January 15th, 2015 at 2:00 pm


You might know Marsala as a fortified red wine, an Italian seaport city or a rich, flavorful sauce.

As of Jan. 1, it’s also the Pantone Color of the Year. And that’s good to know if you’re planning to buy, sell or decorate a home, according to Pantone Inc. The New Jersey-based company’s Pantone Matching System has major influence on the color choices of graphic artists, designers and product developers around the world.

Twice a year, Pantone hosts a secret meeting in a European capital, comprised of representatives from many nations’ color-standards groups. After two days of presentations and debate, they select a color for the following year. Marsala emerged as the winner for 2015.

A wine-red color with a brown undertone, Marsala is already a home-staging favorite, appearing in accent pieces and accessories from vases and throw pillows to patterned rugs. Pantone says textured surfaces enhance Marsala, so it will likely be a popular choice for rugs and upholstered living room furniture. The color also is expected to be prominent in stripe and floral patterns, such as in printed placemats, dinnerware, bedding and throws.

“Nurturing and fulfilling, Marsala is a natural fit for the kitchen and dining room because, among other reasons, it is a great appetite stimulant,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. “It is versatile and sophisticated, making it ideal for tabletops, small appliances and linens throughout the home.”

Marsala’s popularity is already growing among men and women, she says. Women take to it very quickly as a lipstick and blush color and, more recently, for eyelids. Men enjoy Marsala in ties, socks and sneakers. And everyone can get close to the color in plush bathrobes and other casualwear.

Because the shade isn’t as overpowering as its predecessor, Radiant Orchard, Marsala can be a unifying color element for interior spaces that can add a pop of color without proving to be a distraction, Eiseman said.

“Marsala enriches our mind, body and soul, exuding confidence and stability,” she said. “It is a subtly seductive shade, one that draws us in to its embracing warmth. Complex and full-bodied, this hearty yet stylish tone is universally appealing; translating easily to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors.”

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