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What’s a design blog without some sort of help for its readers? To make good on my own design pledge, it’s time to dip into the decorating inbox and help solve some design dilemmas!

My bathroom tub, toilet and sink are that teal color. I’ve seen a lot of brown with teal. Would that be a good choice? My bathroom is small but has a good size window in it with lots of light. Or what color do you suggest? — Jean

Hi Jean! I’m going to assume you love your teal bathroom, because you didn’t mention a bathroom remodel anywhere in your question. Some people right now will be wrinkling their noses at the thought of a teal bathroom, and to those I say: Vintage is in! One look at these teal bathrooms on Rate My Space shows that you’re not alone in your color dilemma.

Fortunately, there are several ways to make the color work for you in your home. (Just stay away from peach, unless you’re definitely going retro.)

1. Brown and Teal
Your instinct for using brown is a good one. Brown and blue are a fail-safe combination. One caveat: Make sure the intensities of the teal and brown are similar. So, a light brown or tan would work with a light teal. If your teal is dark and intense, chocolate or copper-toned towels, rugs and accessories are the way to go. This bathroom by designer Sue Adams pairs color intensities well, even though that blue is technically not “teal.”

Sue Adams
Photo by Sam Gray

2. Teal to the Max
If you’re highly committed to teal, you can go monochromatic. For quick color coordination, get some paint swatches from your local home improvement store that match the teal of your bath’s fixtures. Sherwin-Williams is a good bet, because their store’s swatches incorporate more than three colors on each swatch.

Bring all the swatches back and find the closest match. Now, choose the color above and below your matching color. You can paint the walls, the ceiling, add a window treatment and accessories — anything that’s in one of those three colors (or others adjacent to them on the swatch) will make for teal bathroom paradise. More inspiration:

Designer bathrooms
Left: Bathroom by Aimee Kim
Right: Bathroom by Kathy Hoffman and Susan Fredman; photo by Dick Springate

3. Keep It Light
I’m glad you have lots of light to brighten the space. Stick with a sheer, white window treatment to let in as much light as possible. Speaking of white, don’t rule it out as a color, either. Sometimes the simplest update to a room can be a coat of fresh white paint on trim and molding. And who can resist fluffy white towels?

Good luck, and let us know how it turns out. I’d also recommend reading 8 Steps to the Perfect Bathroom for anything I haven’t addressed here. Readers, feel free to share your suggestions for Jean in the comments!

30 Responses

  1. Karen Hay says:

    I have a huge bathroom with 20 ft vaulted ceiling, walls are wallpapered that is of the 80's, color splashes. My jacuzzi tub is teal that is set up with white tile with a teal thin stripe. On either side of the room is his and her vanities 5 ft long and placed as angles against the wall, that are of oak that the varnish oak stain is starting to look worn. The top of vanities are white with teal streaks in the marble. There is a huge 4×6 ft plain mirror over each vanity area. I am thinking of sanding the vanities and paint black. Strip the paper (ugh) and paint walls a tan chocolate? Paint the narrow walls surrounding a large glass block window and below is the teal jaccuzi. The carpet is new creme with brown specks. Any other colors that I can bring in? Maybe frame the large plain mirrors in black wood? Thanks!

  2. rachel says:

    What color is that teal color in the pic? I am assuming it is a behr color, as that is what hgtv uses. Anyone know the shade name?

  3. Ruth says:

    The bathroom is so peaceful. The amazing blue color of the wall and the clean look with the white towels makes you just want to smile and relax. I love the sinks shape, the base color is so rich and it looks like a great space saver. I would love to know where to get the base and the sink. Thanks:)

  4. Renee Harden says:

    for Karen Hay, I would paint the vanities, chose a black that is more like the darker woods in contemporary furniture, for the walls a soft color that will give the area a spa like feel. Check out Valspar paints, especially the tinted whites for the walls. Add just enough color to give the space a clean look with benches, chairs or even a loveseat. I'm still iffy about the carpet in the bath. Bathrooms can be great escapes, also.

  5. Sue says:

    I used to have a set of stoneware dishes by Pfaltzgraff. They were older but they were teal on the top and chocolate brown on the bottom. Really looked good.
    Have a bathroom that has chocolate brown floor tiles, white fixtures and cream colored wall tiles..wondering if teal would be the right color for accents.

  6. KTTC says:

    Teal, beautiful color, very relaxing, great to use in bedrooms or bathroom to give your bathroom a spa feel. If you are stuck with this color for tile, sink and tub in your bathroom, use browns, tans or even white, white will give you a spa feel paired with the teal.

  7. molly says:

    does anyone know the name of the color in the picture?

  8. donlyn says:

    i have an old bathroom, dark brown cushion floor (little gold in it) wall board up one side beige /white/little bit of gold. white tub and beige toilet. beige tub walls. I need to perk up. should i paint off white ceiling and walls or a blueish?

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