Pantone’s Color of the year, Marsala, for your Interior: I’m a Fan.

December 4, 2014

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Pantone announced their color of the year for 2015 and a whole bunch of house-fanatics lost it. “I would never use this color in my home.” “The 90s want their color back.” You get the idea. It is a departure from the bright hues that have been thrown at us the past few years. Purple! Bright red! Teal! It’s a mute-y brown-red. And I breathed a sigh of relief. Or my eyes did, at least.


Finally something I can connect with. Muted tones are my jam, 100%. And since there aren’t too many people standing up for Marsala right now, here’s hoping a few examples of the rich and earthy hue actually used in these fantastic interiors will change your mind.

This is not your 90s burgundy. How fresh do these curtains look? Here’s a great example of mixing it with bright colors that so many connect with.

Persian rugs are having a huge moment right now, which fit the Marsala trend perfectly.

Marsala toned grasscloth made an appearance in Jackie Astier’s bedroom in Elle Decor.

I like it in small doses, too. Like these wine-colored chairs:

Or a few accessories on your shelves:

Even a simple throw in the color adds a beautiful amount of warmth.

Agh, I am just so thrilled neutral tones are trending. With so many mixed reviews, I’d love to know what you think! Yay or nay for Marsala?

Ps. More examples on my Pinterest board!

Image cred: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

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What do you think?

  1. Maria says:

    Wow, that worked out perfectly! Thanks for offering the counterpoint on Marsala:-)

  2. Megan says:

    I’ve seen this color featured on other bogs…not so favorably. Glad you gave it some credit! I am an earth tone girl – and as much as I’ve tried to jump on the lighter and brighter hues, it just never feels right in my home. I wish there was a bigger space for the cozy calm designers among us…it feels like it’s either bright/trendy or minimalist/rustic. Not my jam!

  3. Brittany says:

    I love it & I’m glad I’m no longer alone! Marsala is a gorgeous color.

  4. Callie says:

    Earth tones for the win!! I’m in the happy camp for marsala. I’m not usually a fan of reds, as Emily said, but I can definitely get on board with this tone. Reminds me fondly of the earthy yellow of mimosa from 2009!

  5. I’m a fan. I like it a lot better than “radiant orchid” or whatever that was this year.

  6. Syl says:

    I’m not a fan of reds in general, but I do like Marsala. It comes across to me as an earthy, warm, muted burgundy. I can see how beautiful it can be in accessories, and how it lends itself to a variety of styles but in small doses. Those rugs and throws are gorgeous, warm and inviting! On the other hand, that grasscloth wallpaper treatment by Jackie Astier makes my eyes bleed… Just too much of it! It would have been lovely as a focal point on the wall behind the bed, but it’s all over… and it overpowers the room. o.O

    I really find the polemics around this colour too funny for words. It’s a colour, nothing more, nothing less… You like it, great, that just means you’ll be able to add it easily to your decor as accessories & whatnots will soon be available. You don’t like it, well, just don’t use it! No one is holding a gun to your head to repaint your house with it! :-D

    I loathe orange with a passion that’s truly frightful in its intensity and no one could pay me enough to add Pantone’s Tangerine Tango anywhere in my house. Did it bother me it was COTY in 2012? Nope. Not one iota. If anything it gave my wallet a break as I wasn’t the least bit tempted to buy anything for a while! LOL

  7. Kimberly says:

    Such a great colour! I’m soooo done with the cool grays. I work at a Benjamin Moore store and all of our customers think that they have such a unique style in their home but really they all have the same wall colour, same floor, same tile, same granite countertops, same S/S appliances, same furniture. So happy that we’re moving back to warmer tones and an eclectic style.

  8. I think it’s a nice change of pace from the colors of recent years but my initial reaction was, Meh. I don’t think I’ll personally be decorating with it.

  9. Sherri says:

    I know it will look fabulous in new design, as these colors usually do. But it reminds me of the mauve of the 90’s. I will be looking forward to seeing what you do with it. I have nothing against neutrals, but having decorated with mauve during that time, it’s just one color that I won’t return to.

  10. Brittany says:

    As if I needed more convincing! I love this color and these uses of it.

    It’s funny to me that with emerald and marsala I haven’t needed convinced but it seems the rest of the general design world has! A lot of the others have been too bright for me.

  11. Debbie says:

    This color reminds me of old lady manicures. LOL

  12. Those comments in the AT article are all over the board – people seem to be getting quite angry! I’m with you, and I personally think it can work in all the same ways you’ve shown.

  13. anne says:

    Whether anyone likes it or not, it’s good! It’s supposed to stretch us creatively right?! ; bust us out of our norm and get our wheels turning and not just be everybody’s favorite already. Because if it is then that should be last year’s color. ;) (at least that’s what I would want the pantone color of the year to do.) And who knows, maybe some other color will show up this year as more popular. The suspense! does anyone follow these colors and figure out if they turned out to be loved and used or if something else stole the show? I’d love to know. I know everyone has preferences. I don’t generally use reds at all. There isn’t any of it in my home right now, but I do appreciate it, and high five, it’s an earthy tone.

    • Julia says:

      I totally agree, Anne. I have followed a few of the colors in the past and have noticed that sometimes it takes an extra year or two to really get mainstream in interiors. I think we are seeing a lot of emeralds right now. And we all know turquoise took off. Oh boy.

  14. Jen says:

    I can’t say I was thrilled to see Marsala as the COTY, but you rounded up some pretty gorgeous images. Thanks to you I’m feeling less disappointed. :) And it makes so much sense with the vintage rug thing happening right now.

    Marsala’s not my jam, but it doesn’t have to be. I’m still excited to see what you and other designers out there do with it!

  15. barbara says:

    Um, no, nope and never. It ain’t happening. It’s just a dark, muddy mauve. And I went that route in the late 80’s, early 90’s. I can’t remember because I don’t want to remember. Yes, it’s that bad. That color is just plain tragic.

  16. emily says:

    I love, love this color! I’m not a fan of red, but this shade I can do.

  17. Ann says:

    This post is one of the main reasons I love your blog! You and I have very similar taste. I am an artist too. In my house, muted tones are my thing too. I love a look of transition, where your eye can flow thru the colors rather than have one screaming at you. I LOVE this color. I worked as a trend forcaster for a craft company and I would always say….the new trend is going to be the extreme of the last trend. That is what this is for sure!! Can’t wait to see it in action (if anyone really adopts this color). I want the world to say goodbye to bright robin’s egg forever and live inside this muted swatch.

    • Julia says:

      Oh my goodness. Do you have a best friend? Do you want to be my best friend?!

      • Ann says:

        Haha. I just barely saw this comment when I came back to visit your “Marsala” post. I wish you lived next door. I am having a huge living room dilemma right now that makes me want to pull my hair out. I need a brainstorm buddy that is not going to tell me to add some pops of color, some quatrefoil, and chevron. What to do.

  18. Haley says:

    I like this color in the persian rugs, but I would probably never decorate with it in any other form.

  19. Loris says:

    I’m not sure I love it on the wall, but as home accessories, yes! In fact, as an “autumn” in coloring, I’d love a sweater in Marsala.

  20. yasmara says:

    Maybe it’s my age (why yes, I’m almost 40 & graduated high school in 1993), but I LOVE this color. It’s one of my absolute favorites, especially when deeply saturated. It’s *not* mauve as some have been accusing it! I dream of re-doing my brown & cream teenytiny master bathroom in shades of bright white and grey with accents of black, and this would be a perfect color to enliven a neutral palette.

  21. Amanda says:

    Some of the comments on that article were hilarious lol. I prefer muted colors, so I think this one is pretty. The examples you included show how versatile it is also.

  22. Victoria says:

    I love this color! I think it’s romantic and serene, lovely and calming. Thank you for collecting all of these inspiration shots. I had been deciding on a color for the drapes in the bedroom, and this has sold me.

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