I may be a little late in hashing out this color, but like it’s namesake…I think we needed to allow it a little time to open up and breath. Pantone Institute’s declaration of Marsala as the ‘IT’ color is simply a forecast of the color we will be adorning our bodies, homes and products with for the next year.

pantonePantone says of Marsala, “Much like the fortified wine that gives Marsala its name, this tasteful hue embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal, while its grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness. This hearty, yet stylish tone is universally appealing and translates easily to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors.”

It seems, however, this innocent, earthy red is taking a bit of heat. In The Atlantic article entitled The Problem With Pantone’s Color of the Year it is described this way: “Think rust, the grimy, gag-inducing type that lines corners or frat boy dormitory-style bathrooms. Or blood, the freaky dried kind whose iron content has been exposed to the air long enough to evoke a dull brick.”


That sort of reaction is what I really love about color though. Color choice is so very personal and can evoke a strong visceral response. When working with a new client, delving into the emotions surrounding color is such an integral part of our design process. Choosing the right palette to suit a client is one of my favorite steps and it opens up some very lively discussions. Cloud blue may have been the dreamy color of your first boyfriend’s home or it may have been the color of mean Mrs. Lubke’s 3rd grade classroom. You can see how we develop a love/hate relationship with color.

Back to this color of the year business….I do like Marsala and thinmarslipsk it is a perfect pseudo neutral to balance all of the grey tones with which we have surrounded ourselves. The rule breaker in me does not feel the need to translate the color as a literal red-brown. Any of the deep, moody reds are beautifully on trend. Think about how you make the choice for the right “red lip”. Does an orange-red or a blue-red better suite you?

So, if Marsala doesn’t invoke thoughts of road kill, but rather sophisticated full bodied wine then you may enjoy the rest of this post. As always…run over to my Pinterest board for more inspirational images from this blog.

anishVincent Van Duysen

pillowmarsProvident Home via Pinterest

KC-Coleman-Residential-2Kelly Cleveland Interiors

liagreChristian Liagre

benmooreBenjamin Moore Carriage Red CW-250


marsalibraryBarry Dixon

marsadoor Farrow and Ball Rectory Red

paperDessin Fournir


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