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Do turquoise and aqua go together?

Do turquoise and aqua go together?

Turquoise and aqua are two popular shades of blue-green that are often used in fashion, interior design, and other creative fields. Though similar, they are distinct colors with their own unique identities. A common question is whether these shades can be paired together or if they clash. The quick answer is that yes, turquoise and aqua can look quite pretty when combined in the right way. However, the specifics depend on the exact tones and context. With some thoughtful color mixing, these two shades can complement each other beautifully.

Defining turquoise and aqua

Before exploring whether turquoise and aqua work together, it helps to precisely define each shade.

Turquoise is a bluish-green color that takes its name from the semi-precious turquoise gemstone. It is formed by mixing blue and green, resulting in a vibrant opaque tone. Turquoise can range from a greenish robin’s egg blue to a deeper sea green. Popular turquoise shades include Persian green and aqua green turquoise.

Aqua is also a light blue-green color, but it is transparent and brighter than turquoise. It is named after the Latin word for water. True aqua is the exact color of water, leaning slightly more towards green than blue. There are also darker and brighter variations of aqua that range from a minty pastel to a bolder teal.

In summary:

– Turquoise is an opaque, blue-leaning color that varies in shade from pale to jewel-toned.

– Aqua is a translucent, greenish tone that matches the color of water.

General principles for combining colors

When assessing whether two colors work together, there are a few general guidelines to keep in mind:

– **Undertones** – Colors that have similar undertones, like warm or cool, tend to complement each other more easily. Both turquoise and aqua are cool colors.

– **Saturation** – Pairing a highly saturated color with a softer, more muted color creates contrast. Turquoise is often more saturated than aqua.

– **Luminosity** – Lighter and darker versions of colors usually coordinate well, as do hues of similar lightness or vibrancy. The luminosity of turquoise and aqua can vary.

– **Personal preference** – The most important judge of what goes together is your own eye. Trust your instincts, and don’t be afraid to experiment with unconventional combinations.

Comparing turquoise and aqua

Now that we’ve defined these terms, let’s directly compare turquoise and aqua hues:

Turquoise Aqua
Opaque, deeper color Sheer, brighter color
Blue-green Greenish blue
Jewel-toned Watery
Retro feel Clean, modern feel

As shown in the table, turquoise tends to be more opaque and intense, while aqua is translucent and soft. Turquoise leans blue and has a retro vibe. Aqua skews towards green and feels more contemporary. However, there is overlap between lighter turquoises and darker aquas. The hues are more similar than different.

Complementary qualities of turquoise and aqua

Though not identical, turquoise and aqua share enough commonalities that they can work in tandem. Here are some of their complementary qualities:

– **Same color family** – Since both are shades of blue-green, turquoise and aqua are harmonious. They are variations on the same color theme.

– **Adjacent hues** – The two colors sit beside each other on the color wheel, with aqua skewing slightly greener. Adjacent colors tend to coordinate pleasingly.

– **Similar cool undertone** – Sharing the same undertone creates unity. Turquoise and aqua’s cool blue-greenness gives them an innate cohesion.

– **Range of saturation** – Turquoise and aqua come in muted to vivid versions. Pairing a soft aqua with a bold turquoise provides helpful contrast.

– **Flexible accents** – One hue can serve as an accent shade to the other depending on the context. This versatility enables diverse combinations.

Thanks to these innate complementary aspects, turquoise and aqua have the potential to work beautifully together. Skillful implementation is key.

How to wear turquoise and aqua together

In fashion, turquoise and aqua can be effortlessly mixed by following a few styling tips:

– Make one color dominant and use the other sparingly as an accent. For example, pair a turquoise top with aqua accessories.

– Layer lighter and brighter aqua over deeper, richer turquoise to create dimension.

– Use aqua denim jeans to ground a vibrant turquoise blazer or sweater.

– Incorporate aqua shoes or handbag to pull together a turquoise dress or jumpsuit.

– Choose soft aqua jewelry as an enhancement to a turquoise cocktail dress or formal gown.

– Introduce turquoise eyeliner, shoes or belt to lift a muted aqua look.

Subtly weaving turquoise and aqua together results in a soothing, sophisticated color palette.

Decorating with turquoise and aqua

Turquoise and aqua work beautifully together in home decor as well. Here are some tips for combining them in your space:

– Use turquoise as the dominant wall color in a room and add in aqua accents through pillows, vases, lamps or rugs.

– Paint architectural details like windows, trim or front doors in a bold turquoise and use aqua in furniture upholstery.

– Incorporate a turquoise sofa or armchair and echo the color with aqua curtains, throw blanket and cushions.

– Pick an aqua rug as inspiration and introduce turquoise through artwork, decorative objects and fresh flowers.

– Paint a focal wall or mural in a vibrant turquoise and integrate aqua into kitchen cabinetry or tiling.

– Alternate turquoise and aqua sheets or towels in a bathroom for a soothing, spa-like vibe.

You can easily mix turquoise and aqua paints, fabrics, furnishings and accessories to craft a relaxing, inviting living space.

Complementary color combinations

While turquoise and aqua verge on being matchy-matchy, you can avoid that effect by incorporating other complementary colors. Here are some three-color schemes that allow turquoise and aqua to harmonize beautifully:

Turquoise, aqua and tan

The earthiness of tan helps ground the cool tones of turquoise and aqua. Use in southwestern decor.

Turquoise, aqua and white

Crisp white acts as a neutral base that lets both shades pop. Suitable for coastal decor.

Turquoise, aqua and coral

Vibrant coral adds warmth and contrast. Works well for tropical, bohemian or eclectic decor.

Turquoise, aqua and yellow

Sunny yellow injects energy. Looks fresh and lively for outdoor decor.

Turquoise, aqua and purple

Regal purple contrasts beautifully with the blue-green hues. Sophisticated for formal spaces.

Turquoise, aqua and pink

Pretty pink provides feminine balance. Lovely for kids’ rooms or shabby chic decor.

Creative ways to use turquoise and aqua together

While turquoise and aqua always work for decor, you can get more creative with how you combine them. Some fun ways to incorporate both shades include:

– Ombre or gradient patterns that transition from turquoise to aqua.

– Mosaic tiles, rugs or textiles mixing the two hues.

– Abstract watercolor or marbled effects.

– Geometric designs with alternating turquoise and aqua shapes.

– Distressed paint treatments revealing layers of both colors.

– Coastal or ocean-inspired motifs like waves, fish, seashells and coral.

– Moroccan or Turkish inspired patterns and embroidery.

– Vintage motifs like floral prints, paisleys and damask patterns.

– Contemporary style with bold stripes, checks or color blocking.

– Boho chic style with paisley prints and ornate embroidered accents.

With some imagination, turquoise and aqua can be incorporated in diverse, artistic ways for unique decorative impact.

Choosing the right tones

The specific shades of turquoise and aqua you select also influence how harmonious the combination will look. Here are some popular tones that complement each other beautifully:

Persian turquoise and classic aqua – These two colors are nearly identical, but the aqua reads slightly lighter and greener against the richer turquoise. The effect is subtle and soothing.

Mint turquoise and turquoise blue aqua – Both are soft pastel versions, with the aqua appearing more blue and the turquoise more green. The contrast is minimal.

Robin’s egg turquoise and seafoam aqua – These suit each other perfectly, with the robin’s egg being a hint brighter than the seafoam green-blue.

Teal turquoise and turquoise aqua – As the darkest and brightest versions, these make a bold statement together, especially when color blocked.

Tiffany turquoise and aqua mist – The iconic robin’s egg Tiffany turquoise is lightened by the extra pale aqua mist in a delicate pairing.

Jade turquoise and mint aqua – Both skew green, and the minty aqua brightens up the deeper jade turquoise beautifully.


Turquoise and aqua are two shades of blue-green that complement each other more often than they clash. Though turquoise leans more blue and jewel-toned and aqua appears brighter and more green, they share enough similarities to allow skillful pairing. Both colors work well together in fashion, interior design, and artistic applications. With some awareness around undertones, saturation, and luminosity, plus a dash of creativity, you can fashionably mix turquoise and aqua for stylish, harmonious results.