2015 Pantone Color of the Year: Marsala

Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2015 is a controversial pick. A wine red shade aptly titled “Marsala” is predicted by Pantone to play a major role in interior design, fashion, beauty, and consumer goods in 2015.

I’ll be honest. My first thought was: oh no, not again.

marsalaoldFor some critics, I understand wine red tones conjure images of 70’s office carpet (The Atlantic), for me it brings to mind a more recent trend I’d hoped not to revisit. Here in Florida, the faux Tuscan design craze hit hard. It became mass produced, overdone, and tired. Furniture tended towards frumpy and colors were dark gold, brown, wine red, deep evergreens… and stuck there. For a long, long time.

^ Not this please

Marsala is a gorgeous color for a lipstick, so for the beauty industry, I like it. For fashion, sure. For chicken with mushrooms, yes please. But for interiors, well…

I think styling is key to keep this color from feeling dated. Primariliy I see Marsala working well in two ways:

1. Persian rugs (especially when mixed with some contemporary furniture pieces)


Pops of other saturated color help the rug’s Marsala shades feel fresh and current in this room.

2.  Leather accents (see Massoud leather pillows below- I would pair the wine red with the medium saddle brown in an equestrian chic look and take it in a bit of a Ralph Lauren inspired direction)


Styling is key with this color to keep it from feeling dated. Unless we’re talking about a wine cellar or library where we are intentionally going this route for a strong conceptual reason, I would generally advise using Marsala sparingly and keeping it to soft goods like rugs or accent pillows (in an interesting, maybe graphic textile or solid leather- a velvet or chenille pillow in Marsala wouldn’t be my first choice to keep it current).


Using Marsala with clean, contemporary-lined pieces also represents a new take on this shade.

What do you think of Marsala as the choice for 2015’s Color of the Year?


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