What’s Everyone’s Beef With Marsala?

Pantone Marsala 2015 Color of Year 18-438 how to decorating tips moodboard paint color psychology wine merlot The DIY Homegirl Every year, decor enthusiasts, stylists, and designers eagerly await the announcement of Pantone's Color of the Year. When it was finally was announced, many people shunned their choice: Marsala. Seeing how so many people have objected got me wondering, why have people reacted so negatively toward it? Read along for my theories into the perception of this color, plus learn how it can be used to decorate a beautiful space.

When I first saw Marsala, I admit, I was a little taken aback. Yes, it is a lovely color, but it defies the previous years’ colors. In the last 15 years, most of Pantone’s chosen colors were bright, energetic shades. They were colors that were easy to decorate with: it’s far easier to find brightly colored decor than muted colors. (This I know to be true.) But Marsala is complex and we don’t understand it upon first viewing.

Another theory is that people loathe the choice because it’s one that conjures up thoughts rooms full of chintz and colors like hunter green, aqua, and pink. A wise woman (my mother) once told me style repeats itself. While we shouldn’t start decorating like it’s the 80s again, we can instead draw inspiration from then, remixing some of those elements in today’s decor. Using a color like Marsala in a room with modern shapes and lines is one way to do this.

If you truly compare Marsala to the style of the 80s, it’s different. It’s definitely not mauve; rather it’s a warm, earthy shade of wine. This makes it excellent to use in various decor styles, such as bohemian, rustic, contemporary, organic modern, and of course, traditional.

There are many variations of Marsala like wine, burgundy, and merlot, but these decor picks are pretty spot on to its actual hue:

Pantone Marsala 2015 Color of Year 18-438 how to decorating tips moodboard paint color psychology wine merlot floral rug curtains pillows faux leather striped bedding vintage book The Decor Guru

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Check out how these rooms have beautifully feature this color. Note the other colors used in these rooms and how they pair together well:

What do you think about Marsala? Do you plan on using it in your decor?

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10 Comments on What’s Everyone’s Beef With Marsala?

  1. I actually really like their color choice….Its like a more modern version of a merlot or a burgundy….Great post!

    • Thanks! I’m seeing that the positive feedback on Marsala is coming from people who are more in tune with decorating, designers, etc. That probably has something to do with it…

  2. I love this year’s color, but I am always drawn to earthy tones and neutrals. They work well with my eclectically industrial chic design concepts. Though I won’t be changing my decor just to work with the color of the year, I will admit to having a stack of books that looks a lot like your #6 design choice on one of my shelves already.

  3. I had to laugh when I saw your link over at Coastal Charm and of course clicked on yours first. I actually wrote a post on it also but not in it’s favor. I am an 80’s child and it just really touches a negative spot with me. Of course if you add shimmer to it, it becomes quite tasteful but everything is beautiful when it glitters! 🙂

  4. I love it! & I’m glad I came upon your page 🙂 I can’t wait to start decorating, DIY’ing, crafting & accessorizing with this fun color! Thanks for your input & look forward to seeing what you’ll do with it too!

    • Thanks! Glad to have you here! I’m not sure yet if I’ll be using it to decorate since it’s such a contrast to the colors I already use at home… but if I could, I would!

  5. Lol my entryway accent wall is literally that color! And my other walls are the yellow on that picture. I’ve always loved dark, earthy colors, they feel cozy to me…

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