guild. 'Use it with a white for crisp simplicity, make it dramatic with darker hues. It responds beautifully to sunlit rooms, but looks equally stunning with low lighting and candlelight.’  

Zara Stacey
Managing Editor

Zara is the Managing Editor at Homes & Gardens. She joined the brand in February 2022 as an Interiors Content Editor, specializing in writing content on interior color trends, decorating ideas and design inspiration. After studying English Literature at University, she worked as an Ecommerce Website Editor, Content Writer and Buying Intern at multiple independent businesses within the luxury retail and lifestyle sectors. She enjoys nothing more than discovering new trends, brands and products, whether that be in fashion, interior design or lifestyle.