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Marsala: Pantone Color of the Year 2015

The wait is over. Pantone, the leader in color matching systems and color trend forecasting, has announced its Color of the Year for 2015. And it's Marsala.

My reaction is . . . Say what?

I mean, really. We saw Tangerine Tango, Emerald and Radiant Orchid emerging in the interior design world before Pantone announced that these were the Colors of the Year for 2012, 2013, and 2014.

But I've had to do a little digging to come up with recent precedents for Marsala.

My associations with Marsala: Santa Fe and Southwest decor . . . herculon (aka olefin) upholstery fabrics of the 1970s . . . Crayola crayon colors like burnt sienna. This is a clear case of fashion trends leading the way.

But at the same time, Marsala has a timeless quality -- like its namesake wine that mellows with age. Think of worn leather and earthy palettes inspired by nature; wood-paneled libraries stacked with leather-bound books. I suppose I just have to let go of my 1970s-based associations with the color and embrace its roots in decor classics like Mediterranean villas, English gentlemen's clubs, and folk art of the Americas.

Take a look at these interiors showcasing Pantone's Marsala. The last thing I'll do is advocate running out to invest in Marsala-hued furnishings just to follow a trend. But, as these rooms illustrate, enveloping a room in this rich color adds warmth and complements a range of styles from traditional to contemporary.

                                    

 

                                  

                          Dining Room by Michael S. Smith, photo by Mikkel Vang courtesy of House Beautiful

                                    

                              Design by Douglas Mackie, photo by Simon Upton courtesy of House and Garden

               

                                                                     Bathroom by Amy Lau Design

                        

                           Design by Douglas Mackie, photo by Simon Upton courtesy of House & Garden

                     

                          Design by David Dalton, Inc., photo by Lisa Romerein courtesy of House Beautiful