Color Trend Watch: Teal on the rise

teal color trendYes: Teal — a color that ruled men’s sweaters and ties back in, what — the 90s? — is getting trended into the collective interior design consciousness again. When I interviewed Emily Morrow, color and design director for Shaw Floors, she mentioned that colors are trending toward jewel tones, which look good as accents with all the grey we’ve seen introduced into home interiors over the past few years. I asked her about teal, and she said, yup.

In fact, Shaw already has several “Royal Emeralds” in its current carpeting collections — close enough to teal for me. I looked it up, and the color “teal” is named for the color of the markings on the head of a duck, the common teal. I found this needlepoint pillow on ebay and wouldn’t you know it, as you can see, teal plays so very nicely indeed with other mid mod and postmodern colors including orange, avocado, browns, and even aqua. I sure like having a reason to put a duck on the front page of Retro Renovation.

teal carpet

Above: “Stylish Twist” from the Shaw HGTV Home line of floor coverings. I think this teal is a fabulous color — but I would not do it on wall-to-wall carpeting. In my experience, any carpeting this dark shows every spec of dust, dirt or dog hair. And I while I love to vacuum, I only do it every six months, whether it needs it or not…

Above: Marimekko Raysmatto shower curtain with teal and blues… Currently on sale at Crate and Barrel for $19.95.

Marimekko bath towels, too. Ummm, I’m letting “teal” bridge saturated and not so saturated. Marimekko calls it teal. I’m pretty tolerant about defining my teal-scale. Also currently on sale at C&B.

Marimekko YUM.

teal chairsReader Jocelyn sent in photos of her teal or tealish chairs.

Jocelyn writes:

The room’s definitely still in progress – we need to tear out the powder blue carpet (our house was built in 1951, and there’s hardwood underneath – just another example of generational decorating preferences), and I’ve just chosen a fabric to have drapes made, but here are some pics as it stands now. These include the chairs before and after, the couch, the mantel decor, a painting in the nearby hallway, and the wall unit (which we just put up, so it’s only half-decorated – an excuse to buy more objets!). It’s a big room – 20+ feet long – so there’s no way to get it all in one photo.

painting with tealJocelyn’s pretty painting with teal and other mid mod colors.

Jocelyn says:

This is the fabric that’s going to be our drapes. I looked at thousands and thousands of fabrics. This one has a nicely oversized print, and the geometric floral gives it a retro feel.
I’d suggest Richloom Fabrics to anyone looking for bold retro fabrics – they alone had stuff with the feel I was looking for.

Mantelpiece with blue.

Interestingly, this color ain’t so far off my 2012 color of the year — Bitossi Rimimi blu. If teal ends up being Pantone’s 2013 color of the year, I’m still gonna crow about my prognostication skills — again (after my orange — my 2011 Pamtone, turned up as the 2012 Pantone choice.)

What do you think of the color teal?
Do you use it in your home? 


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  1. says

    It’s nice to see teal – and his brother “peacock” coming back again. We don’t have any in our home, yet – but I wouldn’t be opposed. It’s a rich color.

    I’m with you, I wouldn’t do a carpet. First, it would show every speck. Second, it’s an expensive investment that couldn’t be easily swapped out if the love fades.

  2. Victoria says

    Always have had teal in my bedroom (teal/blue/greens) because it is such a beautiful color. Teal has been on the rise for several years combined with apple green, orange, and brown.

  3. says

    Glad you could use my pictures, Pam! The chairs are a bit more teal in person – the light in that photo greys them out a bit. The chenille is a changeable teal/electric blue/very deep turquoise, depending on the light. It’s got great texture.

  4. Jeanne says

    I’ve always loved teal. I have a page from a Crate&Barrel catalogue torn out and sitting on my desk this very minute. It’s of a gorgeous teal bed coverlet that I would love to get for my bedroom, but it’s no longer available (and hasn’t been for a while). I just love the color and kept the tear sheet hoping to find one somewhere.

    Also, after repainting my guest bedroom and finally getting a new mattress set in December, I can finally display the quilt my mother made me (in my favorite colors since she knows me so well). It’s done in teal and aquas, as well as white and black. It’s an interesting “bargello” quilt design (not sure if it has a pattern name or not). It looks really nice in the cream bedroom, with ivory pinch pleats and black accents – plus a couple of teal throw pillows.

  5. says

    First of all, love those teal chairs and the painting! I like the color teal –
    I just did a bedroom in my home in teal, lime and cream. I painted an armoire teal and I love it.

  6. Ann-Marie Meyers says

    Teal (aqua) and orange have been my favorites since I was a wee lass back int the 60’s. I am always happy to use them. I like the Rimini blu and orange together ideal, too. I have two art glass lamps that are orange and a bit darker than Rimini, but still the same idea. I am hoping to use those colors in my Texas house’s main bathroom.
    I have my eye on a 1930’s art deco dressing table up for auction this week that I could convert to a sink vanity if I get it.

    In a way it is good working with two houses, I can use up all my antique finds down here in Texas, and do my mid mod groove up in pseudo ’62 Wisconsin.

  7. Brian says

    My new dining room has silvery pale wallpaper with a dogwood pattern above the chair rail. Below that I painted Behr’s Tucson Teal — a rich, deep color that’s elegant and lush. It’s a worthy alternative to the predictable burgundies and hunter greens that people might expect. I chose the color because it plays off of my parents’ china — “Ancestral” by Minton — which has sepia foliage accented with magenta flowers and teal/turquoise flowers. I had tried a similar color — Behr’s “Mermaid Treasure” — in my previous dining room, but it wound up looking “tropical” instead of “jewel tone.” The Tucson Teal is fresh but suitable for a formal room. (My living room and hallway are shades of aqua or robin’s egg blue, so I have tons of blue green going.)

    • pam kueber says

      Thanks for the tip, Brian — your dining rooms sounds fabulous. I’m going to email you to see if you’d like to contribute photos.

  8. Starls says

    I’m amused. About four months ago I painted my dining room teal with a light gray accent on all the trim.

    I’ve decorated the walls with peacock/jewel tone colors: orange, olive green, black. As well as using natural wood grains.

    In fact, just today my husband finished installing our MOE light in the dining room that is red, orange and yellow (not the honeycomb style).

  9. Paula says

    Love teal, too. I’ve had teal kitchen cabinets for several years. Looks great with chrome hardware and goes nicely with the oranges, olives, and turquoises.

  10. says

    I love the teal/blue/green combo in those towels and shower curtain. Beautiful! I painted my kitchen close to the shade of the brightest green in those towels, and now I have the brilliant idea – thanks to you – that I can combine teal and blue in there! Yea for new ideas for my old stuff!

  11. TroySF says

    I agree, teal’s the real deal! Plays well with all neutrals. I’m un-orange-ing my house towards a whole bunch of yellow/chartreuse/teal/royal blue. The Marimekko Raysmatto shower curtain is no longer available online, but I picked up a comforter, some shams, and a few towels – all on sale. A blast of winter color is in order. Thanks for the tip, Pam!

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