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Competition for Color of the Year

Pantone’s Pick: The 2015 Color of the Year

In case you haven’t already heard… Pantone’s color pick for  2015 is out! The color is…(drum roll please)… Marsala!!! So, what exactly does the color Marsala look like and why did it make next years top color list over all the other options out there?

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Marsala is a red-brown, warm, earthy color with a slight undertone of blue. We at RSVP Design Services view it as a great accent color because it can be combined with both warm and cool color tones and it looks great with neutrals. This makes it easy to work with and add into your existing décor.

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Evoking Emotion:

Marsala represents confidence and stability with its earthy tones. It can add warmth to a space and create a sense of security. Although it is not as bold as other shades of red it can still bring a touch of drama to a room without being overbearing.

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“Marsala is a subtly seductive shade, one that draws us in to its embracing warmth.”

Leatrice Eiseman

Executive Director, Pantone Color Institute®








 Competition for Color of the Year

Though Pantone selected Marsala for the color of the year, paint manufactures disagree. Sherwin-Williams selected Coral Reef, PP&G is excited about Blue Paisley, and Benjamin Moore proposed Guilford Green. I have to admit, Rhonda and I both leaned towards coral as our prediction for 2015 and were a little surprised by Pantone. Coral seems a little fresher and lighter which is what our clients are asking for. It’s a great accent color to combine with the popular grays and blues and adds a touch of warmth.

Why We Think Marsala Won

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 9.54.20 AMSo why did Marsala win out over the other colors?  Marsala is considered flattering to many skin tones and is appealing to both men and woman. This makes it an easy color to introduce into your wardrobe and your home without it feeling too risky. It plays to a hint of sophistication yet it can also work with a more casual, laid-back environment with its inviting warmth. It is contemporary when applied with a glossy finish or on a modern accent piece. It can  lean traditional when used in a matte finish and as a floral print. Its versatility is what makes it the most usable and therefore, to some, the most likable. Here are some examples of how we have used Marsala in the past and how you can introduce it into your world in the upcoming year.

On The Walls:

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Red on the walls?… Hasn’t that been done already? Yes it’s true and RSVP can testify to having “been there, done that” when it comes to using red. In the past, Rhonda and I both have painted either a whole room or an accent wall red in our homes.  While we have personally moved on to cooler tones like blues and grays, red will always remain a classic go to for beautiful traditional spaces or when a touch of drama is needed. But just like any color, when mixed with certain elements, it can take on a whole new life. Marsala can also work on the walls to update a trendy space.


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Texture in almost any color will enhance the beauty of a space. It can be subtle or bold depending on what your focal point needs to be. These Marsala colored wall coverings made good space look great!

Pop on the furniture or Accessories:

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Marsala works best as an accent color. Such as on a piece of furniture like this sofa or pair of accent chairs. It provides a warm place to curl up and read a book or to get lost in conversation with an old friend. Accessories like this patterned rug help to ground the space and add interest to the room. The color Marsala speaks of history. It adds character to a space with items like this rustic, metal clock.

Exterior Usage:

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Due to its “earthiness”, Marsala is a great exterior accent color. It mixes well with natural materials such as terra cotta and brick. It can also provide a nice contrast when juxtaposed with cooler colored materials such as concrete and this blue painted siding.

Fashion Statement:

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Although interior design and fashion design are in many ways two different worlds, they are closely related. Fashion often leads to the trends we adopt in our environments. When we feel good wearing something we tend to want to surround ourselves with it. Fabrics are just one of the many ways the lines between fashion and design are blurred. Inspiration from accessories such as jewelry and clutches are also seen in the design of interiors.

RSVP Inspired:

We hope you have been inspired by these examples and have “warmed up” to the color of Marsala as we have. Give us your feedback on the color and tell us how you have used it in the past or plan to use it soon. Do you think this color works best for winter months? Do you see it remaining popular through the spring and summer? We love to hear from our readers! Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook. Just another chance for us to hear your voice and tailor to your needs.

  1. Sallie

    It is a beautiful, warm color. I would put it on my front door; it would look good with the brick.

  2. Ashlynn Bourque
    Ashlynn Bourque12-12-2014

    Great blog post today RSVP. Thank you for giving Sherwin-Williams, not only a mention, but a shout out as to our color of the year selection.

  3. RSVP Design Sevices
    RSVP Design Sevices12-12-2014

    You are so welcome Ashlynn we love Sherwin-William’s paint! Thanks for reading the blog and commenting. Have a safe and fun holiday.

  4. RSVP Design Sevices
    RSVP Design Sevices12-12-2014

    Hi Sallie! I agree its a great color next to brick

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