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DID I MENTION I LOVE TEAL?  Oh, yes I did, in this post about a fabulous teal front door.  We’re taking teal inside this week and talking about how to pick just the right shade.

As you know, I am helping my mother-in-law with a basement makeover that is being designed with Moroccan maximalist flair.  (If you are new to Embrace My Space, read all about our makeover here and here.)  I mentioned earlier this week that the bar has finally been installed, but there have been a lot of other things going on behind the scenes that I’ve yet to share with you.

Today, we are going to back up quite a bit to talk about the selection of the color for the bar shelving area.  If you read the My Houzz Tour article featuring our first place, you likely noticed that Matt and I painted the wall behind our living room bookshelves with a gorgeous deep blue color called Sea Exposure by Valspar.  Built-in shelving is a perfect place to go bold with color because the color is contained to a well-defined area and serves to support the beautiful items you choose to display rather than to overpower your space.  If you love a color but think it’s too crazy for a whole room or wall, try painting the back of your bookshelves or glass fronted cabinets or hutch instead.

But, back to the lecture at hand, today we’re talking about how to pick just the right shade of teal (I know at least one of my friends laughed at this sentence).  This is not exactly it.

Teal can be tough.  If you pick the wrong shade, it can make your space look like a kid’s room or a cheesy 1980s Florida hotel room.  Teal and turquoise are my mother-in-law’s favorite colors, so teal is the color we decided to pull from the rug we picked for the space (pictured below) to give the bar area some punch.

I’m a firm believer in the almighty paint sample, so I went to Lowe’s to pick up a few colors to test.  Five to be exact.

The colors are Caribbean Holiday and Teal Zeal by Olympic and Sensual Jade, Gypsy Teal and Elegant Silk by Valspar.  These paint samples are about $3 a pop and good to have around the house if you have a little project here or there.  I always save a sample even if it was a no-go for a wall color just in case I want to use it to paint a table or something else random later.  I slapped them all up on the wall to see which one we liked best. 

So, I have to tell you that THIS is why you need to put the paint up on the wall.  When we were looking just at the paint chips we thought that the top left color was it.  Low and behold, on the wall it looks nearly black it is so dark.  While the color looked great when the swatch was compared to the rug in bright light, once it hit the wall we knew it wasn’t right.  Let’s take a closer look, shall we?   As I said, the color on the top left was too dark.  We decided that the first two on the bottom had too much green in them. We debated a bit between the top right and bottom right color.  After a (likely overly) thorough examination, we decided on Olympic’s Caribbean Holiday; the color on the bottom right.  Viola!

For those of you who aren’t as anal about picking just the right color, you may have thought that all five of my swatches looked just about the same.  I’m sure even the paint sample naysayers will agree, however, that the new teal, when compared with the old teal that is on the window trim in the above picture, is a richer and much more sophisticated shade.  That said, all of the shades that we tested are grown-up versions of the teal that was already on the wall.  If you want to use teal at home, look for a muted shade with a gray undertone in order to avoid creating a space that screams juvenile.

Remember those cabinets I showed you a while back?  Well, here they are complimenting the lovely new wall color.  Take a look at this post for a step-by-step tutorial on how I gave those cabinets new life!

I’m liking what I see!  Soon I’ll give you an update on the recycled glass countertop that now tops off these cabinets.  It’s a super cool product called Robal Glass that is made from old beer bottles.  Take a look here at the colors offered and see if you can guess which one we picked!

What do you all think of the teal?  Are you going to use teal somewhere in your home?  Why not try out one of my five pre-tested colors to see if one works for you!