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Breaking News. Pantone Color of the Year 2015 is...

Lori A. Sawaya
December 3, 2014

Pantone 18-1438 Marsala. Source: http://goo.gl/18bOnp


Comments (95)

  • Annie Deighnaugh

    This color is starting to look more like Prego sauce....brown? It's in there! Purple? It's in there! Red? It's in there!


  • Swentastic

    " Any color is about context. "

    Case in point. My crappy, dirty, dated old office building.


    This post was edited by Swentastic on Thu, Dec 4, 14 at 13:39

  • palimpsest


  • bonnieann925

    Love this color. I saw it on the news this morning and being a lover of all things red, really like this deep red. It is not as brown as the clutch shown in the original post.

  • PRO
    Lori A. Sawaya

    Full Definition from the puce link:
    : a dark red that is yellower and less strong than cranberry, paler and slightly yellower than average garnet, bluer, less strong, and slightly lighter than pomegranate, and bluer and paler than average wine

    Color "definitions" like that drives me absolutely nuckingfuts. As if that tells anybody anything. ??? :)

    I did find some data on Marsala. Here's the notation conversion we did here at The LoC: Hue 5.40R / Value 4.08 / Chroma 6.93

    It's not brown like the image from the WSJ. It's technically described as a "grayish red". This is what it looks like in context of its hue family.

    (edited - had the wrong pic, sorry!)

    This post was edited by funcolors on Thu, Dec 4, 14 at 21:08

  • palimpsest

    By context I mean that any color can look good or terrible depending, and for every ugly office picture you could post, someone could find one where a similar color looked great, like Brooke Astor's living room by Albert Hadley.

    I think there are other things that contribute to the ugliness of that office building. It doesn't look any better in black and white, or probably a number of other colors:{{gwi:2142128}}

  • Swentastic

    Pal I searched the designer you had mentioned earlier - I was agreeing with you this is very much contextual and I wouldn't hesitate to own one of those purses. I actually like the color. Puce or not :)

  • palimpsest

    I just wanted to elucidate further, I didn't think you were disagreeing.

    But sometimes the association one makes with a color under certain circumstances can "color" the person's feelings about it in any context. So I am not trying to force someone to like a particular color, but I would encourage people to try to divorce colors from previous negative contexts. Peach tones are often quite nice and flattering to skin tones and yet, because they are "so 80s" some people have a more negative visceral reaction to peach than they do to some of the (imo) straight-out-of-the-diaper acidic brownish greens popular in the last decade in home décor.

    And it's not at all rational: I can't stand tomato soup (I don't even like looking at a can that says tomato soup or cream of tomato soup). I can eat ANYTHING tomato-ish except tomato soup. Why? Because I can associate what was probably my first migraine and nausea with the coincidental cafeteria lunch of tomato soup in first grade in Catholic school where we were required to clean our plates (although they gave me a little leeway after that episode).

  • decordummy_gw

    Speaking of the 80s - Marcolo's first set of pics reminded me of Dusty Rose.

    The pics posted by Annie (when she went from yawn to yuck) looked to me like Oxblood.

  • robo (z6a)

    Just personal preference, I think I prefer the 2.6, 2.8 and 3.10 colors in funcolors' palette to the 4.6...4.6 is a little dusty for me, I guess is the best way to put it. I think the rolls Pal posted is more like the 2.8. Deep and delicious! I do love oxblood, like, a rich oxblood.

  • marcolo

    Problem with a "Color of the Year" is that now you're forced to see it in every context. On the runway. On sofas. On airline barf bags.

  • sochi

    I don't mind it, the redder versions posted here at any rate. Love the hat. I wasn't aware there was a "colour of the year." Is this new?

    I hadn't seen those Air Canada outfits before Robo. Ouch.

  • sochi

    This made me laugh: "It's a color that makes you want to go to Olive Garden or order Tampax in bulk," says New York Magazine's The Cut blog in perhaps the most scathing critique.

  • Annie Deighnaugh

    For those of you who don't have access, I thought some of the quotes from the WSJ article were interesting:

    If that brings to mind farm-to-table cuisine, bushy-but-coiffed beards and urban dwellersâ growing obsession with farm life, that is exactly the cultural phenomenon that Pantone --"and the design world"-- are addressing here.

    HoboâÂÂs Ms. Ray says. âÂÂWomen are looking for bold neutrals to replace black.âÂÂ

    Really? Marsala is the new black? I don't think so. The definition of neutral has become so stretched that there's little left that isn't neutral. And isn't bold neutral oxymoronic?

    Bushy but coiffed beards? You mean pantone is taking inspiration from duck dynasty now?

    But given the inspirations posted and even the different appearance of the pantone color swatches and the color on their own web site, I'd say the shade is very confusing at best...which is disappointing, as I always thought Pantone's claim to fame was that they anchor on a very specific shade and protect it for their clients as it's used in logos and trademarks and such.

  • cottonwood468

    It comes from watching Downtown Abbey.

  • robo (z6a)



  • busybee3

    I think the color looks fine for decorating-- the last picture that pal posted looks beautiful...
    a much better color of the year than radiant orchid, imo!!

    but, for clothing, I'm not sure whose coloring it would actually look good with... I have a sweater that I bought online a few years ago that is a deep 'marsala' color, and even tho I will wear it occasionally in the fall, it really is not flattering and every time I wear it I say I really need to put this in the donate bag because it does nothing for me...and it definitely doesn't do anything for selena either!! but it's a nice weight and I don't readily get rid of things so it's still in my closet...too drab for a solid piece of clothing for most complexions I would think... maybe I should hold onto it thru 2015 just to be 'in style'...lol

  • marcolo

    Farm to table? I suppose it does look like a piece of liver. But if design is now taking its cues from hipsters, the ugly isn't over yet.

    Btw can someone explain the bizarre fixation with nude shoes? They make women look like they have one huge deformed pointed toe.

  • Annie Deighnaugh

    OMG marcolo! That's the color! Chopped chicken liver!

    I actually like nude pumps because they extend the line of the leg making the legs look longer...important for shrimps like me.

  • kitchendetective

    The colors in Pal's and robotropolis's photos are not desaturated like the Pantone swatch. Those photos appeal to me much more (I use those colors) than does the swatch. They didn't represent any thought about commitment (to refer to another thread), other than the DH and I could agree on this color range.

    The nude shoe thing is supposed to make legs look longer by not introducing a contrast to the ankle and calf. I guess it is sort of complexion-specific thinking.

    This post was edited by kitchendetective on Fri, Dec 5, 14 at 9:26

  • robo (z6a)

    I agree, some colors look good desaturated but for the most part desaturated reds don't do it for me. I see the marsala in the 2nd pic I posted more on the floor.

  • sombreuil_mongrel


    My LR color I picked out in '95 (and it really needs another coat)
    It was the closest I could get to this color I picked in '83:
    That's my dear, departed mom standing in her new dining room; we had just remodeled their old farmhouse.
    I have had a connection to that color forever, it seems; now, VINDICATION!!!

  • robo (z6a)

    Maybe it's just the beautiful surroundings (or the context as pal said) but your color seems warmer to me.

  • kitchendetective

    More like terra cotta than desaturated marsala, Casey, no? Beautiful room.

    Annie, I do believe that I could have happily spent the rest of my life without ever having cast my eyes upon the liver image.

  • marcolo

    Selena doesn't look long and leggy in that photo. The eye goes first to the muffin top. But overall, the high wide waist and lady garden-height hemline make her look look like she was hanging from a coat hook while polishing off Thanksgiving dinner.

  • melle_sacto is hot and dry in CA Zone 9/

    I love nude shoes too (another shrimp here); I want to look as tall as I can.

    This post was edited by melle_sacto on Fri, Dec 5, 14 at 12:52

  • kitchendetective

    In my ongoing effort to learn more slang, I have discovered this site. Marcolo, take note of muffin tops and other associated phenomena.

    Here is a link that might be useful: http://blogilates.tumblr.com/post/15507481420/top-body-slang-vocabulary-just-a-quickie-note

  • LE

    I like it in some of the photos above (the redder ones). But I've had a "burgundy" couch since 1986 (needs to be replaced now, but we are moving next year.) The faded part at the back by the window is about this color! Yeah, I still like it, except in the "browner" examples.

  • sweet_tea_

    I guess I'm in the minority as well, when I saw it posted I loved it!!! (The article I read used the reddish tone not the brown). I think it's a much more usable color than the Color of the Year shades from the past couple years. I can't imagine any of them in my house or on me.

    Marsala, however seems more rustic and earthy. I like earthy, natural colors. I think that my LR rug actually has marsala in it, (not actual wine, but the color) :) and I've had it for over 11 years.

    I agree with kitchen detective - Annie, the liver was something I could've done without seeing! Gross! :)

  • rosesstink

    I rather like this color. Maybe not for home decor but if I were young and thin I'd wear those clothes. Maybe not the see-through dress. Definitely not the see-through dress. lol I like the hat very much.

    Agree with Marcola about the nude shoes though. Blech.

  • Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

    The pantone colors are a joke now, does anyone actually buy anything because it is "the color of the year"?

    I am happy if the yearly color is one I want in order to update things from way before when it wasn't the color of the year.

  • PRO
    Lori A. Sawaya

    Yeah, it's definitely overworked.

    For me, however, it's a welcome respite from the ad nauseam self-promotion so prevalent in color pro / designer / deco blogger circles.

    It's a few days where color pro's/designers talk about the color of the year instead of peddling wares and services. Altho a few find a way to tie the color of the year back into something you 'need' to buy from them. Handy link always provided. Kinda respectable clever. Kinda annoying.

  • dahoov2

    My reaction is BARF. Too dark. If you have real wood furniture or leather furniture you'll be in a cave. If you put it with white it would not look that great either. It might go with a cream/antique white or all chrome furniture but yikes! You'd have to have light floors? If you had dark floors ... eek.

    Just blech. Just my humble opinion. Maybe I'm not sophisticated. LOL

  • moonshadow

    The very first thing that came to mind was the earthy rust/brown/red calico patterns popular in the late 70s into early 80s (right before the Miami Vice color explosion). It showed up a lot in 'country' decor. The color I was thinking of is adjacent to the center star in this pattern:

  • RNmomof2 zone 5

    This is close to the color I just painted my kitchen. Maybe now I will be able to find fabric choices for window treatments. Haven't had much luck currently.

  • RNmomof2 zone 5

    This is close to the color I just painted my kitchen. Maybe now I will be able to find fabric choices for window treatments. Haven't had much luck currently.

  • RNmomof2 zone 5

    This is close to the color I just painted my kitchen. Maybe now I will be able to find fabric choices for window treatments. Haven't had much luck currently.

  • 4boys2

    Re: Selena
    You can not like the color of the outfit...
    not like the style..
    think the shoes are unappealing..
    If that is what passes for a "muffin top"..
    Sign me up :)

  • Annie Deighnaugh

    Struggled to find much in design-seeds with marsala in it, but did come across this pretty one.

  • PRO
    Lori A. Sawaya

    Oooooo! Very pretty color palette, Annie.

    Thought the same thing about the muffin top. :)

  • marcolo

    She has a very prominent roll hanging out over her waistband. The fact that the roll is there on someone who not remotely fat tells you how average people look wearing today's fashions. Not flattering. But some people have to be trendy no matter how many rationalizations it takes for them not to believe their own eyes.

  • robo (z6a)

    Spotted at trendy diner near me today:

  • kitchendetective

    That is just skin folding, not fat. I recently watched a "fashion makeover" segment on a morning news show (I was captive--it was in a doctor's office waiting room), and a pretty but very overweight woman was getting made over. They put her in an outfit like Selena's above and said the key was having the waist high enough, so that it above the lumpy fat parts. Okay, they didn't use exactly those words, but you get the idea. The message was everyone can wear the exposed midriff style. Sheesh. So, yes, some are trendy no matter what the trend. Call me an old fogey, I guess.
    Okay, back on topic. My house has has a shade of burgundy that splits the difference between burgundy and plum and a moss green that runs throughout, except bedrooms and laundry/mud rooms. Other stuff is sprinkled in, but those run throughout the house. The floors are light reclaimed wood, but I think darker floors might actually be more appropriate from an interior design standpoint. However, it's a Texas Hill Country house and the pine is appropriate to the genre. So, I'm on board with Marsala, unless it's the browner version.

  • luckygal

    I love the color and enjoy it on 2 partial walls of my partner's home. These walls were painted 3 years ago and are the exact color shown in the collage posted by marcolo above. The main walls are painted a wicker-ish brown/gold which looks great with it. It's not a color I would have chosen but easy to live with so I wouldn't dream of changing it.

    A fun color to decorate around for Christmas as green goes so well with it.

    I usually take Pantone's choices of "Colors of the Year" with about a bucket of salt as they are often colors without lasting value for me and I avoid trends unless I adore them. However it's kind of interesting to think I'm living with a trend in advance of it! Next year I'll be living with a past trend and completely out of the trendy loop! LOL

  • palimpsest

    Mark Hampton (1970):

  • sombreuil_mongrel

    Isn't that more of a mulberry? I can see the magenta colorant in it; it's responsible for the blueish cast of the reflections. Very close to the Aigner leather goods color.

  • raee_gw zone 5b-6a Ohio

    The examples seem all over the place -- some wander toward pink or plum or almost a dark grayed salmon and are not at all appealing to me (the lighter ones look too pinkish on my monitor) while others I really like.

    In the very first picture I would turn my nose up at the swatch but I like the purse. In Marcolo's collage, I think the shoes are pretty, but I would call them deep rose pink. I would absolutely love to have the stone in that ring! In forboystoo's pics, I hate the swatch but not the chair -- and of the 3 models, the color of the center outfit I really like and it would have looked quite good on me before I went so gray.

    So it seems that I prefer the red/brown combo but it has to be just so.

    Now if they had only picked the actual shade of that glass of Marsala, that would be a winner in my book!

  • MarinaGal

    The Mark Hampton room is fantastic. I'm buying that take on Marsala.

  • funkycamper

    We just decided to move the 1950's era couch and matching chair from my childhood that had been in our basement to our living room. It has a wonderful shape to it. I've been calling it Rosey Brown. I guess it's really Marsala. It looks really good with aqua, btw.

    I've never been ahead of a trend before. Not sure what to think of that as I'd rather be more unique, but I'll be looking for pillows and rugs with Marsala in it to round out my decorating scheme. I was thinking it was going to be hard to find that color so I'm thrilled to know it might not be so hard after all.

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