How the Versatility of the Color Teal Can Work for You

The color teal has long been valued for its uniqueness, versatility and ability to impact powerful color combinations. Ancient Persians believed it could ward off evil. Egyptian cultures appreciated this deepened shade of turquoise as an emblem of trust and faithfulness. It reminded Tibetan monks of the enormity of the sea and the sky. For Native Americans, teal was connected to water and fertility, and this lovely, mysterious color offered hope for a prosperous future.

Today, teal represents the perfect combination of blue and green and the equally excellent pairing of down-to-earth qualities and sophistication. Because both men and women appreciate this color, it has been welcomed into fashion, jewelry and interior design. While it has the individual strength to stand alone, teal also works willingly with a variety of other colors to produce customized results.

Teal is popular in the fashion world because, like most blues, it looks good on everyone. Even in nature, it is a part of the dress code for the very fashionable male peacock, especially when he is "strutting his stuff." When added to brown or black, teal lightens the mood slightly and adds a layer of mystery or complexity. Whether worn as a single outfit or an accent, this color somehow adds a level of sophistication and richness to any look. On the other hand, fun-loving teal jeans are one of the popular fashion trends this year.

When it comes to jewelry, blue and turquoise zircons are popular choices in this color family. Shades of blue topaz and the color-enhanced blue diamond are lovely in rings, necklaces, bracelets and pins. Two other blue-green choices are Indiocolite and Paraiba tourmaline.

Because of its versatility, teal is also a popular wedding or special-event color. It is appropriate for all seasons and all times of day or night. When paired with white, it creates a striking winter-wedding palette. Blend in chocolate or taupe for a fall event. Pale pink, lavender, cream and coral are the perfect choices to balance a lighter shade of teal for a beautiful spring or summer wedding. Teal-colored decorations are ideally suited for outdoor events and tropical themes or locations. Because of its current popularity, there is no limit to the amount of fabrics and accessories you can find in this color, and decorating will be fun and easy.

Teal is no stranger to the world of art and interior design. Simply darkening or lightening it can slant the color towards its feminine or masculine side. A retro design is as simple as adding a strong pink, and art deco happens when you throw some black and white into the mix. Mix teal with light pink and you have a room that is delicate enough for a little girl. For a southwestern U.S. feel, combine teal with terra cotta, silver, grey and tan colors. When energy and creativity are your focus, mix teal with orange or yellow colors. This combination is also ideal for a sports-theme design.

Its versatility may explain why color designer Irene Turner has named teal her "Color of Choice for 2012." It is certainly a fitting match to Pantone's "Color of the Year," Tangerine Tango. Together, they are a powerful combination. Expect to see teal cropping up everywhere this year. Maybe it's time to bring some of it into your home and wardrobe.