Published on October 15, 2020

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Courtesy of Benjamin Moore

Benjamin Moore announced its 2021 color of the year, but the paint brand’s top pick, dubbed Aegean Teal 2136-40, isn’t technically one hue. The mid-tone is a blend of muted greens and blues, with a hint of gray, giving it a soft appearance that is, as the company describes, “reminiscent of vegetable dyes.” The ambiguous teal didn’t just come out of nowhere. We’ve been seeing the oceanic color a lot lately—and mostly in one room. 

We first realized seafoam cabinets were on the up-and-up when we asked experts to share their color predictions for the kitchen nearly a year ago (Nicole Gibbons, founder of paint company Clare, suggested blue-green would take off). The intriguing shade has also caught the attention of designers like Emily Henderson, who skewed more toward emerald undertones with Sherwin-Williams’s Pewter Green in her Portland, Oregon, house project. Australian designer Rachel Nolan took the zen color a step further in one of her spaces by swathing the room in a corresponding checkered tile backsplash. 

Hubert Zandberg went with a paint called Esmeralda, by Flamant, for one of his London kitchen projects, finishing it with a durable semigloss lacquer. The aqua was a fitting choice for the carved MDF doors, which look like ripples in the water. “It adds dimension,” he explains. 

Call Aegean Teal whatever you wish (aqua, blue-green, seafoam); this perfect blend acts as a timeless neutral. But unlike a flat gray or white, it lends depth to a space. Cookie-cutter kitchens will soon be a thing of the past. 

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