The Pantone 2015 Color of the Year is marsala, a warm, complex wine red with mellow, pinkish brown undertones.
“I can actually wear marsala!” my friend Jo practically squealed as we chatted in my kitchen last night. I’m friends with lots of artists, DIY buffs and creative types, but I’m usually the only nerd who trots out color theory at dinner parties, so this was a refreshing change of pace.
And the choice of marsala is refreshing as well. It works for every skin tone and it’s as flattering on the walls as it is in a lipstick. And as much as I adored the vivid brights like emerald and tangerine that Pantone has favored in the past, it’s nice to see a more subtle color take center stage.
Here are some of my favorite ways to use marsala to update your wardrobe and your home.
In Your Closet:
Unsure about trying a new color? Start small with fiery earrings or bold statement jewelry. Marsala looks luxurious in leather, so belts and loafers in this lovely shade of wine instead of basic brown. It’s a fresh take on a classic.
This is a complex color that really looks decadent in fabrics with lots of movement or texture. Silk, cashmere, lush velvets and orante brocades all play up the color’s rich pedigree. Or go against type with sparkly sequins.
The neutral pink and brown undertones mean marsala works for everyone. Try lipstick, gloss or blush for a natural flush or matte marsala nail polish for an unexpected, but still perfectly professional, manicure. Dark and olive skinned ladies can try richly pigmented marsala eyeshadows as well.
Unexpected Color Blocking:
Because of the brown undertones, marsala is just a few clicks on the color wheel away from being a neutral. This makes it an easy choice for color-phobes and color-lovers alike.
Try marsala with other browned-down hues of taupe, camel, forest green or mustard. Or shake it up with vivid fushia, tangerine and teal brights.
In Your Home:
Take a cue from fashion and use marsala accessories to give a room new life. Try a pretty pair of candle sticks, a desk lamp or even a stack of deep red books for a pop of warm color.
Play With Textiles:
Adding linens, throws and pillows in deep, rich marsala is an easy (and affordable) way to revamp a room. It reads classic and clubby when paired with traditional furniture and luxurious fabrics, while gold, silver, and anything embroidered, gauzy or mirrored instantly take it to a more exotic, bohemian place.
And since the color is so prevalent in food and wine, it’s a natural choice for tablecloths and napkins.
Update a chest of drawers, shelves or a striking end table with a coat of marsala paint. Or take the plunge and paint an accent wall or even an entire room. This particular red has all the energy the color is famous for, while also being flattering and easy to live with.
It’s an unexpectedly sexy choice for a bedroom and a gregarious paint color for a dining room.
What do you think? Do you love marsala? Hate it? What would you have picked for the color of the year?
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